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The Business Matrix: Thursday 3 October 2013

David Page goes back to pizzas

Serial restaurant entrepreneur David Page is going back to his pizza roots. Mr Page's latest vehicle, ISDX-listed Fulham Shore, is making its first investment of around £250,000 opening a branch of Franco Manca in London before Christmas. Mr Page oversaw the £280m sale of PizzaExpress to private equity in 2003.

E.on scraps tariff for the over-60s

Tens of thousands of elderly customers face a rise in their energy bills, after one of the UK's biggest suppliers withdrew a tariff for the over-60s.E.on says it will scrap its StayWarm scheme, which offered fixed-price bills. Rules which limit the number of tariffs that energy companies can offer have been blamed.

Wolfson warns of BlackBerry fallout

The collapse of BlackBerry has hit microchip-maker Wolfson, with the FTSE 250 company warning that cancellations at a "major customer" will dent revenues. The Edinburgh-based electronics firm, which supplies microchips for smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics, said fourth-quarter revenue would be lower.

Parts supplier hit by demand slump

Electronic parts supplier Electrocomponents' sales grew just 1 per cent in its first half as growth in the US and Europe could not counter a fall in demand in the UK. The group said sales in September, the final month of the half year, had risen by 4 per cent. It said it was investing to improve sales and margins in the medium term.

Dunelm summer sales plunge 5%

Hot weather hit sales at Dunelm over the summer as customers shunned homewares for fun in the sun. The company said like-for-like sales fell 5 per cent during the 13 weeks ending 28 September because fewer people visited its 135 stores. The group said sales were particularly affected in July.

Wall Street urges raised debt ceiling

US bank chiefs met President Barack Obama at the White House yesterday and urged politicians to raise the debt ceiling or threaten the economic recovery. Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein chastised refuseniks for using the issue as a "cudgel". Political differences should be separate from the issue, he said.

Just Retirement gets ready to float

Just Retirement looks set to list in London this year after hiring three new advisers to work on its float. The private equity-backed company, which specialises in giving better pensions to ill people, has hired Panmure Gordon, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Espirito Santo.

Albermarle on the brink of collapse

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has a month to save itself from collapse after emergency efforts to raise £35m from investors failed. The firm, which has 230 high street shops, saw its shares tumble another 31 per cent as talks with leading shareholder EZCorp broke down.

Regulators close to Google deal

European regulators are close to a settlement with Google in their inquiry into unfair competition. Joaquin Almunia, the EU Commission antitrust chief, said there had been a "significant improvement" in Google's concessions.

Rose takes chair at Healthcare

Former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose has been named as the chairman of Oasis Healthcare group. The private dental care group is owned by Bridgepoint and has more than 200 practices operating across the UK.

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