The Business Matrix: Tuesday 17 April 2012


Coolmore's warm reception in China

Coolmore has helped to set up a thoroughbred industry in China. The County Tipperary stud will help develop a similar operation in the city of Tianjin, with a world-class equine centre due to open there next year. Coolmore's JP Magnier said: "We are delighted to be one of the first Irish companies to kick-start this partnership."

Five Johnston papers go weekly

Five historic daily regional newspapers are to become weeklies as their owner Johnston Press moves to single online and printed paper newsrooms. Johnston said the titles in Halifax, Kettering, Northampton, Peterborough and Scarborough would be replaced with a "bumper print edition" once a week.

H&M boosted by March weather

Warm weather in the early part of the year drove the biggest rise in monthly sales at H&M for five years in March. But sales at the world's second-biggest fashion retailer have slowed in April, as the weather has cooled. "Sales in March were positively affected by favourable weather," the Swedish group said.

Pace picks up early in its year

Allan Leighton, the chairman of set-top-boxes maker Pace, today said the group had got off to a strong start in its new financial year despite still suffering some supply problems. He added that profitability continued to be hit by a shortage of hard disk drives, which were disrupted by the Japanese tsunami and floods in Thailand.

Rosneft and Exxon wrap up deal

Rosneft and Exxon Mobil have wrapped up a landmark alliance that will secure vital know-how and upstream access to North America for the Russian state oil firm and bulk up the US major's reserves. The deal will give Rosneft access to projects Texas, Canada and the Gulf. An initial partnership was struck in August.

Gem Diamonds remain upbeat

Gem Diamonds was upbeat yesterday despite a 38 per cent dive in profits at its flagship Letseng mine in South Africa. The company said sales of diamonds from the mine fell to £37m in the first quarter although the figure suffered from comparison with an exceptional period for diamond sales a year earlier.

Traffic at Gatwick has risen by 7%

Budget airlines putting on more flights from Gatwick to Europe helped passengers numbers at the London airport leap almost 7 per cent to 33.8 million in the year to April. An extra 2 million extra passengers used Gatwick, although the previous year was hit by the ash cloud and snow.

Daily Mail takes on jobs website

The Daily Mail's owner has spent £25m on Italian jobs website Jobrapido in a significant move to expand its online advertising business overseas. Jobrapido, founded in 2006, claims to be the world's second-largest job-search engine, with 32 million monthly visitors in 50 countries.

Cobham wins anti-mine orders

Cobham, the defence technology specialist, has secured £13m of orders to supply Ground-Penetrating Radar, used to detect mines, for Nato customers. The firm is currently bidding for Danish satellite communications outfit Thrane & Thrane.

First-time buyers see loan costs rise

Mortgage costs for first-time buyers increased in February for the first time in nearly a year. With many lenders increasing their rates, the proportion of income spent on mortgage interest payments rose to 12.5 from 12.1 per cent the previous month.