The Business Matrix: Wednesday 24 September 2014


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The Independent Online

Greybull steps in to save Monarch

Monarch, the airline that owns package-holiday firm Cosmos, has been rescued by the vulture fund Greybull. The struggling group was sold by Switzerland’s Mantegazza family. Greybull, known for part-funding a takeover of the struggling electrical chain Comet, will provide “significant capital” to turn Monarch around.

Warning over escalating fines

Andrew Bailey, head of the Prudential Regulation Authority and Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, today called for greater co-ordination between global regulators on bank fines. He warned that escalating fines could get in the way of the need for banks to increase their capital bases.

AA sees profits plunge 92% 

The AA was hit by a 92 per cent fall in profits yesterday as it posted its first set of results since joining the London Stock Exchange. The roadside recovery group saw revenues rise 1.6 per cent to £491.7m in the six months to 31 July, but pre-tax profits were down from £121.2m to £10.2m, partly due to costs linked to its flotation.

Glasgow Games a boon for A G Barr

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer helped A G Barr, the Scottish fizzy drinks maker, report a near 15 per cent rise in half-yearly profits to £19m as sales rose 5.4 per cent to £135.7m. It also unveiled a new 10-year contract to sell Snapple in the UK and parts  of Europe.

Close Brothers raise profts 20%

A surge in stock market activity coupled with strong growth in specialist lending saw Close Brothers increase operating profits by 20 per cent in the past year to £201m. Its share-dealing arm Winterflood saw profits leap 57 per cent as retail investors jumped on floatations.

Tiffany the latest tenant for Shard

The US-based jewellery brand Tiffany & Co has confirmed plans to relocate its UK head office to the Shard. It has agreed to lease an 8000sq-ft office and move from its South Bank home. The Shard now has 11 tenants, including Al Jazeera and the New York-based investment bank Duff & Phelps.

Mothercare seeks to raise £100m

Mothercare has gone cap in hand to shareholders to raise £100m to pay off the company’s £40m debts, using the remaining cash to close a quarter of its UK stores.

Shares plunged 11 per cent to 221.2p in reaction to the rights issue.

Firms to be paid for electricity cuts

National Grid is to pay 12 firms – ranging from Tata Steel to Flexitricity – for agreeing to cut their electricity use during peak hours this winter. The deals could save up to 319MW – half the capacity of a typical power plant – during peak times of 4pm to 8pm.

Four jailed over carbon-credit theft

Four British men have been sentenced to a total of 19 years in jail for their part in the theft of €7m (£5.5m) in EU carbon credits, which led to the temporary suspension of trade in the European market. The four hacked into a Czech utility.

Cupid’s losses increase to £3m

The online-dating firm Cupid said its pre-tax losses widened to £3m in the half‑year to 30 June from £2.8m a year ago, as said it had suffered from competition from the rise of dating apps like Tinder.