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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 17 July 2013


Demand soars for private jets

Private jet travel has never been so popular. Shares in Air Partner, the Queen's air charter broker, shot up almost 7 per cent after it reported strong trading over the last two months. Meanwhile Hangar8, one of Europe's biggest operators of private jets, said it too had enjoyed "a strong year, with significant organic and acquisitive growth".

BBC commercial sales on rise

Selling television hits such as Strictly Come Dancing and the natural history series Africa around the world helped the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, to boost sales by 3 per cent to £1.16bn in the year to March. Worldwide's headline profits rose 1 per cent at £156.3m despite a "tough" economy.

Glencore in $5bn Peru mines sale

Newly merged Glencore Xstrata put its $5bn (£3.3bn) Las Bambas copper project up for sale yesterday to meet a crucial condition of being allowed to form the wheat trading-to-coal mining empire. Chinese regulators demanded the sale of the Peruvian mine in exchange for approving Glencore's $35bn takeover of Xstrata this year.

American jobs can't save Page

A decent performance in North America couldn't prevent recruiter Michael Page posting a 4.3 per cent fall in profit to £262m for the first half of the year. Chief executive Steve Ingham warned the "difficult conditions" were likely to continue in several markets. "We expect the third quarter to be another challenging quarter."

Dairy Crest uses whey for babies

Dairy Crest has decided to invest in babies, not bodybuilders. The maker of Cathedral City cheddar had been in a quandary as to what to do with the whey created by the cheesemaking process at its Cornwall creamery. It will now turn the whey into baby-food, rather than body-building supplements.

Car sales drive up again in June

New car sales rose by 13.4 per cent during June in the latest sign that the recovery is gathering pace. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that new sales rose to 214,957 in the month, up from 189,514 in June 2012. The largest contribution came from private car sales which were up 21.3 per cent.

China's Baidu buys app firm

Baidu, China's largest search engine, is paying $1.9bn (£1.25 billion) for a major app store developer in the country as it seeks to tap into China's growing mobile audience. Baidu is taking over developer 91 Wireless from Hong Kong-listed NetDragon Websoft.

Mortgage adviser jailed for two years

A blacklisted financial adviser has been jailed for two years after an investigation by City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority. Michael Joseph James Lewis pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court for faking employment and income details on mortgage applicants.

Apple eyes Israeli Xbox developer

Apple is in talks to buy Israel-based PrimeSense, a developer of chips for the Microsoft Xbox and other devices that enable "three-dimensional" vision, for $280m. The Calcalist website said Apple executives visited PrimeSense in early July.

South Korea in cyber row

South Korea has accused North Korea of mounting cyber attacks on the websites of its presidential office and other government agencies, saying it had identified signature malicious computer codes and an internet address in the attack.