The Business Matrix: Wednesday 12 September 2012


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The Independent Online

Sales boost for SuperGroup

Fashion retailer SuperGroup cheered investors with a rise in sales, despite dire early summer weather and the consumer downturn. The owner of the Superdry brand grew its UK like-for-like sales, including online, by 1.7 per cent over the 13 weeks to 29 July, which was ahead of flat City forecasts. Shares in SuperGroup jumped 26.5p to 557.5p.

IG suffers as revenues slide

Spread betting group IG said revenues slid 18 per cent slide in revenues over the past three months as financial markets stagnated. The UK saw a particularly sharp fall due to a 16 per cent drop in active clients and a 6 per cent fall in the amount spent.

Philips to cut 2,200 more jobs

Philips Electronics has stepped up its cost-cutting drive and warned that another 2,200 jobs would go as part of a drastic overhaul of its business, which began to turn around in the first half after losing €1.3bn (£1.04bn) in 2011. The Dutch giant has been moving its focus away from consumer electronics.

Coombs helps himself to £44.3m

Mark Coombs, the billionaire founder of emerging markets fund manager Ashmore, has raised the dividend he will collect this year by £1m to £44.3m.

Coombs' move comes despite Ashmore's profits slipping by 1 per cent to £243m in the year to June.

Deutsche to cut jobs and bonuses

Deutsche Bank is to cut bonuses, axe jobs and sell assets to meet tougher capital rules, according to its chief executives Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, who have pledged to end a risk-taking culture. Although investors were relieved the bank did not tap them for money, Deutsche said it would not pay dividends until its balance sheet was stronger.

Serco wins NZ prison contract

Serco has signed a new contract with the New Zealand Department of Corrections to provide and operate a new prison at Wiri, in South Auckland. Serco will operate the prison for 25 years, earning about £15m a year.

Exporters fire up trade in July

Record exports of £13.2bn to countries outside the EU helped the UK narrow its trade deficit in goods by £3bn to £7.1bn in July, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figures are likely to have shown a bounce-back from a Jubilee-affected June, but raise the chances of trade boosting the economy between July and September. HSBC economists warned, however: "We remain wary of prospects for net trade."

Lonmin miners in sack warning

The South African Government has called on strikers at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine to return to work and said they could face dismissal if they continued to intimidate colleagues. Labour minister Mildred Oliphant said the unrest – in which 36 miners have died – had extended beyond workers who first went on strike over wages.

Sloppy Blackrock stung for £9.5m

BlackRock Investment Management, the fund manager, has been fined £9.5m by the City watchdog for failing to ringfence client money adequately in the event of insolvency. The Financial Services Authority said BlackRock's errors would have prevented the speedy return of the cash if it had gone bust.

Qatar mulls new Glencore offer

Qatar Holding said yesterday that it has not made up its mind on whether to accept Glencore's $36bn (£23bn) takeover bid for the mining giant Xstrata. The sovereign wealth fund, Xstrata's second-largest backer, had been asked to clarify its position by the Takeover Panel.