The Business Matrix: Wednesday 25 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Warm winter cools BBA's heels

A mild winter at airports around the world meant there was little need to de-ice planes, hitting revenues at BBA Aviation, the aircraft services firm. The FTSE 250 business complained about the "exceptionally warm" winter in North America, which saw it make far less money from de-icing jets in the first quarter of 2012.

Tyrie holds out chance of probe

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said he would "not hesitate to send special investigators" into the Bank of England after the Government backed down on parts of the Financial Services Bill. The Treasury minister, Mark Hoban, said the Government would look again at how the Bank is held to account.

Anglo adds £272m to its sell-off pile

Mining giant Anglo American has sold the South African division of its Scaw Metals steelmaking business for $440m (£272m), bringing proceeds from its push to divest peripheral operations to $3.7bn in the past two years. Scaw South Africa was bought by a group led by South Africa's government-owned IDC.

Panmure slides to a loss of £31m

Panmure Gordon, the stockbroking house, has plunged to an annual loss of £31.5m. But the chairman, Ed Warner, yesterday insisted it has a strong future, partly thanks to the backing of its major investor, the Qatari investment bank QInvest. Mr Warner said: "We have one IPO on the road and another in the pipeline."

£80m punt by Redrow chief

Wolverhampton Wanderers' owner, Steve Morgan, who also controls the housebuilder Redrow, took an £80m punt on the London property market yesterday. Redrow is raising the funds through a placing and open offer which will see Mr Morgan pump a minimum of £38m into the business.

Europe pulls rug under Carpetright

The European malaise has caught up with Carpetright as disappointing sales in the previously strong Dutch and Belgian markets today forced the carpets-to-beds retailer to issue its second profits warning of the year. Chief executive Lord Harris said a slump in bed sales was also a reason.

'Inflation took £10 March toll'

Households across the UK were a tenner worse off in March due to high inflation, according to the supermarket Asda's last income tracker. Average disposable incomes were down by 6.5 per cent on a year earlier to £144 a week, although London fared better than the average.

Smiths expects £20m sales boost

Newspaper and magazine distributor Smiths News yesterday declared it expects a £20m sales boost because of the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and European football championships. The chief executive Mark Cashmore described newspapers as "resilient".

Global skills gap 'threatens UK'

The world faces a chronic skills shortage which threatens to curb economic growth in the UK, emerging markets and the rest of the world. That's according to a new report from the highly-respected World Economic Forum.

Revenues rise as Reed goes digital

Reed Elsevier, the media and exhibitions group, saw revenues rise about 2 per cent on an underlying basis in the first three months of the year. The group continued its push into digital and reduced its reliance on advertising.