The Business Matrix: Tuesday 5 February 2013


Swatch does more than tick along

The Swiss watchmaker Swatch, revealed yesterday a 26 per cent rise in full-year profits and predicted more good news in 2013. Swatch, the world's biggest watchmaker, said it saw net income grow to Sfr1.6bn (£1.1bn) last year and raised its dividend by 17 per cent. It also beat its Sfr8bn sales target, with sales up 14 per cent year on year.

Gambling boom boost for 888

The boom in poker and other gambling games shows no sign of letting up, at least for 888, one of the most popular online gaming groups. The Gibraltar-based company said yesterday that annual revenues had jumped 13 per cent to $376m (£240m), helped by expansion in Europe, especially Spain and Italy, and growth on mobile devices.

Visa sued over 'misuse of power'

Visa is being sued by the Australian competition watchdog over alleged abuses of its power. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claims it "misused its market power" to prevent the expansion of dynamic currency conversion (DCC) services. The Commission says Visa has blocked DCC services at Australian ATMs since 2007.

US print decline hits Future

Moving towards digital formats wasn't enough to stop Future, the publisher of Total Film magazine and the TechRadar website, posting a 3 per cent decline in revenues since October. Revenues from its digital division rose 24 per cent in the period. But falling sales were "driven mainly by the continuing managed decline of print activities in the US" .

Buyout rumours strengthen at Dell

Dell, the once-mighty PC giant that has been struggling as consumers switch to smartphones and tablets, could be the subject of a management buyout aimed taking it private as its founder, Michael Dell, seeks to reposition the ailing business. Rumours of a buyout involving Silver Lake Partners worth up to $24bn (£15bn) have gathered pace.

Joseph takes full control of G-A-Y

DJ Jeremy Joseph, the founder of London's biggest gay nightclubs chain, has taken full control of G-A-Y Group after buying stricken retailer HMV's majority stake, administrators Deloitte said today. HMV sold most of its music business last year, leaving just the G-A-Y bars and Heaven nightclubs. Joseph said he was "delighted" to have secured the future of his 200 staff.