The Business Matrix: Wednesday 26 September 2012


500 jobs under threat at colliery

Up to 500 workers could lose their jobs after one of Britain's last deep coal mines warned of possible closure after finding gas, water and oil leaking out of a new face. The presence of these substances forced Maltby Colliery to abandon a new "panel" of coal earlier this year due to safety concerns and prompted a full investigation.

Rentokil expands in America

Rentokil Initial is taking the fight to the rats and other vermin of the US by acquiring a pest-control company on its west coast for more than $100m (£61m). The business services specialist is to acquire Western Exterminator Company to make it the third-largest pest-control company in the US.

Amey workers to stage day's strike

Workers at a leading rail contractor are to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over pay and conditions. Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union at Amey will walk out on Saturday. RMT general secretary Bob Crow claimed the company had withdrawn an interim pay offer, saying that the union remained available for talks.

China rich list shrinks by 20

The number of Chinese billionaires has fallen this year for the first time as the nation counts the cost of a cooling property market. According to the Hurun Rich List, the number of dollar billionaires fell by 20 to 251 this year. Manufacturing has also overtaken property as the biggest source of wealth for the world's second-biggest economy.

Winterflood woe hits Close Brothers

Close Brothers, one of the City's last true independent banks, saw a 2 per cent rise in profits last year as good results from its banking division outweighed a tough year at Winterflood, its broking operation. With small cap share trading well down in the year, Winterflood's profits fell from £54.8m to £24.5m.

Carlton plans for gas power station

Carlton Power plans to open a large gas-fired power station near Manchester in 2016-17, a signal that investors continue to see value in gas power generation despite months of losses from such plants. The developer of the 1,520MW Trafford power plant is looking for a partnerto help finance the project.

Carnival quarterly profits flat

Carnival Corporation, the US cruise company which owned the Costa Concordia that capsized earlier this year, reported flat profits of £800m for the three months to the end of August. The company, which owns P&O Cruises, saw sales fall 8 per cent slide to £2.8bn.

Workers urged to leave on time

Workers have been urged to leave their office on time today as part of a drive to highlight the damage caused by the UK's long hours culture. The charity Working Links organised the Go Home On Time Day after asurvey of 1,500 people showed 60 per cent regularly worked late.

Rolls-Royce to sell Tidal Generation

The engine group Rolls-Royce has agreed to sell Bristol-based Tidal Generation – which makes water turbines to convert tidal energy into electrical power – to Alstom. The sale is expected to complete within the next few months.

Argos to create 12,000 temp jobs

Argos is to create 12,000 temporary jobs in the run-up to Christmas across its 740 stores in the UK and Ireland. The company, which created a similar number of seasonal jobs last year, said the recruits will benefit from a 10 per cent staff discount.