The Business Matrix: Tuesday 24 April 2012


Machine-gun maker off target

Machine-guns fell from favour in the City yesterday as manufacturer Manroy warned that a delayed £8m order would leave sales this year nearly £4m short of expectations. The firm hopes to have confirmation of the order by the end of September. Chief executive Glyn Bottomley said the delay was "obviously frustrating".

UBS banker beats the FSA's rap

The Financial Services Authority suffered humiliation yesterday after a former UBS banker won an appeal against the watchdog which wanted to fine him £100,000 for failings at his division five years ago. John Pottage, who use to run UBS's wealth management operations in the UK, successfully argued he had behaved reasonably.

Bowman new Miller chair

Construction company Miller Group has hired Philip Bowman, the veteran executive who heads Smiths Group, to be its new chairman. Bowman, who has previously been the chief executive of Scottish Power and is currently a senior independent director of Burberry, succeeds Sir Brian Stewart, who joined the company three years ago.

HSBC's China view weighs on oil

Oil prices slipped after a report from analysts at HSBC showed manufacturing in China remains weak. Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 63 cents to $103.25 a barrel in electronic trading in Singapore yesterday. Meanwhile, Brent crude for June delivery was also in decline, down 56 cents at $118.20 per barrel in London.

Jones lands a role on board of Flybe

Lord Digby Jones is joining the board of Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, as a non-executive director. The former Trade Minister and director general of the CBI will pick up £46,000 a year, adding to his growing portfolio of boardroom and advisory roles. He said: "I am extremely excited."

Rolls-Royce wins US military deal

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce has won a $598m (£371m) contract to supply the US military with 268 engines for its V-22 Osprey aircraft. Rolls-Royce will deliver 70 turboshaft engines, worth $151m, to the US Marine Corps and Air Force in the first year. The engines allow the tilt-rotor V-22 to take off and land.

Greene King ready for summer

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the London Olympics will send both tourists and locals flocking to the nation's pubs. So said Rooney Anand, chief executive of pubco Greene King as the company unveiled a 4.6 per cent boost in sales in the 50 weeks to 15 April.

Growth slows at Stagecoach

The brakes were pulled on Stagecoach's bus and train growth in the UK between February and April. It saw ticket sales growth on its UK buses slow from 3 per cent in the 10 months to February to 2.7 per cent when the last two months' revenues were included.

Falklands find is gas, not oil

A potentially huge source of new hydrocarbons was opened up yesterday as explorer Borders & Southern struck "gas condensate" in the virgin territory to the south of the Falkland Islands with its first "wildcat" well. Shares fell 41.5p to 89.5p.

New Zealand cash rate unchanged

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand should keep its official cash rate unchanged at 2.5 percent this week because of low inflation and a high currency, a newly formed group of economists, academics and business leaders said on Tuesday.