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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 20 June 2012


Danone issues profits warning

The French food giant Danone has warned it is being hit by the financial crisis in Southern Europe, which suggests rivals such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble must also be suffering. The world's largest yoghurt maker said Spanish consumers in particular were cutting back, forcing it to issue what is in effect a profits warning.

Imagination's revenues rocket

Imagination Technologies, the chip-maker that iPad and iPhone users should thank for their snazzy graphics, saw revenues rocket 30 per cent in the year to May as its customers shipped one million smartphones, tablets and computers a day containing its devices. Its annual profits rose 53 per cent to £36.8m on revenues of £128m.

Bremont to move to Henley

The luxury watches brand Bremont, which is backed by the Links of London founder John Ayton, is to move its production to Henley, Oxfordshire, from Switzerland and will open a store in London's Mayfair this summer. Bremont was set up four years ago by former stockbrokers, Nick and Giles English, with backing from Ayton.

Bankia to sell IAG shares, says Walsh

Investors are interested in buying the bailed-out Spanish bank Bankia's 12 per cent stake in IAG, the owner of British Airways, according to IAG's chief executive, Willie Walsh. He said yesterday: "There are investors interested in replacing Bankia, and in my opinion, it is not a question of if, but when they are going to sell."

Stanford aide is jailed for 3 years

Laura Pendergest-Holt, the former chief investment officer for Allen Stanford, has agreed to plead guilty and will receive a three-year prison sentence for her role in a $7bn (£4.5bn) fraud. Earlier this month, the former billionaire Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme.

Diamond Jubilee boosts sales

Supermarket sales leapt 11.3 per cent in the week before the Diamond Jubilee, giving grocers an extra £213m in the tills, according to Kantar Worldpanel. But sector leaders Tesco and Morrisons lost market share, down from 31.4 to 31 per cent and 12.2 to 11.8 per cent respectively in the 12 weeks to 10June.

Kewill agrees takeover bid

Struggling supply chain software company Kewill has agreed to an increased takeover offer from the Francisco Partners Funds, worth 110p a share, valuing the group at about £102.7m. This trumps a rival 106p-a-share bid from US private equity firm Symphony.

Cobham buys Danish firm

Cobham said all the required merger authority approvals have been secured for its takeover of Danish satellite communications company Thrane and Thrane. It will now transfer responsibility for its marine, land and airborne Satcom business to Thrane and Thrane's team.

Trifast profits jump by a third

Industrial fastenings firm Trifast said underlying pre-profits jumped a third to £5m in the year to 31 March. Revenues at the East Sussex-based firm rose 6.1 per cent on the previous year to £112.5m, boosted by an acquisition in Malaysia.

Daisy sales rise helps cut losses

The telecoms group Daisy reported narrowed full-year losses after sales rose 31 per cent. Operating losses improved to £13.1m in the year to 31 March from £15.8m the previous year, the Lancashire-based group said.