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The Business Matrix: Thursday 30 June 2011

Camelot to add 8,000 terminals

The National Lottery operator, Camelot, is planning to install 8,000 new lottery terminals in rural and suburban areas, in an attempt to persuade regulators to grant it an early extension to its licence. Camelot, owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, said its plan depended on a five-year extension to its existing licence, which expires in 2019.

IMF warning over debt ceiling

A failure by US law makers to agree a deal to raise the Government’s borrowing limit could deliver a “severe shock” to its fragile recovery and to the global markets, the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday. The US Congress needs to agree to raise the $14.3tn ceiling on the nation’s debt by 2 August to avoid a default.

Output rises by 5.7% in Japan

Japan’s industrial production rose for a second straight month as factories continued to recover after the sharp downturn from the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March. Industrial output rose 5.7 per cent in May from the previous month, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. In April, production was up 1.6 per cent.

Washout June for Magners maker

The Irish drinks group C&C said it expects to hit profit forecasts, even though trading in June has been “relatively weak” compared with a year ago. The firm said sales of its Magners cider were, however, buoyed by warm weather and the royal wedding in May. The football World Cup last year has also made sales comparisons tough this month.

Photo-Me sees profits rise 95%

The photo booth firm Photo-Me International has reaped the reward of recent restructuring as profits increased 95 per cent to £18m in the year to 30 April, despite a 1 per cent fall in turnover to £220m. The company also said it had been boosted by a strong performance in its key markets including the UK.

Bets are off at Betfair

Betfair has posted record profits for its first full year as a listed company but admitted revenues have taken a hit in recent weeks. The online betting exchange lets punters set their own odds and bet against one another. Its annual profits rose 49 per cent to £80m, but a fall in poker and racing bets have hit revenues.

Yell names new UK chief exec

Yellow Pages owner Yell has appointed Richard Hanscott as chief executive of its UK business as it prepares to launch a new digital strategy to return it to growth. Mr Hanscott, who used to work at Orange and internet firm NEC, will take up his position on 18 July and will report to group CEO Mike Pocock.

Tote chief to take helm at Betfred

Trevor Beaumont, chief executive of the Tote, is to be group chief executive of Betfred, which bought the state-owned bookmaker for £265m this month. Fred Done, Betfred’s founder and chairman, also revealed that Tote managing director Joe Scanlon will be director of racing at the enlarged group.

Minerva sale agreed at £203m

A consortium featuring property investor Jamie Ritblat’s Delancey investment firm has reached agreement with Minerva to buy the developer in a deal valuing it at £203m. Minerva’s developments include the Walbrook building in the City of London, and the Odeon Cinema building in Kensington.

Trefick pulls out of Lookers bid

The veteran investor Jack Petchey has walked away from making a bid for Lookers after the car dealership chain rejected its latest proposal. Mr Petchey’s investment vehicle Trefick, along with Moor Park Capital Partners and Brett Palos, made a joint approach to Lookers in May about a cash offer.