The Business Matrix: Tuesday 27 January 2015


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The Independent Online

Mattel ousts CEO Stockton

Troubled US toy maker Mattel ousted its chairman and CEO, Bryan Stockton, yesterday as it warned of a fifth straight fall in quarterly sales. Mattel named former Pepsi executive Christopher Sinclair as his interim replacement. Barbie sales have been falling as electronic games and dolls based on Disney films prove more popular.

IBM set to axe 111,800 staff

Technology giant IBM is poised to axe 111,800 of its staff in its largest ever corporate lay off as it moves to focus on cloud computing over hardware. Around 26 per cent of the company’s 430,000-strong workforce could reportedly be cut this week, according to a Forbes magazine journalist.

Jurys Inn hotel chain sold

The Jurys Inn hotels group has been bought by Lone Star for £680m. The US investment group is taking over 31 hotels in the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. In 2013 Jurys Inn was saved by a €140m (£104m)  investment from a consortium led by the Oman Investment Fund. Jurys was bought in 2007 by private equity owners.

‘Uncertainty’ over oil market rises

Aveva, which provides engineering data and design IT systems, said it was experiencing increased uncertainty in the oil and gas market, which accounts for 45 per cent of its revenues. In its other markets trends have not changed, with steady growth in power, but conditions were still subdued in the marine sector.

Balfour wins campus contract

Infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty has been appointed preferred bidder to build the University of Sussex’s East Slope Residences project. The project will replace an existing 600-bed facility on the university’s campus with a new living space comprising 2,000 new bedrooms.

Building boom sees jobs bonanza

A boom in construction is set to create over 200,000 new jobs by 2019, according to a new report.

More than 40,000 new jobs will be needed every year, 8,000 more than previously predicted, said the Construction Industry Training Board. Private housing is set to increase by 4.6 per cent over the next few years.

Rate discount for living wage firms

Brent council in London is to offer discounts on business rates worth £5,000 to firms paying the Living Wage. Almost a third of Brent residents earn less than the Living Wage, set at £9.15 an hour in London, compared to the national minimum wage of £6.50 for adults.

Santander agrees Post Office deal

Santander UK has reached an agreement with the Post Office that will enable its personal current account and business customers to bank at the Post Office’s 11,000 outlets. The bank, part of Spain’s Santander, said it is also investing in digital technology.

Strike will hit  DLR services

Passengers have been warned that Docklands Light Railway services in London are unlikely to run during a two-day strike.

Transport for London said replacement buses will be laid on during the industrial action from tomorrow.

BP set to freeze base pay

BP is freezing base pay across the group this year, the latest in a series of steps by oil majors to cut costs in response to sinking oil prices. Over the past year, oil majors have been selling assets to protect cash flows and shareholder dividends.