The Business Matrix: Thursday 6 June 2013


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<b>China hits back over EU tariffs</b>

China has retaliated against EU anti-dumping tariffs imposed on its exports of solar panels by launching an inquiry into European wine imports. The Chinese Commerce Ministry said the EU had imposed the duties despite Chinese efforts to resolve the dispute. The French trade ministry called the move “inappropriate and reprehensible”.

Drop in suit hire hits Moss Bros

Moss Bros revealed that consumers are leaving hiring their suits for summer weddings until the 11th hour. The suit specialist said its hire sales fell by 6.2 per cent over the 18 weeks to 1 June and are expected to be “volatile” over the summer, as they come up against last summer, when people moved events around the Olympics.

Central London pricing out buyers

London’s professionals are  hitting the “second ring” of  the capital’s property market after being priced out of the centre, according to Winkworth. The estate agent said the liveliest London markets are properties around £650,000 around Kensal Rise, Shepherd’s Bush and Shoreditch.

Synergy enjoys healthy profit rise

Synergy Health, the supplier of sterilisation systems to hospitals and medical-device makers, saw its profits jump 16 per cent to £50.3m in the last year on sales also up 16 per cent to £361m. It reported particularly strong growth in demand for its systems from US hospitals.

Findel recovery gathers pace

Home-shopping and educational-supplies firm Findel returned to profit as its turnaround gathered pace. The Cheshire-based group said it swung to an annual profit of £1.6m from £14.2m losses a year ago, while underlying sales surged to £491.m.

Nixon plans to sell 80 million shares

Another £165m in the bank and more luxury cars to stock up the garage, that’s soooo Moneysupermarket. Or it is for the comparison site’s founder Simon Nixon, 45, who is selling up to 80 million shares worth £165m in his first major stake sale since the firm floated in 2007.  The deal will cut his stake in the company to 35 per cent.

‘Third arrow’ used in economic plan

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has loosed the “third arrow” in his efforts to jump-start growth with sweeping economic reforms, aimed at getting more women working and tempting firms to invest more. He has already unleashed a major public spending  programme and vast money-printing efforts.

EasyJet complaint about eDreams

Up to a million passengers could have paid too much for flights booked via the online travel agent eDreams, easyJet claimed yesterday as it reported the site to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The airline told the OFT that eDreams advertises “headline prices which are lower than the final price”.

IAG capacity figures on the up

International Airlines Group – the British Airways and Iberia owner – said passenger-load factor, a message of how well its planes are filled, rose 0.9 percentage points in May to 79.5 per cent. Its airlines carried 45.9 per cent more passengers in the UK and Spain last month.

$3.7bn boost for London Exchange

The London Stock Exchange has enjoyed its best year so far in terms of UK companies floating since 2007. Dealogic said eight flotations this year have raised a total of $3.7bn (£2.4bn), largely thanks to financial firms such as esure.