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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 11 February 2014

Photos by top F1 drivers go on sale

Photographs taken by Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and other top F1 drivers have raised more than £20,000 at a charity auction. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were also among those who donated images to the Zoom picture auction in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Water bills to rise by £8 in April

Annual water and sewerage bills are to rise by an average of 2 per cent – £8 – from April, according to the industry body Water UK. Most firms are increasing prices by less than the rate of inflation though the biggest, Thames Water, will impose a 3.4 per cent hike. The changes are within parameters fixed by the regulator Ofwat.

Costs force Toyota out of Australia

Toyota, the last big car maker in Australia, has announced it will stop manufacturing vehicles there because of soaring costs. About 2,500 jobs will be lost after Toyota said the strong Australian dollar, manufacturing costs and fierce competition meant it was “unviable” to keep making cars in Oz. General Motors and Ford quit last year.

Bupa expands with acquisition

Bupa has stepped up the  expansion of its dentistry service with the acquisition of Barbican Dental Care, a business with nine central London dental centres and more than 50,000 patient appointments a year. The deal brings the number of dental centres that Bupa now operates to 31 across the country.

Prime NY building sells for £167m

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, the London-listed group controlled by Singapore mogul Kwek Leng Beng, is to acquire the Novotel New York Times Square, a 34-storey building situated in the heart of the Manhattan theatre district, for £167m. The building contains hotel, office and retail space.

McDonald’s sales hit by the weather

The fast food chain McDonald’s said its US sales performance in January was impacted by bad weather as sales fell 3.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Its global sales figure rose 1.2 per cent, helped by trading improvements in Europe and in the region covering Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Hyder crashes after profit slump

Shares in the design and engineering consultants Hyder Consulting crashed 28 per cent after it issued a shock profits warning. The company blamed delays in new contracts being awarded in Australia and the Middle East. The shares fell 181.5p to 458p.

Google takes  US second spot

Google has overtaken Exxon to become the second biggest company in the United States by market value. According to FactSet, Google was worth $395bn (£241bn) on Friday night, just ahead of the oil company but still behind Apple’s $463.6bn.

Catlin profits soar despite conditions

Profits at the insurer Catlin rose by almost a third last year to $432m (£264m) despite tough conditions. Although catastrophe losses were low, flows  of money into the sector weighed on the prices underwriters can charge.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel