The Business Matrix: Wednesday 12 December 2012


Asos' booming US sales set to beat UK

The chief executive of the online fashion retailer Asos has boasted that its US sales will outstrip the UK over the next three years after sales there boomed in its first quarter. Nick Robertson made his prediction despite a surge in UK sales ahead of market expectations in the past three months after price reductions attracted British 20-somethings.

O'Leary confident on Irish remedies

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said yesterday he is confident the European Commission will accept a package of remedies offered to obtain approval for its acquisition of Irish rival Aer Lingus. The concessions to EU antitrust regulators were submitted on Friday after earlier proposals by the airline failed to soothe competition concerns.

Liberty takes over TripAdvisor

The billionaire media mogul Barry Diller is to move out of the chairman's suite at TripAdvisor after handing control of the travel-information business to Liberty Interactive. Liberty said it had picked up about five million shares from Mr Diller and the Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation for $62.50 apiece, or around $300m (£186m).

Aquiline in line to buy Red Star

Aquiline Capital Partners, a private-equity firm led by the son of former AIG boss Hank Greenberg, is in the driving seat to buy Lloyd's of London insurer Equity Red Star. The company is closing in on a deal after entering into exclusive talks with the owner of Equity, the insurance group Insurance Australia Group.

IG Group revenues fall 14% to £169m

IG Group reported a 14 per cent decline in revenues to £169m in the six months to 30 November, with the UK, accounting for half of the business, down 15 per cent. Fewer clients are trading prompting IG to report that the number of people opening new accounts was down 26 per cent on last year.

Carpetright boss upbeat over beds

Darren Shapland, the chief executive of Carpetright, is confident about the floor-coverings retailer grabbing a bigger slice of the beds market after a sales jump. Carpetright now sells beds in 276 of its 480 UK stores, and posted a 5.1 per cent uplift in sales over the past six months after increasing its offering.

Zara's Patel given helm of Inditex

Dilip Patel, the UK managing director of the Spanish group behind Zara, is to take the helm of the company's fledgling United States business. He will cross the Pond to run Inditex's 50-store US operation in January after leading the UK division since 2009.

Whistleblower at Rolls felt 'cheated'

Dick Taylor, the whistleblower who raised concerns over bribery allegations at Rolls-Royce, says he felt "cheated" by his experience at the firm. Mr Taylor said he was "depressed" having been told he risked redundancy after he claimed a colleague was misusing an expense account.

Hurricane gives Ashtead a boost

The job of clearing up the wreckage left by Hurricane Sandy boosted sales by about 5 per cent in November at plant and tool hire firm Ashtead, while its pre-tax profits for the first half of the year, to 31 October, rose 36 per cent to £113m.

Go-Ahead boosted by Olympics

Go-Ahead, the transport group that runs a quarter of London's buses, yesterday said the Olympics and Paralympics as well as acquisitions were likely to have boosted bus revenues by 17 per cent year on year in the six months to 29 December.