The Business Matrix: Tuesday 29 October 2013


IHG suffers a black September

Shares in InterContinetal Hotels fell by more than 2 per cent yesterday after it reported a sharper-than-expected fall in revenue growth in the US during September. Holiday Inn actually saw revenues per available room dip by 0.9 per cent. IHG's more upmarket brands such as Staybridge and Hotel Indigo saw positive growth.

Coastal contracts boost for Balfour

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has been awarded two coastal defence contracts. The £20m Anchorsholme scheme for Blackpool Council and the £53m Rossall scheme for Wyre Council will replace more than 2.9km of the original 1930s seawalls as part of the promenade renewal and beach management projects.

Pendragon profits move up a gear

Car dealer Pendragon's shares jumped 5 per cent on news that profits this year will top City hopes. The positive news from the owner of the Stratstone, Evans Halshaw and Quicks brands followed a major rise in new car sales. The firm said the volume of new 2013 registered cars sold was up 15.6 per cent in the first nine months.

Property values up 1.5% last month

House prices across England and Wales jumped by an average of 1.5 per cent in September, according to the latest figures from the Land Registry office. The rise, announced yesterday, brings the annual increase to 3.4 per cent and leaves the average house price at £167,063. London has seen the greatest rise in the past year, of 9.3 per cent.

High street sales suffer setback

The high street recovery hit a brick wall in October, according to the CBI. Only 42 per cent of firms surveyed for the lobby group's Distributive Trades Survey said sales volumes had increased over the previous 12 months, and 39 per cent said they had fallen. The balance was well down on City expectations.

Africa fails to save Aggreko slide

Aggreko, the supplier of power generators, saw its Africa business improve as full production started on gas projects in Mozambique and Ivory Coast. But its overall revenues fell 6 per cent in the three months to September owing to currency devaluations in emerging markets.

Management shake-up at UKFI

James Leigh-Pemberton's arrival at UKFI heralded a shake-up of management at the body which holds taxpayers' stakes in bailed-out and nationalised banks. Chris Fox's role is widened to head of banking and the Treasury's Ruth Curtice is moving in as chief of staff.

LV posts resilient nine-month sales

LV, the financial mutual insurer, posted life and pension sales of £117m during the nine months to 30 September and took in general insurance premiums worth £1.1bn. The company has more than five million customers and also sells through Asda and Nationwide Building Society.

Tasty recovery for Burger King

Burger King posted rising third-quarter net income as it grows overseas and cuts expenses by re-franchising. The US group earned net income of $68.2m (£42.2m) in the three months to the end of September, up from $6.6m a year earlier.