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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 14 January 2014

Benefits rising for ‘Bake Off’ maker

The television company which makes the controversial Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street and the BBC’s hit The Great British Bake Off has seen its annual revenues leap by a third to £13m. Love Productions said sales soared “on the back of the ever-expanding Bake Off brand”, with the show sold to seven countries including America.

Confidence soars to 2008 levels

The number of families facing an interest-rate rise within a year is at its highest since July 2011, according to Lloyds Bank’s corporate confidence barometer. Its measures of job security show confidence in prospects at its strongest since March 2008, signalling that the recent employment growth will continue in coming months.

BMW races ahead  of German rivals

BMW achieved record sales last year, keeping its No 1 spot in the luxury car market against German rivals Audi and Mercedes. BMW said it sold 1.66 million vehicles – 7.5 per cent more than in 2012. It enjoyed strong sales of its mainstay  3-series sedan and small 4x4  X1 models, and saw rising demand in China and the US.

Second warning from Office2office

Office2office, the office supplies group, has issued its second profit warning in six months, blaming its problems on dwindling margins and the trend towards “delivery on demand” in the office supplies market. The company’s shares fell by more than 5 per cent, or 1.5p, to 26.75p. A year ago they stood at 100p.

Tice leaves  CLS Holdings

Stock market-quoted property developer CLS Holdings has lost chief executive Richard Tice, who is stepping down “to spend more time with his family and pursue new challenges”. His predecessor Henry Klotz becomes acting chief executive of the property investor, which has a £1bn portfolio.

Shoppers desert the high street

The number of shoppers on high streets was 3.7 per cent lower last month than in December 2012, as online retailing boomed. Between October and 31 December, footfall fell by 3.8 per cent – its biggest drop since August 2012 – the British Retail Consortium reported, with high streets worst hit.

Fed investigates rigging claims

The US Federal Reserve is investigating whether traders at the world’s biggest banks rigged benchmark currency rates, and the firms could be penalised for their lax controls, according to Bloomberg News. The Fed supervises US bank holding companies.

Resonance raises $100m for wind

Resonance Asset Management LLP has raised $100m and bought four British wind farms as it targets assets with long-term returns and state backing. The company won commitments from institutional investors including pension and insurance funds.

Alitalia set for another cash call

Alitalia will ask banks for additional funding and could be forced to launch another shares issue if the business does not perform as planned, its chief executive Gabriele del Torchio said. The Italian airline raised €300m (£250m) last month.

Monsanto seed patent victory

The US Supreme Court has upheld Monsanto’s biotech seed patents, dealing a blow to activists trying to prevent the biotech company from suing farmers if their fields contain a few plants with the company’s genetically modified traits.

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