Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

The Business Matrix: Thursday 7 March 2013

Peppa Pig hogs a new deal in Russia

Peppa Pig's conquest of the world took another step forward yesterday as the company behind the British children's cartoon character reached a deal to launch the brand in Russia. Entertainment One is airing the cartoon on the Russian children's TV channel Karusel, and a range of Peppa toys and magazines will debut this spring.

L&G plans American drive

Legal & General has positioned itself for an assault on the US market after posting record full-year results. The 177-year-old insurer said it hoped to increase its share of the $15trn (£10trn) of pension assets in America. It reported a 9 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £1bn, helped by strong sales of annuity and investment products.

Final salary deal ends at Wolseley

Wolseley has became the latest company to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members. The FTSE 100 plumbing specialist said the scheme would be shut in December, although benefits that employees have already built up will be protected. Workers will be moved to a defined contribution scheme.

Growth forecasts for 2013 slashed

The UK economy will grow by just 0.6 per cent this year, according to the latest forecasts by the British Chambers of Commerce. The organisation downgraded its 1 per cent forecast for 2013, blaming worsening prospects in the eurozone. The BCC expects unemployment to be 50,000 lower in the middle of 2014 than forecast in December.

More demand for student digs

After the uncertainty triggered by the introduction of £9,000-a-year tuition fees, student digs are in demand again, according to the UK's biggest accommodation provider. Unite Group's boss Mark Allan said reservations for the 2013-14 year stood at 62 per cent of rooms – up from 59 per cent this time last year.

Ikea's profits hit by price cutting

The flat-pack furniture giant Ikea has posted its lowest profits for three years in the UK. But annual sales rose last year at the furniture retailer, which has 18 stores, suggesting that its bottom line took a hit from investing in its operations and cutting prices to match cut-throat competition.

Confused posts profit rise

Comparison site Confused.com posted its first rise in profits for four years, boosting shares at its parent group, Admiral. It delivered a pre-tax profit of £344.6m in 2012, up 2 per cent. That helped insurer Admiral to increase group profits by 15 per cent to £344.6m.

Death increase boosts Dignity

Listed undertaker Dignity increased the number of funerals it performed to 63,200 last year, as it benefited from an uptick in deaths. This helped Dignity post a 13 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £45.4 million over the year to December 28. Revenues rose 9 per cent to £229.6m.

Business booming at Costain

Costain, the construction firm, said focusing on a smaller number of higher quality customers saw pre-tax profits rise 16 per cent to £29.5m despite a 4 per cent fall in revenues last year. The building group raised the dividend 7.5 per cent to 10.75p.

Lancashire hit by Fascione exit

Lancashire Holdings was rocked by the departure of its chief underwriting officer. Simon Fascione quit to "pursue other opportunities", the insurer said. His departure – less than a month after he was promoted – will raise eyebrows in the City.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all