The Business Matrix: Tuesday 15 July 2014


Drax celebrates High Court ruling

Shares in the electricity generator Drax rose by 4 per cent yesterday after the High Court quashed a Government decision not to include one of its projects to convert a coal generator into a biomass one in a new subsidy scheme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change was, however, granted leave to appeal.

Morrisons lets go  of Kiddicare

Morrisons has sold its baby and children products business, Kiddicare, to the private equity investor Endless for just £2m. The grocer paid £70m for the business in 2011. It said it would retain the liabilities relating to leases on 10 Kiddicare stores but was confident that the £163m it has already set aside would cover the costs.

Forecast gloom for Huntsworth

Lord Chadlington’s position as chief executive of Huntsworth came under fresh pressure as shares in the PR group crashed 15 per cent after the owner of financial PR outfit Citigate Dewe Rogerson warned that its first-half results would miss forecasts. It gave no reason, but its Grayling business is thought to have disappointed.

Pym switches from Co-op to AIB

Richard Pym is leaving the Co-operative Bank to become chairman of Allied Irish Banks, which was nationalised through a €3.5bn (£2.8bn) bailout in 2009. Mr Pym has chaired the Co-op Bank for 13 months and will leave in October. Until a successor is found, the lender will be chaired by the senior independent director Dennis Holt.

Espirito ordered to make changes

Shares and bonds in Portugal’s second-biggest bank, Espirito Santo, fell further after the country’s central bank ordered immediate management changes and its troubled parent company sold a large stake. In London, regulators extended for a further two days the ban on short-selling Espirito shares.

Rates fear puts brake on spending

Shoppers applied the brakes on spending last month amid concerns over the potential for higher interest rates, a retail industry report suggests. The latest retail sales index from the British Retail Consortium  and KPMG showed that like-for-like sales fell 0.8 per cent compared with a year ago.