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The Business Matrix: Thursday 30 May 2013


A £52m refit for BBC's Bush House

The former home of the BBC World Service, Bush House, is to be transformed under a £52m refurbishment deal. Interior Services Group has claimed the contract, one of the largest commercial office refurbishment schemes to be awarded this year, for the historic building, that will be renamed the Aldwych Quarter.

GlaxoSmithKline buys vaccine firm

GlaxoSmithKline has bought a Swiss developer of vaccine for £215m. Okairos develops genetic vaccines for major infectious diseases – including malaria, hepatitis C, HIV, respiratory syncytial virus and cancer – using a novel proprietary technology. The company is also pursuing therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer.

Topps Tiles profits plunge by 16%

Topps Tiles described consumers as being more selfish about sprucing up their homes, as it reported a deterioration in sales and a 16 per cent fall in first-half profits to £4.7m. Its chief executive, Matthew Williams, said shoppers are becoming "less concerned about what people think about their houses and becoming much more selfish".

Cobham extends transport business

Cobham has won a five-year contract extension with mining group Ok Tedi in Papua New Guinea for its Fly-in Fly-out aviation services to transport workers to remote mines. The Dorset-based defence and security technology group said the flights will cover in excess of 1.5 million kilometres a year and over 800 passengers a week.

Thomas Cook to lease six Airbuses

Thomas Cook is to lease six Airbus jets from General Electric's aircraft-leasing unit as part of its fleet-renewal programme. The tour operator expects to receive four of the planes in the first quarter of 2015, with the remaining two expected to be delivered in the following quarter.

China's growth forecast lowered

China will grow by 7.75 per cent in 2013, according to the IMF's latest forecast, down from its previous estimate of 8 per cent growth. The IMF downgrade follows weak Chinese factory and investment data in recent months. The fund cited a weakened global economy and worse export prospects.

De La Rue to cut £40m in costs

De La Rue set up a £40m-a-year cost-cutting drive yesterday as it blamed increasing competition and delays to orders on an 8 per cent fall in annual revenues to £484m. The company's flagship £1bn contract with the Bank of England is up for renewal this year.

Brewin Dolphin plans expansion

The private client wealth manager Brewin Dolphin has raised £40m through a share placing to fund ambitious expansion plans and beef up its regulatory capital. Brewin Dolphin's stock closed up 10.5p at 230.3p, after the placing, at 210p a share.

Michelmersh to sell factory site

The brick manufacturer Michelmersh has agreed a £4.6m deal to sell a former factory site in Telford, Shropshire, to Bovis Homes. The West Sussex-based group will use some of the sale proceeds to pay down debt.

Telford Homes trebles profits

Telford Homes said "exceptional" demand saw profits treble to £9m in the year to 31 March. The Hertfordshire-based housebuilder, which is focused on the London area, said it sold 803 properties, up 75 per cent on the previous year.