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The Business Matrix: Thursday 6 December 2012


Stars are brokers for a day at Icap

Celebrities joined traders in costume with the proceeds going to 200 good causes in Icap's 20th annual Global Charity Day in London yesterday. These included Samantha Cameron (standing in for the Duchess of Cambridge, who was in hospital), Mo Farah, Darcey Bussell, Goldie Hawn, Jon and Peter Snow, and Sean Bean.

Numis profits take a slide to £7.7m

Broker Numis Securities saw annual profits fall 13 per cent to £7.7m on revenues down 8 per cent at £50.1m. Chief executive Oliver Hemsley said Numis would continue cutting costs, with another 16 staff losing their jobs in the last year to take the total down to 173. But Numis said it had "an encouraging start" to the new financial year.

Bwin joint boss cashes in his chips

Jim Ryan, joint chief executive of the online gambling group bwin.party digital, is quitting the job. The move comes just over a year after bwin, which sponsors Real Madrid, merged with Partygaming and each provided their own co-chief executive. Mr Ryan will trouser a full-year's salary – €573,000 (£477,000).

Brewin Dolphin makes a splash

Underlying profits at fund manager Brewin Dolphin rose by 8.3 per cent to £42.9m in the year to September, while funds under management increased 8 per cent to £25.9bn. Chairman Jamie Matheson said: "Markets have remained resilient and since the summer there have been signs that our clients have started buying more shares."

Sage defies gloom to climb to £356m

Software giant Sage shrugged off weakness in France and Spain with a 4 per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profit to £356.3m in the year to September. The company, whose software is used by more than six million small businesses to run payroll and accounts, was boosted by demand for technology support.

Electronics firms take £1.2bn fine

Electronics giants including Philips, Samsung and LG have been hit by a record £1.2bn fine by Brussels regulator for fixing the price of television and computer monitors. Netherlands-based Philips was the worst offender, taking a hit of more than £250m. A Taiwanese firm blew the whistle on the cartel.

Mamut books £12m profit

Waterstone's billionaire Russian owner, Alexander Mamut, will see his bank balance jump by $19m (£12m) after a 10 per cent investment in FTSE 100 Russian miner Polymetal paid a special dividend. Mr Mamut is Polymetal's third-largest shareholder.

Netflix surges on Disney tie-up

Shares in Netflix, the US movie website, surged 14 per cent after it did a deal with Disney to show its films first after their cinema run. The deal will include new films from its Pixar animation arm and is likely to include the Lucas Star Wars division, which Disney has just bought.

House of Fraser enjoys sales boost

House of Fraser said like-for-like sales improved 5.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to 27 October and by 4 per cent in the first five weeks of its current quarter. Chief executive John King said he was pleased, including growth in online sales this year.

Poundland's festive sales boom

Discount retailer Poundland said Christmas sales were up 6 per cent compared with the company's expectations, with tree decorations among areas performing well. The business has 420 stores and appeals to consumers in times of austerity.