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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 13 August 2013

Iron Man Downey to front HTC ads

The Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC will unveil a YouTube advertising campaign fronted by Robert Downey Jr, left, on Thursday. The technology firm has signed a two-year deal with the Iron Man actor for a reported £7.75m. Its “Change” adverts jokily suggest that HTC stands for “hold this cat” or “hipster troll car wash”.

Greece shrinks for a 20th quarter

Greece’s economy shrank for the 20th quarter in a row between April and June, contracting at an annual rate of 4.6 per cent, figures showed. The decline was shallower than the previous quarter although the economy is still on course to shrink by more than 4 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Campbell stirs up European sales

Campbell Soup is in final negotiations with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for the sale of some of its businesses in Europe. The brands involved include Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium, which have annual sales of about £340m.

Campbell stirs up European sales

Campbell Soup is in final negotiations with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for the sale of some of its businesses in Europe. The brands involved include Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium, which have annual sales of about £340m.

News Corp sews up Asian markets

News Corp has secured rights to show online clips of English Premier League football in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, coinciding with the launch of internet and mobile services later this week. The app and website are News Corp’s first product rollouts since it separated from 21st Century Fox in July.

Concurrent hits export trouble

Shares in Concurrent fell by 4 per cent after it said it was having trouble obtaining export licences to emerging markets for some of its products containing encryption technology. The firm, which supplies defence, telecoms and aerospace companies, is holding urgent talks with the Business Secretary.

Mitie books 89% of annual revenues

Mitie made a strong start to the year with 89 per cent of its revenues for the 12 months to next March already booked. The outsourcing specialist said private-sector demand was strong while in the public sector it was focused on growth areas such as health, justice and housing.

Highland Gold is on the right track

Highland Gold said it was on track to meet its full-year production target after output rose in the first half. The Russian miner, part-owned by Chelsea Football Club’s Roman Abramovich, said it expected production to be between 225,000 and 240,000 troy ounces this year.

Heathrow receives a numbers boost

Executives pushing for a third runway at Heathrow got a boost yesterday when the three main airline alliances backed staying at the airport. It came as figures showed the number of passengers using Heathrow was up 5.5 per cent year-on-year in July.

Experian boss sells £1.2m shares

The chief executive of Experian has sold £1.2m of shares in the credit-checking company. Don Robert sold 100,000 shares at 1,218.28p each last week, leaving him with 1.39 million shares in the Dublin-based business, which operates in 41 countries.

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