The Business Matrix: Tuesday 7 February 2012


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The Independent Online

Only luxury car sales are rising

The car market remained subdued last month, despite a surge in sales of luxury models such as Bentleys and Aston Martins. New car registrations rose a paltry 0.03 per cent in January to 128,853 compared with a year earlier, prompting the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders to lower its forecast for the year to 1.92 million units.

Adele heads UK albums revival

Adele is at the forefront of a British revival in the album charts with home-grown artists recording their best sales since the mid-1990s when Oasis and the Spice Girls ruled. Domestic talent made up 52.7 per cent of overall sales in the UK album charts last year. The 15-year high was also boosted by Coldplay, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, and Olly Murs.

'Daltons Weekly' and 'Pulse' sold

Media outfit UBM is selling its farming and medical titles to a management buyout team funded by private equity. The titles include Farmers Guardian and Pulse. It is also selling, in a separate deal, the Daltons advertising media publisher known for the old Daltons Weekly magazine to Innovare Media.

Blast off for £75m satellite launcher

Telecoms group Avanti is raising £75m from investorsto launch a new satellite into space. The Hylas 3 satellite will be part of a venture devised by the European Space Agency that plans for lift-off in 2015.

City hiring on the rise despite crisis

Job vacancies in the City of London more than doubled last month compared with December, but were still well down on a year ago. The recruitment company Astbury Marsden said the recovery was driven by small and medium-sized banks.

Europe crisis puts brake on China

China's soaring growth rate could be cut in half this year if Europe's debt crisis worsens significantly, the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday. Based on the IMF's "downside" forecast for the global economy, China's growth could drop by as much as 4 percentage points this year from its current forecast of 8.2 per cent.

US oil chief foregoes $100m

The US oil and gas contractor Nabors Industries said its chairman Eugene Isenberg would not seek a $100m payment linked to his resignation as chief executive in October. Mr Isenberg's pay, which has exceeded $170m since 2005, has long generated controversy for the company. He has agreed to waive salary claims and forfeit $7m in deferred bonuses.

Randgold strikes profits gold

Randgold Resources said profits more than trebled to £390m in the year to December as production gained 58 per cent to 696,023 ounces. The London-listed miner, which focuses on West Africa, said that in the final three months of the year, gold prices were 117 per cent higher than the previous year.

EasyJet carries fewer passengers

EasyJet gave more ammunition to its harshest critic, its founder and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, yesterday when it admitted passenger numbers fell 0.4 per cent in January. The airline carried 3.73 million passengers, down from 3.74 million in January last year.

Euro falls against sterling and dollar

The euro fell against sterling and the dollar yesterday as the failure of Greek coalition parties to approve terms of a new bailout package fanned fears a disorderly default could spread to other debt-ridden, eurozone countries.