Business week in review
Sunday 03 March 2013
If business in 2013 has a defining theme so far, it has arguably been company collapses, the most eye-catching administrations being everyday high-street names.
So, it's good to see there is hope in such depressing times. Last Monday, Manganese Bronze – which might sound like a miner that digs for metals in exotic locales, but actually makes London's black cabs out of Coventry – announced plans to double its workforce in the next year.
The company was only bought out of administration by Chinese car-maker Geely a few weeks ago, but already its executive vice-president Peter Johansen feels safe enough to declare that Coventry remains "the home of taxis".
On Wednesday, ITV boss Adam Crozier cheered investors with a £156m special dividend and dismissed talk of a possible takeover of the Take Me Out broadcaster. This was on top of the ordinary dividend pay-out, which itself was up from 1.6p to 2.6p a share.
Talking of dividends, Barratt Developments boss Mark Clare said that the housebuilder would make its first payout for five years.
...at a loss
Next time Paul Tucker, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, comes up with a bright idea perhaps he should keep it to himself.
Last Tuesday, he told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that the central bank had considered introducing negative interest rates, which could see current accounts hit by charges. Tucker hopes this would encourage banks to lend more, because they would effectively be charged for holding reserves at the Bank.
He was instead accused of looking at a "panic measure" that seemed to impress no one. Best Tucker learns from the MPs and next time avoids a proper answer rather than volunteer information.
Another senior figure facing a hostility was Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw. On Wednesday, he announced profits above £600m in 2012, up from £544m. Rather than celebrate a great success story, British Gas customers fumed at why their bills keep going up when the parent group is doing so well.
Also on Wednesday, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary saw his bid for Aer Lingus blocked by the EU.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Iraq crisis: Government forces execute 255 Sunni prisoners in revenge for Isis atrocities, says report
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
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