The Business Matrix: Wednesday 9 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Profits gallop up at race courses

The Jockey Club's profits rose despite a sharp fall in payments from bookmakers. Funding from the levy on bookies' profits that funds the sport fell by £8.8m in 2011 as they moved operations offshore to avoid a 15 per cent tax on their gross profits. But the owner of Cheltenham, Newmarket and Aintree's profits reached £19.2m from £18.3m.

Yahoo chief's partial 'sorry'

Yahoo's chief executive, Scott Thompson, told staff he "deeply regrets" the scandal over his academic credentials – but his apology extended only to the distraction caused by the affair, not to claims that he fabricated a computer science degree to pad out his CV. Reports said Patti Hart, who recommended hiring him, will quit the board.

Bank 'could extend QE plan'

Sir John Gieve, a former deputy governor at the Bank of England, said the Monetary Policy Committee may be minded to extend the QE programme this week. He said that it could opt to extend the money-printing process by "a month or two" despite inflation.

Toyota's Prius sales beat target

Toyota said sales of its Prius hybrid eco-friendly model was outpacing its sales targets, meaning it was having to up production numbers. US vice-president Bob Carter said sales worldwide were surpassing the business plan and he was having to order more to be made.

Putin cuts taxes on fracking firms

Vladmir Putin has proposed cutting taxes for oil and gas companies using fracking and other unconventional techniques in a bid to boost flows from the world's largest energy producer. Russia only produces 4 per cent of energy unconventially.

German factories power forwards

Germany's powerhouse industrial sector leaped ahead 2.8 per cent last March, giving rise to hopes that the eurozone's biggest economy has avoided recession. The overall German economy shrank in the last quarter of 2011, but today's official figures showed industrial output surging more than three times faster than predicted.

Hiscox ups cost of Japan insurance

Insurer Hiscox has doubled the cost of reinsurance to Japanese firms surviving in areas hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. The Lloyd's of London insurer saw its overall premium income slip 0.6 per cent to £450.7m in the three months to April, but said after two busy years of claims activity "it has been a relatively benign quarter."

Gilt yields plunge near record lows

Investors poured money into British government bonds yesterday in search of a safe haven from the turmoil in the Eurozone. Gilt yields plunged to within a whisker of their record lows. The 10-year gilt yield was trading just 1.94 per cent last night, close to the 1.54 per cent of Germany, whose yields also fell yesterday.

MBO rescues shoe retailer Shoon

Shoon, the footwear chain, has been rescued out of administration via a management buy-out backed by GA Europe, the retail restructuring specialist. The shoe retailer operates 11 stores. GA Europe is providing funding for working capital and development, as well as taking a stake.

Carlos Slim bids for Dutch mobile

Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, yesterday offered €3.2bn (£2.6bn) for a stake in Dutch telecoms firm KPN as his América Móvil group looks to expand in Europe. América Móvil, is controlled by Slim from his native Mexico.