The Business Matrix: Wednesday 1 October 2014


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The Independent Online

Frankfurt hit by Lufthansa strike

Lufthansa pilots threatened further strike action yesterday as they began a 15-hour walkout at Frankfurt airport in a row over retirement benefits. It hit long-haul routes, which is Lufthansa’s main hub. The strike, affecting around 9,000 travellers, is the longest since a three-day nationwide walkout in April.

BSkyB tunes in to Sharethrough

Broadcasting giant BSkyB yesterday snapped up a $5m (£3m) stake in the Silicon Valley advertising start-up Sharethrough. The US technology company specialises in so-called native advertising – effectively matching sponsored content which appears seamlessly within online editorial pages.

Intertek drives  off with Lacroix

The quality control specialist Intertek has poached Inchcape’s chief executive André Lacroix. Mr Lacroix, who has been at the car dealership business for nearly 10 years, will join in March next year. He will replace Wolfhart Hauser at Intertek who will retire after leading the company for ten years.

AO World rises early in Germany

The online white goods firm AO World has launched its German business six months early. Its shares, which were listed at 285p, nevertheless fell 4p to 188p  even though it told investors that UK trading was going well and it was continuing to gain market share. Since listing in May, its market value has been questioned.

Icap struggles on market slowdown

The global brokering giant Icap has blamed dull financial markets for a further 15 per cent fall in revenues in the half year which ended yesterday. Low interest rates, banks cutting their trading books and relatively quiet foreign exchange markets meant trading was subdued in the summer.

Wolseley in £250m share buyback

American plumbers helped Wolseley hike its dividend and launch a £250m share buyback. The London-listed plumbing supplies group, based in Switzerland for tax purposes, runs the Plumb Center and Ferguson chains in the US and said this business offset weaker European trade.

Page leads Real Greek floatation

The seven -strong souvlaki chain The Real Greek is being floated on the stock market through a reverse takeover led by David Page, the former chairman of PizzaExpress. The London based chain will be listed on AIM after Mr Page organised a £13.9m deal.

Investors can sue Lloyds over HBOS

Investors in Lloyds Bank at the time of its ill-fated takeover of HBOS in 2008 have been given the go-ahead to bring a class action against it and its former directors, claiming that they lost more than £6bn. The High Court has ruled that a group action can be pursued.

Business is bad for Begbies

Business recovery practice Begbies Traynor said market conditions remain challenging following a fall in the number of corporate insolvencies in the first half of the year. It said this may impact on its performance for the full year.

Newbury gallops to profits surge

Newbury Racecourse said trading for the first half of the year has been encouraging after a 9 per cent rise in race day attendances and hosted events for a number of blue chip companies. Profits were double the previous year at £1.6m.