The Business Matrix: Thursday 6 March 2015

 

Abercrombie still on the slide

Profits at teen fashion chain Abercrombie & Fitch fell by a third in the past quarter, the 13th consecutive quarter of flat or negative like-for-like sales growth. The group, which is looking for a new chief executive after Mike Jeffries abruptly resigned in December, warned that the first half of 2015 will “remain challenging”.

Standard’s chilly start for Winters

Standard Chartered Bank laid bare the scale of the task facing the incoming chief executive, Bill Winters, yesterday after profits fell by 30 per cent to $4.2bn (£2.7bn) last year. The outgoing chief executive, Peter Sands, revealed that he and the other executive directors would not be taking any bonuses for last year.

£2 deals give Greggs a boost

Low inflation, falling fuel prices and a growing economy are helping the nation regain its affection for the humble pasty, according to Greggs boss Roger Whiteside. He said customers are using extra money in their pockets to snap up £2 deals as the first of a five-year turnaround plan for the business was hailed a success.

Farfetch latest to join the $1bn club

The online luxury department store Farfetch has become the latest UK technology business to be valued at $1bn (£655m), joining TransferWise and Shazam, following its latest fundraising which saw it raise $86m. Backers included DST Capital, a venture capital fund run by the Russian investor  Yuri Milner.

And another one bites dust at Tesco

Tesco’s boardroom exodus continued yesterday as Gareth Bullock quit, becoming the third non-executive to depart in seven days. Mr Bullock is replaced by BP’s Byron Grote, who was on the board of Unilever, which formerly employed the supermarket’s new chief executive, Dave Lewis.

Pressure on BoE over rising wages

The Bank of England will come under “increasing pressure” to hike rates as wages rise in the dominant services sector, experts warned yesterday. Services firms are hiring at the second fastest rate on record amid rising new orders, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply said.

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