The Business Matrix: Wednesday 10 July 2013


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The Independent Online

Travelzest's bank credit runs out

Holiday business Travelzest yesterday admitted that it had only three days left to agree a new credit arrangement. The company that used to run naked holidays with its naturist brand Peng (until demand dried up) said it "remains reliant on the support" of Barclays, its primary lender, "in order to continue to trade".

Nicole Farhi brand is still in vogue

The administrator for fashion brand Nicole Farhi said it was considering more than 50 expressions of interest in the fashion business, which collapsed last week. Peter Saville, a partner at administrator Zolfo Cooper, explained: "As expected with such an iconic and deeply ingrained fashion brand, interest has been high."

Co-op Bank rules 'are far too strict'

The City regulator should re-consider the strict capital rules it has imposed on Co-op Bank to plug its black hole, bondholders in the group said. An action group of 15,000 pensioners and retail investors said that the Prudential Regulation Authority had imposed "an arbitrary and putative" core capital requirement on the bank.

Beer sales help to cheer Young's

Young & Co's Brewery, which has 161 managed pubs and 76 tenanted ones, principally located in London and the South-East of England, said trading in the first 13 weeks of its financial year has been in line with expectations. Managed house sales rose 10.7 per cent in total on a year ago and by 6.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Online shopping boosts UK Mail

Parcel delivery business UK Mail raised its profit expectations after revenues between April and July came in 6 per cent higher than the same time a year earlier – although the increase halved when taking account extra working days in the period. Parcel volumes for the quarter rose 25 per cent.

A testing deal for Intertek

The testing company Intertek, which is listed in the FTSE 100, bought Cambridge-based Melbourn Scientific, a pharmaceutical products testing business focused on nasally and orally inhaled drugs. It employs more than 80 expert scientists and staff and reported £4m of revenues last year.

Jeweller Signet rings the changes

Signet Jewelers has announced a change at the top of its UK division, which trades as Ernest Jones and H Samuel. Chief executive Rob Anderson is leaving after 13 years with the company and will be replaced by Sebastian Hobbs, who has been promoted to UK managing director.

Grafton pulls retail bond

Builders' merchant Grafton, which has operations in the UK, Ireland and in Belgium, blamed interest rate volatility and market uncertainty for its decision to pull a retail bond issue which it had announced earlier this month paying a fixed interest rate of 5.5 per cent a year.

Britvic chills on Barr merger

Britvic cast further doubt yesterday on whether its Robinsons squash business will mix with AG Barr's Irn-Bru and Orangina, despite the two titans of soft drinks finally securing official clearance to merge from the Competition Commission.

Henderson warns of fees downturn

Henderson Group has warned that client fees could be "substantially" lower over the next few months than earlier in the year. The fund manager, with £69bn under management, said underlying profit would be some £100m for first half.