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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 14 November 2012


Skyfall revenues soar at Cineworld

Britain's only listed cinema chain yesterday said the latest James Bond film Skyfall had "performed exceptionally well" in the two weeks since its release, and pointed out it had brought in £60m at box offices across the UK.

Skyfall has had the best opening of any Bond film in the 50 years they have been made.

Talk Talk turns on strong TV debut

Telecom firm TalkTalk looks to have made a good start with its foray into the TV market as it has won 29,000 customers in a month – more than Sky, Virgin or BT each managed with their pay-TV services in the whole of the last three months. Talk Talk has positioned itself as a value-for-money provider of broadband and home-phone services.

Persimmon warns on consolidation

A financing crunch is set to force smaller housebuilders into the arms of larger rivals as consolidation rolls through the sector, the boss of Persimmon said today.

Persimmon spent £36m on Hillreed Homes last month, giving it an extra 1,600 plots in the densely populated South-east.

Savoy suffers £400,000 FSA fine

Savoy Asset Management, part of wealth manager Ashcourt Rowan, has been fined £412,000 by the Financial Services Authority for putting almost a quarter of its clients into unsuitable investments. The FSA said in 2010 and 2011 Savoy didn't keep adequate records on clients.

De La Rue hit by delays in orders

Banknote printer De La Rue disappointed its shareholders yesterday when it said orders which it had been expecting in its second half had been further delayed. But De La Rue remained confident that the delayed orders would materialise.

Portugal set for deep recession

Portugal is set for an even bigger recession than previously thought next year, the nation's central bank said. The Bank of Portugal expects the country's economy to shrink 1.6 per cent next year, bigger than the government's 1 per cent estimate.

John Lewis jobs for apprentices

John Lewis, the department store chain, will today launch its first apprenticeship scheme. The retailer said it is committed to offering employment to all 80 apprentices who complete their training. The programme has two levels for those aged 16 and for A-level students.

Directories firm Hibu's profits fall

Yellow Pages publisher Hibu's profits for the six months to September crashed from £69m to just £7m as printed directories continue to be wiped out by online advertising. It said it hoped to have a restructuring plan ready to present to debt holders in January but warned shareholders could be wiped out.

Johnston Press suffers ad slump

Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press demonstrated just how tough the local advertising market has been over the last six months.

Johnston, which is in the middle of a major restructuring, admitted that conditions had been "more challenging" in the last 18 weeks than during the first half. Its shares fell by 1p to 11p.

BP and AAR end partnership

BP has finally ended seven years of acrimony with AAR, its partner in the TNK-BP Russian joint venture, after the two parties announced a "comprehensive agreement" to settle all outstanding disputes. This relieves the FTSE 100 oil giant from the threat of billions of dollars of legal payouts as AAR will drop outstanding court cases.