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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 10 January 2012

Range Rover wins 'best truck' award

Hyundai and Land Rover won top honours at the Detroit Motor Show yesterday, with the Korean firm's Elantra taking the car of the year award and the Range Rover Evoque driving off with the truck of the year title. It is the second time Hyundai has won the award, which is given out by a panel of 50 motoring journalists from the US and Canada.

Courts bans Bwin Portuguese ads

A Portuguese court has ordered Bwin.party digital, the world's biggest listed online gaming company, to remove ads and sponsorship from Portuguese sports competitions after labelling its activities illegal. Bwin.party, which has a €4m sponsorship deal for football, said the court failed to take into account EU law.

HMV records poor Christmas trading

Simon Fox, the chief executive of HMV, has said the group still has to "convince" the City it has a future after it posted another slump in underlying sales over the Christmas trading period. Mr Fox described as "disappointing" an 8 per cent fall in sales at the end of last year. HMV is trying to sell its live music venue business to cut borrowings.

Sellers bring homes to market

The number of sellers putting their homes on the market rose for the third successive month during December, but vendors may need to cut prices, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Its latest monthly survey, published today, suggests sellers returned in time for the new year, with London leading the way.

Persimmon hopes for profit leap

Persimmon kicked off the reporting season for the nation's biggest housebuilders forecasting a 50 per cent jump in its annual profits and swelling interest from would-be buyers. The builder said visitors had flocked to its sites on the first working weekend of the new year, bolstering hopes for 2012.

Premier Foods to get out of jam

Premier Foods is looking to sell its Hartley's jams and Haywards pickles businesses for more than £200m to help meet its borrowing rules and secure its survival. The Hovis and Mr Kipling food giant is struggling with hefty debts after an acquisition spree and as it battles with weak consumer demand.

Aspreys has a happy Christmas

Asprey, the jeweller saved from collapse in 2006, enjoyed a bumper Christmas with sales up 30 per cent as its deep-pocketed clientele splashed out. Its new managing director, Paddy Byng – who joined from the stationer Smythson last year – predicted it would break even in 2013.

AstraZeneca repeats itself

AstraZeneca was forced to reiterate its 2011 and mid-term financial forecasts yesterday after inadvertently releasing confidential company information to analysts. The Anglo-Swedish firm described the released details as "out of date planning information".

Laird continues steady growth

The electrical components firm Laird, which employs about 9,000 people worldwide, said its diverse markets and broad customer base continued to help it after seeing a continuation of the steady performance reported in October.

Ryanair's carbon levy on seats

Ryanair is to introduce a €0.25 levy on every seat to cover the cost of carbon permits it needs under a new European Union emissions trading plan. "We do not agree with it and we do not believe there will be any environmental benefit," the airline said.

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