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The Business Matrix: Thursday 3 July 2014


Hugo Boss takes control in China

German fashion house Hugo Boss is taking full control of its store network in China and Macau as it seeks to improve the way its brand is presented, a move that mirrors a broader trend by luxury goods groups in emerging markets. The operations, comprising 55 stores, generated about £75m or about 9 per cent of group sales.

Diageo buys India spirits firm

Diageo, the owner of Guinness beer and Smirnoff vodka, has gained control of India’s United Spirits. The drinks  giant will integrate the whisky maker into its global business from this month after confirming it has completed tender offers to buy a further  26 per cent, taking its ownership up to 54.78 per cent.

Yellen opposed  to rate rises

Monetary policy faces “significant limitations” as a tool to counter financial stability risks, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, adding that heading off the U.S. housing bubble with higher interest rates would have caused economic damage. She said regulation should combat excessive financial risk-taking.

Carillion lands Liverpool deal

Facilities management and construction firm Carillion has been named preferred bidder for Liverpool Football Club’s main stand expansion contract. As well as the project, which is worth around £75m, the company said it is on track after it secured first-half  orders and probable orders worth £2.7bn.

Kier has got orders booked

Kier said its construction order book of secured or probable work stood at £2.6bn, which represents 90 per cent of anticipated revenue for the year to June 2015. In services, orders are stable at £3.6bn, which it said provided long-term visibility of revenue and 85 per cent of forecast revenues.

Gift firm has profits wrapped

Gift wrap and Christmas cracker maker International Greetings said its financial position improved materially in the year to March, with underlying profits up 4 per cent to £7.6m. It said investment in new high-definition printing at Glamorgan is all but complete, with presses fully operational.

Topps wipes floor with sales rise

Topps Tiles, which trades from 330 stores in the UK, said it believes it is continuing to grow ahead of the rest of the market after like-for-like revenues rose 6.3 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 June. Chief executive Matthew Williams said: “We remain optimistic about trading.”

Trainline on track for flotation

The owner of online train ticketer Trainline has appointed investment bank Morgan Stanley to oversee a potential £400m flotation, Sky News reported. Private equity firm Exponent has not decided the timing of the probable initial public offering.

Rotork forks out  $25m for Xylem

Xylem Inc, a New York-based water-technology specialist, sold its UK valves unit to British flow-control company Rotork for $25m (£14.5m). Xylem Flow Control’s pneumatic and hydraulic valves are mostly used in the oil and gas industry.

Roche eyes $1.7bn Seragaon deal

Merger mania in the pharmaceuticals industry continued apace as Roche said it would pay $1.725bn (£1bn) to buy Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held US biotech company that researches breast cancer treatments.