The Business Matrix: Wednesday 18 September 2013


IG group benefit from uncertainty

Spread-betting company IG Group reported a 15 per cent hike in revenues in its first quarter to 31 August thanks to global stock market volatility due to fears over the Chinese economy and America’s plans to taper quantitative easing. Turnover rose 16 per cent in the UK, 31 per cent in Europe and 21 per cent across the rest of the world.

CH2M Hill name new CEO

The US engineering giant behind the construction of the London 2012 Olympics has named Jacqueline Hinman as chief executive, making her one of the most powerful women in the industry. CH2M Hill, which is based in Denver, has confirmed rumours that Ms Hinman would take over from Lee McIntire, at the end of the year.

Travelodge opens new hotel in Spain

Travelodge is opening its sixth hotel in Spain with a 98-room property in Madrid as it taps further into the growing market for budget hotel accommodation in the country. Paul Harvey, managing director of Travelodge, said: “As a result of the double dip recession in Spain, we have seen a significant rise in travellers switching to Travelodge.”

Microsoft raises dividend payment

US technology giant Microsoft said its board has given the green light to a 22 per cent hike in its quarterly dividend payment, as well as a new $40 billion (£25 billion) share buy back programme under ongoing aims to return cash to shareholders. The world’s biggest software company will pay a 28 cents dividend on 12 December.

Bango hail ‘solid return to growth’

Mobile web payments company Bango hailed a “solid return to growth” for the first half of the year thanks to its smartphone business as end user spending rose to £6.6m after dipping to £3.8m during the second half of last year. Pre-tax losses widened to £1.8m from £1.3m in the first half of 2012.

Boost for graphics chip designer

The launch of a new high-end version of Apple’s iPhone 5 has given a boost to FTSE 250 graphics chip designer Imagination Technologies as it reported “strong” royalty revenues. Broker Liberum Capital said the new premium iPhone 5S was “likely to include” Imagination’s latest state-of-the-art graphics chip.

Hong Kong tops list for office rents

New York overtook London in the first half of the year although both still trail Hong Kong which retains the crown as the world’s dearest city according to the consultant’s latest World Cities Review. The report measures the “total accommodation cost” of renting office space.

Unemployment rate remains high

Unemployment in the eurozone remained at a record high last month, according to new  figures, but optimism in the region is on the rise. The European Union’s statistics body Eurostat said unemployment  in July was 12.1 per cent,  unchanged from June.

Cenko ready to build on recovery

The boss of City stockbroker Cenkos talked up his “pipeline” of deals after a steady performance during the first half of the year. Jim Durkin said the company expected that signs of recovery would feed through into sectors such as oil and gas

One in five will work for entire life

Nearly one in five of workers in Britain are resigned to the fact that they will have to work for their entire lives, according to a new report from HSBC. The findings paint a particularly bleak picture for those people living alone in retirement.