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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 1 October 2013

Ex-Burberry boss for Harvey Nicks?

The upmarket London department store Harvey Nichols is close to appointing a new chief executive, with a former Burberry finance chief emerging as a prime candidate for the post. Industry sources say Stacey Cartwright is in the running to take over from Joseph Wan, with the selection process in its final round.

Assets cash pot reaches £5.4trn

Flows of money from overseas investors boosted funds at British asset managers to a record £5.4trillion last year. The amount of capital now managed by these companies stands 30 per cent higher than before the financial crisis, according to TheCityUK figures. More than a third of the funds came from foreign clients.

Judge backs £1m JJB fraud trial

Chris Ronnie, the former boss of the collapsed sportswear chain JJB, has failed to have his court case for an alleged £1m fraud thrown out. The Serious Fraud Office had been accused of jeopardising up to 15 fraud trials but Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith yesterday threw out the claim at Southwark Crown Court.

SSE’s losses fuel fear of price rise

Britain’s second-biggest energy supplier, SSE, fuelled fears of a price hike yesterday by revealing a loss for the past six months. It said higher wholesale gas prices and other costs had plunged it into the red. But the company, based in Perth, said that it still planned to increase its dividend by more than the rate of inflation.

Albemarle stock hits 10-year low

Shares in Albemarle & Bond hit a 10-year low as the pawnbroker was forced to issue an emergency £35m rights issue yesterday. A collapse in gold prices over the past two years, and possible signs of an economic recovery, have hammered profits and sent its shares down by 40 per cent.

PR guru Rudd’s pay cut to £2.3m

Public relations guru Roland Rudd saw his pay cut by 13 per cent to £2.3m after a tough year – but his agency RLM Finsbury said that 2013 looks to be “significantly better”. Revenues fell 4.3 per cent to £24.1m at the company, owned by WPP, which described it as a “strong performance”.

Vultures circle troubled G4S

Punters marched in to G4S yesterday amid rumours that a hedge fund was fighting for a break-up of the troubled security group. Cevian Capital, the activist investor fund chaired by former minister Lord Myners, is reported to be pushing G4S to break itself up.

Zenith maintains ad spend forecast

Global advertising spending should rise by 3.5 per cent this year, even without a boost from the Olympics. The media-buying group Zenith Optimedia made the forcecast in June but said it was the first time since 2012 that it has not had to downgrade its forecast.

Homeserve probe by FCA drags on

Homeserve remains under scrutiny by the Financial Conduct Authority as the home emergency insurance business confirmed that an investigation into alleged mis-selling was still ongoing. The firm said revenues had remained flat.

Google pays £11m on £3bn revenue

Google has published accounts for its British subsidiary that showed it paid only £11.6m in corporation tax last year – a fraction of the likely profits it made on £3bn of UK revenues. The web giant avoids UK tax by processing sales in Dublin.

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