The Business Matrix: Wednesday 7 March 2012


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The Independent Online

House prices take February tumble

House prices fell by 0.5% in February compared to the previous month – the fifth fall in property values in seven months, Halifax reported. "Market conditions have changed very little over this period, with demand supported by low interest rates and supply remaining tight," the housing market economist Martin Ellis said.

Sun on Sunday fails to shine on Menzies

Distribution firm John Menzies said the launch of The Sun on Sunday had led to "cannabilisation" of the newspaper market as readers deserted rival tabloids. Finance director Paul Dollman said he was "not expecting a big lift" to overall newspapers sales from the launch of the title followlng the closure of the News of the World.

Ford boss rules out motor alliance

The chief executive of carmaker Ford has ruled out a tie-up with another European motor manufacturer despite its rival General Motors joining forces with Peugeot of France to cut costs. Alan Mulally said he had "no plans for any other alliances".

Broadband blow for satellite company

Inmarsat, the FTSE 250 satellite telecoms group, said it would be another two years before its latest broadband terminals used in war-zones and on ships significantly boost revenues. Sailors use its new FleetBroadband systems to send emails and check Facebook rather than making more expensive phone calls.

UK hiring stagnates at Michael Page

Two years ago, Britain contributed almost a third of recruiter Michael Page's global profit, but now it's down to 24 per cent. The recruiter's UK revenues grew 7 per cent last year, whilst continental Europe enjoyed a 27 per cent leap, and in Asia and the Americas revenues jumped 38 per cent. Full-year pre-tax profit rose 19 per cent to £86.1m.

Punters wade into Thomas Cook

The favourite punt of the stock market fanciers at The Share Centre is the risky-looking Thomas Cook. The embattled holiday operator tops both the buy and sell list of the stockbrokers' clients, the chief executive Gavin Oldham said as he unveiled his results for the year to December. Mr Oldham set up the AIM-listed firm 20 years ago.

Olympus faces criminal complaints

Japan's financial regulator yesterday said that it is to file criminal complaints against cameras and medical equipment maker Olympus as well as former executives and outside advisers over the company's £1.1bn accounting fraud.

Flats revamp for iconic London tower

The West End's most panoramic flats are set to be built at the top of the iconic Centrepoint tower under plans being discussed with Camden Council. Developer Mike Hussey has launched the first stage of planning approval to convert the concrete tower into luxury apartments at the top with shops and restaurants at its base.