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The Business Matrix: Wednesday 5 June 2013


Severfield crashes to £21.5m loss

The steel erector Severfield Rowen, which is working on London’s Cheesegrater skyscraper, left, counted the cost of the “most challenging year in its history” yesterday as it crashed to a £21.5m loss. Severfield collapsed into the red on a clutch of contracts including British Land’s tower, forcing an emergency rights issue.

£2,908 is average bonus at bank

Workers at the Bank of England enjoyed rising bonuses last year, according to its annual report, published yesterday. The Bank said that 1,867 employees shared a bonus pot of £5.4m, averaging £2,908 each, in the year to 28 February, compared with the 1,729 staff who earned an average payout of £2,847 the year before.

Royal London back takeover

Members of insurance group Royal London have given their backing to its £219m takeover of the Co-operative’s life insurance and asset management unit. Royal London announced 95 per cent of members voted in favour of a deal chairman Tim Melville-Ross described as “a landmark step forward” for the company.

Indesit to cut over 1,000 jobs in Italy

The Italian white-goods company Indesit is to cut 1,425 jobs in Italy, one-third of its local workforce, as part of a turnaround plan. The washing-machine maker is expected to move some production outside Italy. It has eight production centres – three in Italy, two in Poland and one in Britain, Russia and Turkey – and 16,000 employees.

First quarter brought new low

The number of mergers and acquisitions involving British firms sank to its lowest level since the financial crisis during the first quarter of this year, the Office for National Statistics said. Total domestic and cross-border M&A deals fell by 61 per cent to just 60, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Warehouses sale brings in £275m

The British property firm LondonMetric sold 11 warehouses for £275m to a joint venture between Prologis and the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund. LondonMetric’s share of the total sale after paying off debts and fees is £68.3m. “This disposal is in line with our strategy,” said chairman Patrick Vaughan.

Refurbishment deal worth £36m

Galliford Try, the housebuilder and construction company, has won a £36m contract to refurbish the Alphabeta office building in central London. The project will see the transformation of 220,000 sq ft of office space for creative, media and technology occupiers.

Intercede loses only temporary

The security-software provider Intercede fell into the red with pre-tax losses of £700,000 in the year to 31 March, against profits of £900,000 a year earlier. But it said recent contract wins, including a security project for a G8 government, would be worth more than £10m over five years.

London remains a business delight

London will hold off competition from emerging cities such as Sao Paulo, Mumbai and St  Petersburg to be the world’s second-best place to do  business by 2025, a report by Citigroup and The Economist’s intelligence unit claimed.

The Queen’s charter in demand

The Queen’s aircraft charter company, Air Partner, said its commercial division was  trading “significantly ahead” of last year due to demand from tour operators and the oil and gas sectors. A focus on the US and Europe has been successful.