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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 15 May 2012
C4 profits saved by Inbetweeners
Hit comedy The Inbetweeners Movie gave Channel 4 a major financial boost and helped to mask a slump in annual profits. Pre-tax profits fell by £10m to £45m, but that slide would have more than doubled were it not for the film about four teenage boys on a boozy holiday in Crete. The film grossed £45m and had bumper DVD sales.
Best Buy founder stands down
Best Buy's founder Richard Schulze is stepping down as chairman after he failed to tell the board about a former chief executive's relationship with a female employee. The US electronics retailer said its former CEO Brian Dunn's improper relationship "negatively impacted the work environment", but involved no misuse of company resources.
ResCap files for protection
ResCap, the subprime mortgage lender once owned by General Motors, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday in a move that is expected to help its parent, Ally Financial, focus on its main car lending business. The US injected $17bn (£11bn) into Ally, formerly known as Gmac, through multiple bailouts during the financial crisis.
BBA chief heads for energy role
Angela Knight, the head of the British Bankers' Association, is to join a new trade association for the UK energy sector when she steps down from the BBA at the end of July after five "hairy" years. Ms Knight said in April she planned to leave the BBA, and Energy UK said yesterday she would join as chief executive in the summer.
E.ON freezes power prices
E.ON, one of Britain's biggest energy suppliers, has said it will not increase tariffs for its UK residential customers this year, despite rising wholesale prices. The pledge come days after British Gas's owner Centrica said the trend for retail energy costs "remains upwards", prompting concerns bills could rise.
100% rise in men working part time
The number of men doing part-time work because they cannot find a full-time job has more than doubled in four years, according to a study by the TUC. It said that almost 600,000 men were working part time in December while looking for full-time positions, compared with 293,000 at the end of 2007.
LightSquared files for bankruptcy
LightSquared, the US wireless start-up backed by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, has filed for Chapter 11 protection. Its future was thrown into doubt after regulators decided to revoke permission for its new network because it threatened to interfere with GPS systems.
G4S exploring Danish options
The security firm G4S has admitted it is exploring various alternatives for its Danish operations, including a possible divestment, but talks with potential buyers were at a very early stage. Report in the Danish daily Borsen said G4S is preparing to sell its alarm centres for £107m.
Serco on track for 2012 expectations
Serco, the services firm which runs prisons, nuclear sites and the Boris Bike hire scheme in London, said it had won £3.9bn of contracts this year and is on-track to meet expectations for 2012, with its performance set to strengthen in its second half.
Extra time given for Goals deal
The City's Takeover Panel has given Goals Soccer Centres and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan until 11 June to seal a possible takeover deal. The Canadian pension fund first approached the five-a-side football centres group in April.
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- 2 Comfortable in their own skin
- 3 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs