Business week in review
Sunday 10 March 2013
More and more, it feels like Ivan Glasenberg is now the big beast of world mining, particularly after his peers at huge rivals BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Rio Tinto have already left or are about to do so.
The boss of the aluminium-to-zinc (A-Z, geddit?) trader Glencore has all but completely masterminded the takeover – sorry, merger – of the coal and copper miner Xstrata, and now it seems that the billionaire has an almost water-into-wine ability to make money out of even falling profit. Glasenberg might argue that he's one of the lowest-paid bosses in the FTSE 100, but his large shareholding means that the South African still received a $172m (£115m) dividend on Tuesday.
Glencore increased the dividend despite profit falling by 75 per cent last year. But Glasenberg didn't take a bonus – so that's all right, then.
Henry Engelhardt also saw his coffers boosted by a big shareholding, this time in Admiral, the insurer he founded 20 years ago. To mark the Confused.com owner's platinum jubilee, a bumper dividend of 45.5p a share was announced on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Standard Life chief David Nish pleased its shareholders by announcing a 6.5 per cent hike in its share dividend to 14.7p.
...at a loss
Ah, retailers. It's never their fault, is it? Once again, the weather – you know, that thing that's been predictably rotten for years – has been blamed for poor sales at a major retailer that employs swathes of people to predict consumer trends and what impacts their purchasing habits.
Debenhams' chief executive, Michael Sharp, saw £175m wiped off its market valuation on Monday as the department store chain issued a shock profit warning as a result of January's wintry weather.
However, Sharp did argue: "The minute the snow stopped our performance recovered."
How on earth would Debenhams cope if the UK was subject to regular hurricanes or was located on a volatile geological fault line?
Enduring a very bleak Tuesday was Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands. It emerged that he saw his bonus cut from $3.5m in 2011 to an admittedly tidy sum of $3.15m last year, a result of the huge fine the bank faced for breaching US sanctions on Iran.
On Wednesday, the holiday group Thomas Cook announced that it would axe 2,500 jobs and close 200 of its branches. This is part of the planned turnaround of the heavily indebted business by chief executive Harriet Green.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
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’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
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