The Business Matrix: Tuesday 8 April 2014


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BMG dances with Loaded and Skint

BMG has bought the Brighton-based dance record labels Loaded and Skint, including Fatboy Slim’s catalogue. Loaded was founded by JC Reid and Tim Jeffrey in 1990, followed by its offshoot Skint in 1995, the year before Norman Cook took the stage name Fatboy Slim. The German music giant is believed to have paid less than £5m.

Desirable payday for Savills chief

Booming property prices helped the chief executive of estate agent Savills earn a 44 per cent jump in pay and rewards for 2013. Chief executive Jeremy Helsby will take home a total package of £2.57m, while chief financial officer Simon Shaw’s package reached £1.9m. The bonus pot for staff rose 22.5 per cent to £169m.

Cable recalled to face MPs

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has been summoned to face MPs for a third time over the privatisation of Royal Mail, after a watchdog report said last week that the postal company had been sold off too cheaply. The company’s shares have risen by 62 per cent since it listed in October at 330p; they closed at 533.5p yesterday.

Bacon ’n’ bangers boost Cranswick

Strong demand for sausages and bacon at home and overseas, helped pork producer Cranswick report comparable sales up 12 per cent for the year to April. It said export sales were well ahead of the previous year due to “robust” demand for pork products in the Far East. But margins will be below last year.

Norway oil fund ponders strategy

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s $860bn oil fund, plans to take a year to study whether to buy infrastructure or unlisted assets, Finance Minister Siv Jensen said. The fund, which holds  1 per cent of all global shares, said it wants to see how its property portfolio performs.

Co-op defers  full-year report

The Co-op’s banking arm has deferred the release of its full-year results from today until “no later” than Friday. The business, which is set to report losses of up to £1.3bn for 2013, needs more time to finalise the accounts after a year in which it handed control to a group of bondholders. 

World Bank cuts China forecast

The World Bank has downgraded its China forecast for 2014 from 7.7 to 7.6 per cent on the back of a “bumpy start to the year”. But it added that Beijing’s reform programme, outlined last year, would create “more sustainable and inclusive” growth in the long term.

Robert Walters recruits a profit

White-collar recruitment group Robert Walters reported its sixth successive rise in quarterly gross profit. In constant currencies net fee income rose by 11 per cent. The UK recorded gross profit up 21 per cent to £15.3m with demand for finance and HR staff strong.

£2.1m cost of airport planning

The Airports Commission has spent more than £2.1 m in the two years it has spent mulling airport expansion in the South-east. Set up in 2012, it has shortlisted new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick as options for expanding UK airport capacity.

Foxtons boss takes leave

Estate agent Foxtons said chief executive Michael Brown will take compassionate leave. Chairman Garry Watts will take over temporarily, working with chief operating officer Nic Budden, and chief financial officer Gerard Nieslony.