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The Business Matrix: Tuesday 3 September 2013


Helicopter engine stake sold by Rolls

Rolls-Royce has sold its 50 per cent stake in the joint venture that makes engines for Apache and Merlin helicopters to Safran’s Turbomeca for 293m euros. France’s Turbomeca will now manage the design, production and support of the RTM322 engine, which is used in the Boeing Apache, AgustaWestland, Merlin and NH90 helicopters.

Mozambique well is abandoned

British oil firm Tullow Oil is to plug and abandon as a dry hole a well off the coast of Mozambique that has failed to find oil or gas. The well, known as Buzio-1, was the second drilled by Tullow and its partner Statoil off the coast of Mozambique. The first well, Cachalote-1, in July discovered only small amounts of gas.

Retail drive at Vertu Motors

Vertu Motors, which has 97 outlets under brands including Bristol Street Motors and Macklin Motors, said conditions in the retail sector remain favourable with growth in new car sales and stability in used vehicle pricing. It remains confident that it will make further progress during the remainder of the financial year.

WPP buys stake in Candyspace Media

Advertising and marketing giant WPP has bought a stake in a digital agency which works with firms including Citroën and Samsung. The group said its subsidiary tenthavenue bought a minority share in  Candyspace Media, a London-based multi-channel agency, to bolster its presence in digital media and mobile advertising.

Michelmersh sees early recovery

Michelmersh Brick reported early signs of price recovery but that due to the difficult winter and cost inflation it will not have a bearing on full-year results, which are expected to be at break-even level. Underlying half-year profits were £376,000, while turnover increased 10 per cent to £13.1m in the period.

Sales boost for Berkeley Group

Housebuilder Berkeley Group said it is well placed to achieve its profit targets and to meet its milestone of returning £568m in cash to shareholders by September 2015. Forward sales now exceed £1.5bn, aided by signs of improving consumer confidence and the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

AEG on its way  to Wembley

AEG Facilities has won Competition Commission approval for a 15-year deal with owner Quintain Estates to run Wembley Arena. The 12,500-seat Wembley Arena has played host to major artists such as David Bowie, The Who, and Stevie Wonder over its 79-year history.

PMI shows signs of growth

Chinese manufacturers returned to growth in August according to the HSBC/Markit PMI which climbed to 50.1. Any figure above 50 signals expansion. There was also positive news from the eurozone, with the Markit PMI for the sector rising to 51.4 in the month.

Three held over secrets leak

Three executives at phone-maker HTC have been arrested on suspicion of leaking trade secrets. Last month the company filed a complaint accusing senior staff Thomas Chien, Wu Chien-Hung, and Justin Huang of sharing trade secrets.

Pension reforms look to future

The minister in charge of France’s pension reform said her proposals will tide the system over for several years, even if economic growth falls short of expectations. Marisol Touraine’s pension law is set to go to parliament in October.