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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 14 February 2012


Peppa Pig owners choose not to sell

Entertainment One, the owner of Peppa Pig, ditched plans to sell itself yesterday, following offers that did not "adequately reflect" its value. The company, which produces and distributes TV and film content, said it would instead focus on a number of unnamed "acquisition opportunities". Its shares slumped 18 per cent on the news.

Warning over pension proposals

Many UK firms could be pushed into insolvency by European pension proposals. The National Association of Pension Funds, the CBI and the TUC warned the new rules demanding dramatic increases in funding from employers, would – at best – force all remaining defined-benefit schemes to close and – at worst – push firms into insolvency.

Jewellery group sees profits rise

Aurum Holdings has delivered a sparkling jump in profits driven by a focus on high-margin jewellery at the firm behind the Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland chains. The collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki put its majority stake in Aurum on the market last year and the group is thought to have attracted the interest of LVMH.

Joblessness 'could be 6.3 million'

Unemployment could be as high as 6.3 million in the UK, the TUC argued yesterday in a report. The trade unions body used an American joblessness measure to include 1.3 million people in part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time work and 2.34 million people who "want work" but don't register among the official 2.68 million unemployed.

Dairy Crest hit as customer fails

The milk and cheese supplier Dairy Crest is facing a one-off hit of up to £4m after one of its customers, Plymouth-based Quadra Foods, maker of Dairystix milk sachets, went into administration. It is looking at options to reduce the amount involved and said the collapse will have no bearing on its dividend or debt.

Monitise claims a million users

The technology firm Monitise said more than one million customers a day were using its services at peak time to manage their money in real time via their mobile handsets. Half-year revenues of £15.8m were three times the level a year earlier, while losses improved to £6.9m from £7.5m.

Bumi directors hold crisis talks

Directors at Bumi will hold crisis talks today, hoping to broker a boardroom deal a week after Indonesian shareholders said they planned to oust co-founder Nat Rothschild and others. The row has revived worries over governance at one of the world's largest exporters of thermal coal.

David Wright to head Iosco

David Wright, a former European Commission official, has been appointed secretary general of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (Iosco), the global markets regulator. Mr Wright is a UK national and a former deputy head of the EU's internal market unit.

Fidessa warns of slowdown

Fidessa, supplier of trading software to broking firms and investment banks today warned that it expects a slowdown in revenue growth this years as its customers struggle to do business. Profits last year were up 7 per cent to £42.5 million.

Profits up at Telecom Plus

Telecom Plus, which trades as the Utility Warehouse and supplies a wide range of utility services and broadband to residential and business customers, said full-year profits will be marginally ahead of expectations after seeing recent rise in sales.