Archive for May, 2011
The recent run of bank holidays, together with plenty of sunny weather, means Kingfisher’s first-quarter results, due out on Thursday, should be encouraging.
Aurelie Caspar, of Bank of America, believes the DIY retailer’s B&Q business will have seen its like-for-like sales rise 1.5 per cent over the three months. However, she predicts there will be a divide between the performance of its seasonal products and its big ticket items, sales of which she expects to have been “subdued”.
UBS, meanwhile, is a touch more bullish, forecasting a sales growth of 2 per cent. Its analysts also highlight data from France showing the continuing strength of the DIY market there, and they feel its Casto and Brico chains in the country should see their sales figures rise 4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
There will also be a focus on China, where the company has been working on reshaping its presence.
Tags: Bank Holiday, Holiday
US demand for exports from UK based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has almost doubled in the last year, finds research.
According to trade trend figures released by e-commerce site Alibaba.com, the US was the largest export market for UK SMEs in the first quarter of 2011, accounting for one in ten buyer enquiries made to UK small businesses.
The figures are supported by the most recent US economic data which shows that though US unemployment remains high – 9 per cent in April – the US economy is continuing to grow.
The most active export markets after the US are India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
On the import side, China remains the most popular market for UK small business buyers, with 70 per cent of UK buyer enquiries being sent to Chinese businesses, with the figure up on the same period in 2010 (56 per cent).
Tags: Demand, Demand Doubles
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is conducting a safety review of certain types of birth-control pills to see if they increase the risk of blood clots beyond that of other pills.
The agency said the review is focusing on products that contain drospirenone, which is used in pills including Yaz and Yasmin, which are marketed by Bayer AG . Drospirenone is a type of female sex hormone called a progestin.
Most birth control pills contain two types of hormones, estrogen and progestin. All types of pills increase the risk of blood clots. However, FDA said two recently published studies reported a greater risk of blood clots for women taking birth-control pills containing drospirenone compared to the risk for women taking birth-control pills containing another progestin known as levonorgestrel.
FDA said some previous studies have reported that the risk of blood clots for women who use birth-control pills containing drospirenone is higher than that for women who use birth-control pills containing levonorgestrel while other studies haven’t found such a risk.
Tags: Risk, Safety Review
The media frenzy over Harold Camping’s prediction that the world would end last weekend is a sad commentary on the state of domestic news reporting. I particularly enjoyed coverage of Camping’s admission that he had miscalculated the date (which is now Oct. 21, 2011, in case you want to prepare).
An equally dubious doomsday cult holds sway on Wall Street today: Bearish commentators who predict that the sky will cave in.
Make no mistake about it: US economic data have softened over the past month and a half. But alarmist rhetoric about the economy “hitting a wall” is vastly overdone and reminiscent of the calls for a double-dip recession last summer.
At this point, recent weakness in economic data appears to be a temporary soft patch–not the beginning of another recession.
Peek’n Peak Resort & Spa is about to be put up for auction.
The resort, located near Findley Lake, N.Y., just east of Erie, Pa., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 26, 2010, the same day that Columbus-based Huntington National Bank began proceedings to foreclose on the property.
Kiebler Recreation LLC of Chardon, which owns the resort, earlier this week reached an agreement with Huntington that would lead to the resort’s sale through auction before Sept. 1, according to a letter the company sent to those who own homes at the resort.The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio in a few weeks will appoint a chief restructuring officer who will help oversee the daily operations of the resort until it is sold, according to the letter, which is attributed to Peek’n Peak president Robert Swenson. Mr. Swenson runs the resort for owner Paul E.
Tags: Auction, Peak Resort
#bstartup 2011 Small business owners are being pushed into a corner by HMRC’s accounting requirements, research finds.
According to a study of 50 small business owners by accounting software provider Intuit conducted at the Business Startup show 2011, two thirds (69 per cent) say the burden of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) puts them off hiring employees.
The admission comes as the deadline passed for all employers to file their PAYE end of year returns (P14/P35s). Nearly half (45 per cent) of small business employers polled say they are unaware of the deadline for late-filing.
A quarter (28 per cent) say they don’t expect to complete their return before the deadline, therefore risking being fined.
Mark Linton, a small business owner who set up events company The Business Growth Show in 2005, says, ‘I really do think that PAYE for any small business is a logistical nightmare.
Tags: Startup, Startup Paye
MELBOURNE — Gold production in Australia in the January-March period was dented by heavy cyclonic rains, but still managed to increase roughly 6% from a year earlier as the price for the precious metal continued to strengthen, a survey released Sunday showed.
The country produced 65 metric tons, or 2.1 million troy ounces, in the first three months of the year, a drop of 7% on the previous quarter but 4 tons more than was produced in the same period last year, Melbourne-based industry consultants Surbiton Associates Pty. Ltd. said.
Tropical cyclones and monsoon rains battered Australia in the first quarter, flooding mines in Australia’s western and eastern states. Some mines were forced to suspend production for several days, while others processed lower-grade stockpiled material. Australia is the world’s second-largest gold producer after China.
“With the widespread rain early this year it was as much a case of rivers of water as rivers of gold,” said Sandra Close, a director at Surbiton.
Tags: Gold, Gold Output