The Business Matrix: Wednesday 8 October 2014


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Ryanair’s bumpy ride over Ebola

Two Ryanair planes collided with  each other while taxiing on the runway at Dublin airport yesterday. No passengers were injured, although the flights, to Edinburgh and Brussels, were delayed. Ryanair shares were, however, caught up in a sell- off of travel related stocks  as investors worried about Ebola screening.

Goldman’s costly error of judgment

Goldman Sachs has been ordered to pay costs to the Libyan Investment Authority after it attempted, and then abandoned, an effort to get a quick summary judgment on the Libyans’ $1bn High Court case against it. The Libyans have accused Goldman of selling them inappropriate investments, which Goldman denies.

Spirent takes a hit over US and China

Shares in telecoms equipment tester Spirent fell 22 per cent after it said revenues in the last quarter and the current one will come in just 3 per cent ahead of the year before. It blamed softer demand from the US and China as major telecoms companies merged and spending decisions were put off. Spirent said operating profit would be hit.

iPhone 6 dials bad news for Samsung 

The launch of the iPhone 6 and cheap phones from China have devastated Samsung’s profits from its Galaxy phones. The Korean giant said it expects third-quarter profits to have fallen by 60 per cent to around 4.1 trillion won (£2.4bn) – the lowest quarterly profit for more than three years. Phones account for 70 per cent of sales.

McDonald’s out of flavour in Japan

McDonald’s Japanese business has admitted it will post its first loss in 11 years after a chicken safety scandal took a bite out of demand for McNuggets and more. McDonald’s Holdings Co (Japan) warned it expects a net loss of ¥17bn (£97m) for 2014. The US McDonald’s Corp owns 49.9 per cent of the business.

Banking sector boost for Walters

The recruiter Robert Walters said the London banking jobs market has finally started to take off after years of weakness, and its annual profits should beat expectations. Quarterly fee income rose 21 per cent to £18.9m, with demand from banks also up in Asia and  New York.

Ireland economy bucks the trend

Ireland’s economy is bucking the trend in the eurozone, which has stalled, and is forecast to expand by 4.7 per cent this year, according to its finance ministry. Its growing momentum should also cut the unemployment rate to just above 10 per cent next year.

Berkeley tempt Stearn with £1.7m

The house builder Berkeley has tempted back a former executive, Richard Stearn, with a £1.7m package to become its new finance director. Stearn was Berkeley’s financial controller from 2002 to 2011, when he was poached by rival Quintain.

UK helps PwC to $34bn jackpot

The accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers pocketed a 5 per cent rise in revenues from UK firms in the year to July, which helped its global earnings hit $34bn (£21bn). It hired an extra 45,000 staff, taking its total to 195,000.

St Ives profits double to £11.9m

Marketing services and book printing firm St Ives has reported a doubling in pre-tax profits to £11.9m for the year to 1 August. Like-for-like revenues increased by 12 per cent in marketing services and by 1 per cent in print.