The Business Matrix: Tuesday 1 April 2012


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Goals extends bid deadline

Goals Soccer Centres announced 14 days' extra time yesterday – but not for a match. The five-a-side football company has extended the "put up or shut up" deadline for a bid from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan until 5pm on 14 May. The Canadian fund also owns the Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team.

Creston revenues set to rise 11%

The PR and marketing group Creston said it expects to report full-year revenues of £75m, an increase of 11 per cent compared with the previous year. The group, warned on profits in January and which owns Nelson Bostock, Fever and Red Door Communications, expects like-for-like revenues to be marginally ahead over the same period.

Fidessa warns of slower growth

Fidessa, which creates and operates trading software for City firms, warned investors yesterday that growth would be slower than last year as conditions would "remain difficult for some time". The group has managed to increase sales thanks to larger corporate customers, but smaller clients are feeling the pressure.

Cobham wins US Navy deal

Cobham has won a $39m (£24m) contract from the US Naval Air Systems Command to manufacture parts for US Navy and Marine Corps' electronic warfare aircraft. The aerospace and defence company said all work will be performed in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

Tech City boosts Harvey Nash

The tech recruitment specialist Harvey Nash is powering ahead thanks to London's "Tech City" in Shoreditch. The recruiter yesterday posted a 35 per cent rise in profits to £8.5m, on revenues up 26 per cent to £533m for the year to February.

Microsoft puts $300m into Nook

Barnes & Noble, the US bookstore chain, stoked speculation about the imminent launch of its Nook e-reader in the UK when it signed a new partnership deal yesterday with Microsoft. Under the deal, Microsoft will invest $300m (£185m) in the Nook business, in return for a 17.6 per cent stake that values the business at $1.7bn.

Qatar invests in Barclays fund

One of Barclays' top three shareholders has announced a major investment in the bank's $2.1bn (£1.3bn) natural-resources portfolio. Qatar, which owns 6.8 per cent of Barclays, is set to pump $250m into Barclays Natural Resource Investments, which makes private-equity investments in oil, gas and other natural resources.

Aberdeen profits for rising markets

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, is optimistic that stock markets will keep rising. "If equity flows are anything to go by it's still looking pretty good," he said. First-half headline profits at Aberdeen rose 14 per cent to £162m, while funds under management rose 9 per cent to £185bn.

Compensation for Arch Cru buyers

The Financial Services Authority has launched a redress scheme for 15,000 victims of the Arch Cru funds mis-selling scandal. It could lead to investors being paid compensation of more than £100m by the financial advice firms which sold the high-risk funds.

Flying Brands sale talks over unit

The home shopping company Flying Brands is in discussions with prospective purchasers regarding its Gardening Direct retail business, but said it is not the company's current intention to sell either its Retreat Farm or GLD businesses.