The Business Matrix: Wednesday 8 May 2013


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The Independent Online

EasyJet sees passenger surge

EasyJet flew 2.5 per cent more passengers in April, taking its total to 5.3 million, despite the early Easter meaning that most holiday trips took place in the previous month. It takes the number of people on easyJet aircraft in the year so far to 59.9 million, 6.5 per cent above the numbers seen in the same period a year earlier.

Pay of Morrisons chief plunges

Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips paid the price for the grocer's recent struggles yesterday as his annual pay package plunged by almost £700,000. The UK's fourth biggest supermarket recently reported its first fall in annual profits for six years, costing Mr Philips his annual bonus. His overall pay fell from £1.79m to £1.09m.

Credit Unions sign up for £35.6m plan

Thirty-one credit unions have signed up to a £35.6m Government scheme which they hope will help them take on payday lenders and banks by offering fairer services. The Credit Union Expansion Project aims to encourage a million more people to use the mutuals.

National Express on a steady path

National Express is driving a steady path, with ticket sales in the UK up 3 per cent since the start of 2013. The number of tickets sold on its coaches rose 7 per cent in the period, though cheaper tickets meant revenues rose only 1 per cent. In Spain, like-for-like revenue at NatEx's city bus division rose 5 per cent, but Spanish coach sales fell.

Further pressure on Jamie Dimon

A second shareholder advisory firm has said that investors in JP Morgan should vote for a non-binding proposal to split Jamie Dimon's responsibilities and appoint an independent chairman. Glass, Lewis & Co added its voice to the bid to strip Mr Dimon who is both chairman and chief executive, of one of his jobs.

Crest Nicholson cheers market

Recently floated housebuilder Crest Nicholson cheered the property market by saying conditions in the southern half of England, where the majority of its sites are located, are "increasingly favourable". Completions rose by 9 per cent during the six months to April, according to chief executive Stephen Stone.

Hiscox posts a revenue rise

Hiscox, the Lloyd's of London insurer posted a revenue rise yesterday after a catastrophe-free start to the year. As well as protecting against natural disasters, Hiscox is known for insuring wealthy individuals and their art. First-quarter premiums rose 12.3 per cent to £501.6m.

 Ed's Easy Diner back in profit

The growing appetite of British punters for American-style diners has helped Fifties-themed Ed's Easy Diner return to profit. The firm opened four restaurants last year but is on track to open 10 this year. The company delivered an operating profit of £35,000 in the 12 months to September 30 after a loss of £165,000 the previous year.

Numis sees profits more than treble

Profits at the stockbroker and investment bank Numis more than trebled in the past six months as stock markets soared and share flotations made a comeback.

Pre-tax profits soared from £2.6m to £9.2m in the six months to the end of March.

'Very positive' start for Telecity

Data centres group Telecity hailed a "very positive" start to year thanks to new sites opening in London and Helsinki. Chief executive Michael Tobin said demand for "premium highly connected data" storage continues to rise in the digital age.