The Business Matrix: Wednesday 13 June 2012

 

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Ted Baker raises glass to Jubilee

Ted Baker, the British designer brand, toasted the Diamond Jubilee with ginger beer in its stores and a regal uplift in sales. The fashion specialist decked out its windows displays globally with British themes, in the week before, and after, the Jubilee and gave away "lashings of ginger beer", helping it deliver a 16.2 per cent rise in sales.

Johnson's advisor to head BBA

Boris Johnson's former key economic adviser is to become chief executive of the British Bankers' Association. Anthony Browne, the head of government relations at Morgan Stanley, will take over from Angela Knight in September. He admitted that one of his major tasks was to help banks regain the "trust of the public".

Heathrow Greece flights slump

Passenger figures from the airports operator BAA show the number of fliers from Heathrow, London's biggest airport, to Greece slumped 11.3 per cent in May compared with last year. Overall, some 9.3 million people passed through BAA's arrival and departure lounges last month, a fall of 0.1 per cent on the year before.

Schwartz returns to Goldman

Mark Schwartz is returning to Goldman Sachs to be its first regional chairman in Beijing. The banker set up the investment firm Taj Capital Partners in 2006 with partners including jailed insider trader Raj Rajarathnam after leaving the bank in 2001. However, his main roles since then have been at George Soros' firm and at MissionPoint.

GlaxoSmithKline to buy Toctino

GlaxoSmithKline, the drugs giant, has agreed to buy Toctino, a key new eczema treatment, for up to almost £200m as it looks to boost its Stiefel dermatology business. Under the agreement, GSK will pay the drug's Swiss developer, Basilea, £146m and extra payments of £50m if the drug is approved.

Facebook sees slowing growth

Growth is slowing in the social network Facebook's main US market. Although it remains hugely popular, with 158 million users in the country, the number of unique visitors rose just 5 per cent in April – the slowest rate since market research group Comscore started collating data in 2008.

Sainsbury's buys e-book website

Sainsbury's has joined the electronic-book revolution by snapping up an e-books website and software platform from the entertainment group HMV for a token £1. The supermarket has bought 64 per cent of Anobii, which allows users to buy titles on a range of e-readers.

Eckoh moves back into profit

The speech recognition and payment services firm Eckoh moved back into the black in the year to March, with a profit of £1.3m compared to losses of £615,000 the previous year. The Hemel Hempstead-based company said its new year had started with "great promise".

Justham takes up LSE plc post

A major shake-up of the management at the London Stock Exchange has seen one of the City's former leading gamekeepers turn poacher. Alexander Justham will become chief executive of the regulated subsidiary, LSE plc. He was at the FSA.

Findel turnaround

Findel, which owns the Kleeneze, Kitbag and Express Gifts businesses, said underlying profits increased by 53 per cent to £10.m  in the year to 30 March. On a pre-tax basis losses widened from £1.4m to £12.1m after restructuring costs and goodwill writedowns. The company said it had made a good start to the new year, with sales up 6.5 per cent in the first eight weeks.

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