ANDREW CHOI Getting to grips with golf!
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
University tapping into a Texas tie-up A MAJOR oil company prospecting for student talent has tapped into the resources of Huddersfield University. Te x a s - b a s e d m u l t i n a t i o n a l Cameron has strengthened its links with the Queensgate campus following a visit by some of the company’s top executives. Cameron, which exhibited at the university’s careers fair, is one of a global leader in building and operating pipelines for gas and oil. It has an office in Leeds and over the years many Huddersfield University students in subjects such as business and marketing have been on work placements with the company. Several of the university’s graduates have gone on to work for the company – taking part in a globetrotting training process that involves stints at Cameron’s Houston headquarters and sites in the Far East. Cameron has also sponsored students during their studies at Huddersfield and the company’s staff have contributed to the content of some courses.
The visit by top executives from Texas was organised by Stephen Boyd, head of careers at the university, and Clare Thompson, human resources partner for Cameron in Leeds. A day of talks and presentations was arranged for the visitors – Joe M o n g r a i n , wh o i s C a m e ro n’s vice-president with responsibility for human resources, and John Watson, director of global talent acquisition. John Bartos, vice-president for development and technology took part in discussions via a live conference call link from Houston. Several Huddersfield academics gave presentations highlighting the opportunities for collaborative research and development. “The visit was a big success and a reflection of the relationship between the university and Cameron,” said Mr Boyd. “I am confident that the link will be strengthened further and that the multi-national will be keen to recruit many more Huddersfield graduates as part of a wider long-term partnership.”
next spring at the very earliest. Edward Rimmer, chief executive of invoice finance specialist Bibby Financial Services, said: “January is a crucial month for businesses and it can often be make or break. “With large amounts of excess stock from Christmas often left over, financial liquidity can take a big hit as cash
Festive contest STAFF at Huddersfield Town are helping their clients achieve real growth. The football club is sending out more than 140 Christmas trees to customers over the next few weeks. The idea is that the each company will nurture the trees and enter a competition to grow the biggest tree, which will be judged in January.
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■ OILING THE WHEELS: Huddersfield University vice-chancellor prof Bob Cryan (second right) welcomes (from left) Clare Thompson, Joe Mongrain and John Watson, of US oil company Cameron
Firms told not to over-indulge this Christmas KIRKLEES firms have been urged to use the countdown to 2010 to get their finances in good order. Bibby Financial Services said companies faced tough times during the first quarter of next year – with recent surveys showing that Britain remains in the grip of recession and signs of recovery are unlikely to appear before
flow is tied up in unsold stock and many customer invoices are left outstanding.” “We would urge small businesses to ensure they do not build up their stock levels more than necessary in anticipation of the Christmas rush. This will ease pressure on their cash flow in order to ensure vital commitments are
met – such as paying their staff – meaning fewer businesses will be forced into making redundancies as a cost-saving measure.” Mr Rimmer said redundancies were not the only issues small firms faced during January – with many pushed into liquidation. January, 2009, saw a 78% surge in business failures.
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More jobs at Matrix A FIRM providing IT equipment is bucking the trend to increase staffing levels and sales. Matrix Media plans to recruit 25 new staff to add to its existing 16 full-time employees.
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Majestic cheered by rise in earnings half showed “strong growth” – up 8.9% – while economic conditions continued to hit business demand, with sales down 6.9%. Sales of fine wines priced at £20 or more increased by 14.4% on last year, while the average price of a bottle of still wine rose from £6.19 last year to £6.41. But Majestic said the decline in sales to business customers meant the average spend per transaction fell slightly to £133. The retailer reduced the minimum in store purchase to six bottles of wine in September and said the results of the change were “encouraging” – with an increase in the number of transactions and more new customers registering on the firm’s database. “Whilst we are pleased with the
WINE warehouse chain Majestic Wine reported a 9% rise in half-year profits – as higher private sales helped offset a decline in business demand. Majestic posted pre-tax profits of £6.1m in the six months to September 28 against £5.6m in the same period last year. The firm said sales were accelerating – with same-store revenue growth rising from 5.4% in the first half to 6% in the five weeks to November 2. The report comes after Majestic’s last annual profits more than halved, due to lower sales of champagne to recession-hit firms and as a weak pound made European wines more expensive. Majestic, which has a store at Queensgate in Huddersfield, said sales to private customers in the first
trading performance so far this year we remain cautious about the economic climate,” the firm said. “We are well positioned for the very important Christmas trading period.” Sales of sparkling wine grew well in the period, with still wine from South Africa, New Zealand and Spain also proving popular. Majestic, which has 153 stores in the UK, said it could grow to occupy at l east 250 locations. During the period, the company opened four new stores and has launched another two since September. Chief executive Steve Lewis predicted tough competition from supermarkets in the run up to Christmas, but said Majestic would stand apart with wine tastings in all its stores and strong customer service.
£600m hit for Lloyds
■ HOME BREW: Majestic Wine said an increased in the number of stay-at-home drinkers had increased sales and profits
Dragon fires up online interest
Persimmon in good order
AN advertising campaign featuring Peter Jones, of TV show Dragon’s Den, has boosted visitor numbers at Moneysupermarket.com. The price comparison group said it had enjoyed a robust third quarter – covering the three months to September 30 – as internet revenues rose by about 15% on the first half. However, the total was 15% down on the same period in 2008. The marketing push featuring Mr Jones meant visitor numbers were up on the same period last year and against the second quarter. Shares rose more than 3% yesterday on the strength of the trading update. The rise in traffic helped revenues
HOUSEBUILDER Persimmon said it expected to carry a “healthy” order book into next year. But the company warned that the market remained vulnerable because of the impact of higher unemployment and problems with mortgage availability. Persimmon, which owns the Charles Churchbrand, said summer’s encouraging sales trends were maintained during the autumn. The average selling price of homes reserved since the start of July is 6% up at £173,000. Forward sales are also well ahead of last year, leading to the healthy order
from the firm’s insurance website improve by 5% on last year, but sales in the Money field were 40% lower due to significantly worse conditions in the credit market. Trading has gradually improved throughout the course of the year, with Money revenues about 10% higher on the first half. Savings was the strongest performer, as consumers looked to maximise their returns in a low interest environment and as lenders sought to strengthen their balance sheets through consumer deposits. Unsecured lending, including credit card revenues, improved in the third quarter.
book, but Persimmon issued a note of caution in its trading update. “While sales volumes have been consistent, we still have significant concerns regarding the availability of mortgages, particularly the higher loan to value products required by first time buyers,” it said. Persimmon is also concerned by the potential impact on its markets of any significant increase in unemployment over the coming months. In August, Persimmon posted pre-tax profits of £9.8m for the six months to June 30, down from £36.9m in the same period last year.
LLOYDS Banking Group could own almost half of pubs group Admiral Taverns following a shake-up of the business, its is claimed. The part-nationalised bank may write off about £600m in loans to the pubs group in return for nearly 50% of the struggling firm, said newspaper reports. The bank – 43% owned by the taxpayer – has a reported £855m exposure to debt-laden Admiral Taverns following the bank’s takeover of HBOS. Admiral Taverns, set up in 2003, embarked on a major expansion programme fuelled by loans from Bank of Scotland – buying up pubs from larger rivals such as Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns. It now has about 2,000 leased and tenanted pubs.
Profits up for ASOS ONLINE fashion retailer ASOS reported a 9% rise in profits for the first half and said it was optimistic for the rest of the year – despite slower sales growth. The firm reported pre-tax profits of £4.4m in the six months to September 30, up from £4.05m last year – boosted by international sales and tighter cost controls.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £24.62 +0.60 Gannett 669.13 +26.19 Hess Corp £34.65 +1.09 Microsoft 1769.26 +5.36 Motors Liquidation 44.65 Wal-Mart Stores £31.54 -0.13 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE 1 BAE Systems 324 /2 +33/4 Rolls-Royce Gp 4853/4 +153/4 Smiths Grp 9741/2 +13 VT Group 589 +111/2 AIM Brady Plc 71 -1 Dawson Intl 21/4 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 1171/2 +3 BANKS Barclays 324 +4 HSBC 7611/4 +195/8 Lloyds Banking Gp 901/2 +5/8 Ryl Scotland 371/2 Stan Chart 16891/2 +241/2 BEVERAGES Diageo 1020 +2 SABMiller 1691 +17 CHEMICALS Croda 795 +16 Delta 1571/2 +4 1 Elementis 98 56 /2 +13/4 Johnsn Mat 1615 +57 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2763/8 +21/4 Costain 271/2 -1 ELECTRICITY 3
Intl Power 2693/8 +31/4 Scottish & Sthrn 1095 +9 Energy ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Chloride 1791/8 +35/8 Invensys 3083/4 +85/8 Laird 1365/8 +31/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 317 +17/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 1495/8 +27/8 C&W 1381/4 +3 1 -21/8 Colt Telecom 128 /2 KCOM 42 +2 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2921/8 +13/4 Sainsbury 3427/8 +1/4 Tesco 429 +31/4 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 839 +41/2 Cadbury 7811/2 +51/2 Nth Foods 681/8 +5/8 Tate Lyle 469 -71/8 Unilever 1833 +24 -2 Uniq 321/4 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 2475/8 +21/8 National Grid 638 +9 Pennon Grp 463 -53/4 Severn 995 -2 -11/2 United Utils 4711/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 2841/4 +121/4 ICAP 4241/4 +6 London StockExch 885 +1/2 Man Group 3711/4 +31/8 1
Schroders 1248 +19 Schroders NV 1012 +21 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Avon Rbbr 941/2 +6 +163/8 Cooksn Grp 4483/8 5 REXAM 287 /8 +35/8 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 16 DSG International 385/8 +5/8 Home Retail 3231/8 +105/8 Inchcape 343/4 +13/8 Kingfisher 2461/2 +31/8 M&S 372 -1/4 Mothercare 6431/2 +151/2 1 Next £20 /4 WH Smith 533 +71/2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 579 +5 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 135 Barrat Dev 146 +53/4 Persimmon 4885/8 +281/2 5 Reckitt Benckiser £30 /8 +1/4 Taylor Wimpey 427/8 +3/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Charter 755 +11/2 IMI 537 +11 Man Brnze 142 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 1733/4 +4 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 1701/4 +63/4 Forth Ports 1204 +20 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 4093/4 +45/8 1
118 +21/2 6211/2 +121/2 93 +1/2 222 +1/2 MEDIA BSkyB 542 +1 Chrysalis 1011/2 D Mail Tst 456 +103/8 ITV 53 +13/4 Johnston Press 293/4 +1/4 Pearson 854 +9 Reed Elsevier 475 +67/8 3 STV Group 67 /4 -11/4 Trinity Mirror 1861/2 +113/4 Utd Business 4831/8 +33/4 UTV 110 -5 WPP 590 +18 +5/8 Yell Group 455/8 MINING Anglo American £261/2 +1 Antofagasta 934 +66 BHP Billiton 1866 +48 Eurasian Natural 9061/2 +231/2 Res Fresnillo 890 +22 Kazakhmys 1300 +42 Lonmin 1740 +148 Rio Tinto £33 +13/4 VEDANTA £237/8 +5/8 RESOURCES Xstrata 1093 +79 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 665 +16 Vodafone Group 1383/4 +15/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1030 -4 -11/4 RSA Insurance Gp 1203/4 Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life
Local shares Carclo Chapelthorpe Instore Marshalls National Grid Rensburg Sheppards Weir Gp
97 123/4 45/8 98 638 621
-11/2 +9 -10
FTSE closed at
5382.7 Up 86.3 BG 1132 +261/2 BP 5881/4 +71/4 Cairn Energy £291/4 +1/2 1 Norsk Hdro 444 /2 +161/8 Royal Dutch Shell A 1883 +261/2 Royal Dutch Shell B 1829 +281/2 1 Total £38 /4 +5/8 Tullow Oil 1270 +30 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Petrofac 1025 +18 Wood Group 335 +10 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry 600 +11/2 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £275/8 Axis-Shield 415 +41/2 GlaxoSmithK XD
REAL ESTATE Brit Land 5031/2 +51/4 DTZ Hldgs 70 +13/4 Hamrsn 4531/8 +81/8 Land Secs 726 -1/2 SEGRO 385 +113/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Autonomy Corp 1444 +30 Dimension Data 77 +23/8 1 Logica 125 /2 +11/2 Misys 2195/8 -1/2 Sage Group 2237/8 +13/8 SUPPORT SERVICES AMEC 826 +241/2 Bunzl 654 +9 Capita 769 +71/2 1 Davis Service 432 /2 +51/8 Group De La Rue 992 -1/2 Electrocomp 1701/2 +3 Experian 590 -31/2 G4S 2507/8 +33/4 5 Hays 103 /8 +11/8 Homeserve 1600 +36 Menzies J 3453/4 +33/4 Rentokil 1063/4 -5/8 Smiths News 115 -1 Wolseley 1400 +3 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 1611/4 +31/8 Psion 121 +3/4 Spirent Comms 99 +27/8 TOBACCO Br Am Tob 1987 -31/2 Imperial Tobacco 1892 -6 LEISURE & HOTELS Arriva 4581/2 +11/2 1
Carnival Compass Grp easyJet Enterprise Inns FirstGroup Go-Ahead Greene King Intercontl Htls Ladbrokes Mitchells & Butlers Natl Express PartyGaming Rank Org Stagecoach Group TUI Travel Whitbread
£205/8 4103/4 3921/4 1335/8 4101/4 1393 4171/8 8551/2 1287/8 2603/4 3395/8 2561/4 813/8 1493/8 2551/2 1318
+1/8 +51/2 +101/4 +3 -11/8 +19 -57/8 -11/2 -5/8 +41/8 +33/4 -1/4 +13/8 +23/4 -7/8 +14
TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.70 dollars Bangladesh................. 108.51 taka Brazil.............................. 2.58 reals Canada....................... 1.67 dollars China ........................... 10.22 yuan Czech Republic ...... 26.12 korunas Denmark....................... 7.91 krone Euro............................... 1.07 euro Hong Kong................ 12.31 dollars Hungary................... 267.99 forints India.......................... 68.01 rupees Japan........................... 142.77 yen Mexico ....................... 19.42 pesos New Zealand .............. 2.09 dollars Norway ......................... 8.89 krone Pakistan.................. 131.58 rupees Philippines ................. 66.74 pesos South Africa.................. 11.59 rand South Korea.............. 1684.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 180.70 rupees Sweden....................... 10.86 krona Switzerland.................. 1.61 francs Taiwan ...................... 47.05 dollars Turkey....................... 2.33 new lira USA ............................ 1.60 dollars
THE FTSE 100 index closed at a 14-month high last night. The index closed up for the fourth straight session – rising by 86.3pts to 5382.7 and bolstered by better economic news and a surge in metal prices.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Chamber champion has drive to succeed THERE’S an awful lot of The chamber movement was business done on the golf always one that was familiar course, they say. to me and I was very grateful But that’s not the reason to get the chance to join the Andrew Choi now finds Mid Yorkshire Chamber.” himself coming to grips with His arrival was followed the game. last year by the chamber’s “I am a big sports fan,” relocation from Aspley to says the man at the helm of Lockwood Park. Formerly the Mid Yorkshire Chamber housed in a “metal box” at St of Commerce. “In the past, I Andrew’s Road, the chamber was a typical lad playing is now headquartered in the football and tennis. lovingly restored stable block “Now I’m flirting with golf. at Brewery Drive. “We The chamber golf day will moved from the ugliest be held next year and my building in Huddersfield to target is to reduce my one of the nicest,” says handicap. Andrew. “I have the necessary The Mid Yorkshire hand-eye co-ordination, but Chamber – formed by the I have very little patience merger of the Kirklees and with being awful. I want to Wakefield Chamber of get good at the game more Commerce and the Halifax quickly than I have the right chamber – has gained a to expect. I see Tiger deserved reputation for Woods playing and wonder lobbying central and local why I can’t be just as good.” government on behalf of its And he adds with 1,000 member firms, honesty: “I decided to take producing good quality up golf because I could no state-of-trade surveys and longer hack it playing football!” Andrew is certainly “hacking it” at the Lockwood-based chamber, which he joined in April. 2007, after notching up an impressive track record in the sphere of business support. Andrew worked in the accountancy department of Leeds City Council before joining the former Bradford Training and Enterprise Council and rising to a senior role in business support. He then spent five or six years at Business Link as a senior manager before moving to the chamber. He says: “I have spent the past 15 years in business ■ CLEAR VISION: Andrew support in the region, Choi aims to build on the working directly with companies or leading teams reputation of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
helping companies do business overseas. Although it grew prodigiously during the 1980s and 1990s – running a raft of publicly-funded training schemes – the chamber had to retrench when those funding streams ended. Today, it employs 50 staff at Lockwood and sites in Halifax and Wakefield and has refocused on its core aims of supporting member firms, acting as a powerful advocate on business issues and helping companies trade with each other. “The move to Lockwood makes a statement about our desire to be more contemporary and relevant,” says Andrew. “The chamber has an image of being ‘male, pale and stale’ but we want to show the chamber is innovative and ambitious. “Although chamber membership is about 1,000 we have ambitious targets to increase those numbers. “We are fortunate in that the Mid Yorkshire chamber membership is not dominated by one grouping, such as the professional services in Leeds. “Our membership represents a cross-section of business, mainly at the smaller end of SME sector and mainly comprising firms with fewer than 250 employees. “That means out economic surveys are very representative of UK small business generally. We are rarely out of step with the British Chambers of Commerce surveys.” It also means the chamber can speak with authority on the issues affecting most companies in the region – including perennial hot topics such as the burden of red
tape and concern about lack of investment in the road and rail network. Andrew is committed to the cause. He’s the first to arrive at the office – which means he often mans the reception desk before getting down to his more familiar routine of paperwork and meetings. But he has no problems with that. “It is a uniquely rewarding job to serve the interests of business in this region,” he says. And he adds: “Enterprise is in by DNA. “My parents ran one of the last Chinese laundries in the north of England in Leeds. I was born into the Chinese community and
Role: Director Age: 49 Family: Married with one daughter Holidays: Spain, Mexico and Dubai Car: Saab 95 First job: Helping in the family laundry Best thing about job: The chamber team and the chamber mission Worst thing about job: The pace of change is never quick enough Business tip: Do business with your heart, with your head and with your hands – in that order. But don’t forget – do it now, do it fast and do it right my first paid job was as a seven-year-old putting handkerchiefs and pillow cases through a heated roller. The Health and Safety Executive would have had a field day with that! “As a slightly older child I helped with the accounts – and we didn’t have Sage software, we had a Chinese abacus. “My work ethic, my affinity with small business and my ideals about customer service all stem from there. I owe my late parents a real debt of gratitude.”
Mid Yorks Chamber of Commerce Work: Business support Employs: 50 Sites: Huddersfield, Halifax and Wakefield Phone: 01484 483680 Email:andrew.choi @mycci.co.uk
Boosting sales no secret at Matrix
■ TOP TEAM: Matrix Media sales director Mark Nuthern (front) with some of the firm's new recruits
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Bank in pledge to lend cash YORKSHIRE Bank is making £2bn of new money available to business customers in the region as part of a two-year £10bn lending commitment UK-wide. The Bradford-based bank – which also covers Kirklees – said it was making the move as a clear display of support for its Yorkshire customers. Kath Myers, regional director for Yorkshire Bank integrated financial solutions in Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire Bank has continued to support businesses and homeowners during the last 12 months and remained open for business in a period which saw lenders heavily criticised for restrictive changes to lending criteria. “Our prudent approach continues, but our lending pledge signals our confidence in the Yorkshire economy.” Yorkshire Bank has eight financial solutions centres across Yorkshire and more than 70 across the UK.
A COMPANY providing IT equipment and office products is bucking the trend to increase staffing levels and sales. Matrix Media, which has already exceeded its sales target since being formed in June ,plans to recruit 25 new staff to add to its existing 16 full-time employees. The firm, which is based at the Media Centre in Huddersfield, has had to increase the size of its office twice due to growth. Sales director Mark Nuthern said: “We are proving to be a winner with local businesses. “We estimate that we will need to create another 25 jobs by the end of the 2009 to cope with our projected sales. “Our recruiting agenda is firmly based around employing people from the Huddersfield area because our philosophy is simple – we are a local business providing business essentials to local companies.”
Matrix Media supplies more than 27,000 products from 12 distribution centres across the UK. Customers include the Ministry of Defence, universities and schools, NHS sites, central government offices, local authorities and blue-chip corporates as well as small to medium-sized firms. The company is keen to forge stronger links with other companies in the area. Said Mr Nuthern: “Sometimes, we see vans that have driven up from the south to deliver office products to companies within our own building – which is madness! “We plan to change this because we know we can not only beat any other genuine prices, but can offer a closer to home service with quicker delivery times. “Ultimately, the local economy will benefit if we all use firms on our door step.” ’
Don’t ignore fire warning RISKY BUSINESS Mark Dalton
IRE damage costs are at F their highest since records began – and busi-
nesses are being warned to be on the alert. Statistics from the Association of British Insurers show a 20% rise in fire claims between the first half of 2007 and the first half of 2009 – with arson a main contributor to the increased costs incurred. More than 40% of all fires in industry and commerce are now started deliberately and insurers are seeing an increasing number of arson claims crossing their desks. One of the common causes of arson is through waste stored outside property in wheeled bins or on pallets. Unoccupied and unfinished properties are also at increased
risk of arson. Where an attack occurs, the building should be re-secured and repaired and then regularly inspected as – once a property begins to deteriorate – an escalation in the frequency and size of incidents can be expected. For occupied buildings, strict security checks should be put in place before the premises are closed at the end of the working day. It is also important to maintain the efficiency of, or upgrade, the sprinkler systems since 99% of fires are controlled in buildings protected by sprinklers. For more information and advice on how you can reduce the risk of arson contact Mark Dalton on 01422 358525 or email email@example.com
Mark Dalton is associate director at Wilby Ltd
KIRKLEES BUSIN Coffee firm has a starring role
A COFFEE company in Huddersfield is taking a bow – after winning a contract worth more than £40,000 to supply West Yorkshire Playhouse with beverages and coffee-making equipment. In a bid to support Leeds in its status as a Fairtrade city, the theatre has selected a range of organic and ethical coffee, tea and hot chocolate from Bradley-based Coopers Coffee – making its hot beverage offering entirely Fairtrade. Theatre-goers will be able to sample Coopers’ most ethically “sound” coffee, the Triple Certified blend, which embodies Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Soil Association. A range of nine premium Fairtrade teas has also been selected as well as a Fairtrade hot chocolate for those who prefer alternative hot beverages to coffee. The playhouse has also signed up to a range of coffee equipment from Coopers Coffee. David Williams, catering manager at the theatre, said: “It was important to us to become a committed Fairtrade organisation and Coopers Coffee offered us the opportunity to do this “The products they have supplied us with are not only ethically sourced, they are also great quality. “They supply the best fair-trade teas and coffee’s available, backed up by quality equipment and fantastic training. “Now theatre-goers can have great performances with a great tasting coffee on the side.” David Cooper, managing director at Cooper’s Coffee, said: “We’re thrilled to have won such a prestigious account and are proud to be able to offer the Playhouse high quality products with such highly regarded ethical credentials.” The contract follows the success of Cooper’s Coffee in winning a £40,000-plus deal to supply hot beverages and equipment to hotel wedding venue Waterton Park, near Wakefield.
More room on hotels website
THE owner of a hotel in Huddersfield has launched a new website. Cedar Court Hotels, which has the Cedar Court Hotel at Ainley Top, has provided sections on the site for special offers and events and content in French, German and Spanish. Each of the group’s hotels at Ainley Top ,Bradford, Wakefield and Harrogate has its own section. John Horvath, group general manager, said: “We worked hard with our web partner, NetConstruct, and we are delighted with the results.” The website also provides the first glimpse of £20m Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa, the group’s new property in York, which is due to open next spring.
BOGE helps paper chase A STATIONERY manufacturer has boosted production efficiency by 25% – thanks to equipment supplied by a Rastrick firm. BOGE Compressors Ltd upgraded existing equipment and installed a new energy management control system for William Sinclair and Sons. Sinclair, based in the Yorkshire Dales, makes the well-known Silvine brand of stationery – including red exercise books and blue and white marble-striped hardback notebooks – at its 21,000sq metre production and warehousing facility. Compressed air is used to power a number of their print machines. BOGE was asked to review the efficiency of the compressed air system as part of a programme to reduce Sinclairs’ energy consumption. Bryan Green, chief engineer at Sinclairs, said: “We already had a BOGE compressor powering one of the machines and we were impressed with it – especially how quiet it was in operation.
“The savings BOGE estimated were substantial and so we decided to upgrade the system.” Said Mr Green: “Since the equipment has been installed, BOGE has been back to data log the new compressed air system and the results have been very pleasing – confirming that we have in fact improved the system efficiency by 25% as estimated. “The service we received from BOGE was very professional and we now rely on them for all our service and backup needs.” BOGE Compressors Ltd is part of German-based BOGE International, which makes a range of screw and piston compressors for all sectors of industry to supply compressed air for a wide range of manufacturing processes. It also supplies a complementary range of filters, dryers and condensate management equipment. The product is sold and serviced through a network of 36 distributors throughout the UK and Ireland.
Ideas have real merit A BATLEY textile firm is piling fending off competition from the Far East – thanks to a training scheme and efficiency drive. Meritmill (UK) Ltd, is a leading maker of pattern books, carpet cards and shade cards for the home furnishings market, decided to launch a rigorous programme of “lean manufacturing” training to ensure it could compete effectively against its overseas rivals. National training provider Business Impact helped the firm set up a training programme involving all 90 staff. Meritmill production manager Greg Ross said the training scheme was helping to make the firm more streamlined and efficient. He said: ““We wanted to examine our manufacturing processes to ensure we were doing everything as efficiently as possible. “Several initiatives have been implemented, but the main benefit has been the staff’s greater understanding of what the aims of the company are and more willingness from staff to be flexible and contribute to other departments and sections of the business.”
■ SHEETS AHEAD: BOGE Compressors Ltd, of Rastrick, has upgraded equipment for stationery firm William Sinclair and Sons to achieve a 25% efficiency improvement
Look out for the reefs LTHOUGH bank rights issues A “book-ended” stock market progress over the past year, there is a
major contrast between the emergency transfusions a year ago – underwritten by governments – and the current round which is happening against a backdrop of greater financial stability, led in many cases by the private sector. With 2009 proving less of an economic disaster than feared, thoughts are inevitably turning towards the prospects for the years ahead, in the hope that strategic themes will carry more weight than the athletic repositioning that proved necessary in the past two years. Since the credit crisis began, keeping to a predetermined investment approach has been trickier than usual. It was hard to be sure which fallen values were bargains and which simply revealed previously overlooked bad news. Similarly, do we now focus on the bounce (risk assets being above their lows) or the level (still below mid-2008)? The need to navigate the reefs and shoals is always with us. However, it is also vital to keep a sense of direction, to avoid drifting into a mangrove swamp. We see three enduring themes that are likely to underlie medium-term investment allocation. The first is a preference for real assets, such as equities and real estate. After the derating and price falls of recent years they are priced to give higher returns than cash or government bonds, albeit with accompanying price volatility. By contrast, bond returns have long been boosted by the fall in yields (akin to a rising PE for equities) but from below 4% there is
CITY TALK Simon Kaye
more scope for yields to rise (producing capital losses) than to fall further. Cash rates seem likely to remain low for years, as developed economies work off their debts. The attraction of real assets is more than relative pricing, however. The global experiment in monetary policy and the temptation of indebted governments to condone a rise in inflation suggest a strategic risk of higher inflation. Real assets offer some protection against this, whereas bonds and cash do not, as the generation which invested in gilts after World War II will attest to. Our second enthusiasm is for emerging economies, where growth trends are producing a shift in the economic centre of gravity away from the West and Japan. We have the debts, they have the money – in contrast to past cycles when the IMF often bailed out the emerging world. Some caution is warranted, as emerging economies can submerge again but the growth opportunities seem likely to remain better in these markets and sectors linked into their industrialisation, such as natural resources.
Our third theme of economic recovery is perhaps more debatable, at least the pace of it. After the massive global policy stimulus, animal spirits have revived, although there are head winds. The debt burden has not gone away and will have to be addressed, so growth in the developed world could be relatively anaemic. This means putting an emphasis on companies whose management or inherent business franchise enable them to prosper in what could remain indifferent economic conditions. These themes are not a “fire and forget” basis for investing and will not guarantee a smooth ride, but they look to have a reasonable shelf-life, assuming the world continues to move from crisis to convalescence.
Simon Kaye is divisional director at Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Architect firm in great shape
AN architectural and interior design company aiming high has won a monthly business award. Chris Taylor, of Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith, presented the Business of the Month Award to Andrew Stoddart, Christine Stoddart and Chris West, of Above & Beyond. The award is run by Eaton Smith and the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. It is open to companies across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield. Based at the impressive Folly Hall Mill redevelopment in Huddersfield, Above & Beyond has clients throughout the UK and works across a range of sectors specialising particularly in transport, healthcare, residential, office and lifestyle projects. Judges in the award heard that the company champions fresh thinking and creative talent – an approach that is channelled into its design work to create great looking buildings but develop great spaces to live and work. Mr Stoddart, managing director of Above & Beyond, said: “We’re delighted to have won this award, which is a great recognition of how our business both feeds into and benefits our local economy. “For us to be recognised by our local
Property prizes PROPERTY professionals have been urged to enter the Pro Yorkshire Awards. The competition run by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors rewards inspirational developments in land, property, construction and the environment. The winners will be named at an awards dinner on May 14, 2010, at Elland Road, Leeds. The closing date is January 22. For details, contact Lisa Metcalf on 01924 229305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosemount House Rosemount Estate Elland
TO LET 2,659 sq ft
LY ON UITE S G E ON AININ REM
Ground floor newly refurbished open plan offices Ample on site car parking Within 1 mile of junction 24 M62 Contact Richard Smith
Contact Jason Metcalfe
014 8 4 4 32 0 4 3 www.hanson-cs.co.uk
■ BY DESIGN: Chris Taylor (centre) presents the award to Andrew Stoddart (third right), Christine Stoddart and Chris West (right) watched by guest judges (from left) Doug Talbott, of Business Link; Sean Jarvis, commercial director of Huddersfield Town; and Kevin Newson, of Yorkshire Bank
business peers through the award is a great achievement and credit to the commitment and hard work put in by all the team here at Above & Beyond to make our business the
success story that it is.” For details of the award, visit www.eatonsmith.co.uk or contact Ian Greenwood on 01484 821389.
Consultancy is called in to help A HEALTH and safety consultancy in Huddersfield has secured a contract in the Midlands. Bradley-based Safety Management and Monitoring Services will provide vital environmental support and advice to Brindl e y p l a c e, a p o p u l a r business and leisure centre complex in the heart of Birmingham city centre. SM&MS will help the award-winning development to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation – the international standard setting out how a company can benefit by an environmental management system in place to reduce its impact on the climate. Brindleyplace is a mixed-use development comprising shops, leisure facilities, restaurants and bars. It also provides offices occupied by major companies such as Royal Bank of Scotland, BT and Lloyds TSB. As part of the project, SM&MS is providing support to enable Brindleyplace to develop and
■ CONTRACT: Phil Morris, of SM&MS
submit the appropriate documentation needed for the accreditation as well as helping with the auditing process. Fiona Loveland, operations and environmental manager at Brindleyplace, said: “We elected to work with SM&MS on the ISO 14001 project because of the health and safety consultancy work they have previously successfully carried out for us. “ We re c og n i s e t h at
achieving ISO 14001 is part of a continuous process of environmental management and we will continue to ensure we meet our environmental objectives as part of our overall business priorities.” Phil Morris, director at SM&MS, said: “We are delighted to be providing support and advice to Brindleyplace regarding the ISO 14001 accreditation. Our expertise in environmental management is second-to-none.” SM&MS was founded in 1994 and has grown into one of the UK’s leading providers of health and safety services – assisting companies in meeting legislative demands and achieving best health and safety practice. T h e c o m p a ny h a s branches in London and Bristol. Its services include health and safety risk assessments, fire safety risk assessments, disability audits, asbestos surveys, environmental management and training.
Improvement in workloads THE rate of decline in construction workloads for Yorkshire firms slowed slightly during the third quarter of the year, says a survey. Figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the trend mirrored national figures, which showed workloads continuing to fall in most construction sectors, but at a slower pace. However, the decline in workloads increased for one sector of the industry in Yorkshire – the non-housing public sector where the net balance of surveyors reporting falling rather than rising workloads fell to minus 16 from a figure of plus 7 last quarter. The biggest improvement came in private sector housing, where the net balance of surveyors reporting a rise rather than a fall in workloads went from minus 32 in the second quarter to plus 4 in the third quarter. Public sector housing rose to a net balance of nil from minus 6 – probably due to the government bringing forward funding for housing improvement projects. The pace of workloads in the commercial property sector rose to minus 7 from minus 29 with the industrial sector seeing a similar improvement. Surveyors are a little more positive about the outlook for over the next 12 months – with 9% more respondents expecting output to rise than fall – the first positive reading since the first quarter of 2008. The proportion of surveyors reporting skill shortages for trades people fell to 2%, the lowest reading since the question was first asked in 1998. RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “With development finance currently still in short supply it is hardly surprising that workloads in the construction industry remain under pressure. “The good news is that the picture does not appear to be getting very much worse and there is even a little bit more optimism about the prospects. “However the continuing squeeze on profit margins in the sector is a concern alongside the likely scaling back in government projects over the coming years. “Sadly, there is little evidence as yet that residential home starts are picking up which is a particular worry given that a shortage of stock is contributing to the recent rebound in house prices.”
Lots of cause for optimism A PROPERTY auction has realised more than £5.2m – providing signs of renewed buyer confidence in the property market. Proceeds for the two-day sale held by Eddisons in Leeds and Manchester exceeded £5.25m. That compares with just over £4m for Eddisons’ last auction in September. Sixty of the 82 lots were sold – representing 73% of the total lots on offer. Tony Webber, of Eddisons, said: “There was certainly a greater mood of optimism among investors. “Development opportunities which have attracted less interest of late due to funding difficulties were the subject of some of the fiercest bidding and achieved prices well beyond their original guide.” The star lots included a part-completed development of four executive properties at Wakefield, which sold for £810,000 off a guide price of £500,000-plus. Butterfield Manor, a former old people’s home and day centre in Leeds, which was offered on the instructions of the city council at a guide price of £200,000-plus sold for £330,000.
Industrial To Let – will split
To Let/May sell
Units 6 & 7 Old Fieldhouse Lane, off A62 Leeds Road, Huddersﬁeld
1812 Building - Ofﬁces
3,179 – 14,064 sq ft Modern industrial/warehouse building with high quality ofﬁces and self-contained yard just off main A62 Leeds Rd between Junction 25 M62 and Huddersﬁeld Town Centre.
Good quality ﬂexible ofﬁce accommodation in tranquil setting with on site parking.
1 ar Ye
Brighouse Trade Park, Armytage Rd I E 7,349 – 16,815 sq ft High quality trade warehouse/warehouse units less than ½ mile from Junction 25 with M62 adjacent Plumb Centre and Powersaver.
To Let – will split
To Let/May Sell
33 – 675m2 (358 – 7,269 sq ft)
38 Dewsbury Road, Ossett
Victoria Court, off Wakeﬁeld Road, Clayton West
379m2 (4,085 sq ft) on 0.21 acres
8,000 – 16,000 sq ft
Single storey warehouse and ofﬁces with large secure yard less than two miles from junction 40 M1.
Recently re-built industrial units beneﬁtting from large service yard and strategic location for Junctions 38 and 39 of the M1.
Units D – L - Industrial/Storage Preliminary Announcement To Let/May Sell
Nile Street, off St Thomas’ Road, Huddersﬁeld 397 – 5,252 m2 (4,271 – 56,533 sq ft) Affordable industrial/storage units now immediately available on very ﬂexible terms. Rent from only £2.25 per sq ft
3,038m2 (32,703 sq ft) Principally single storey workshop premises currently being used as a body repair garage close to town centre just off Chapel Hill with ofﬁces and secure yard.
For more information contact Alec Michael on 07717 870 320 or email email@example.com
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Steve McElroy
Miller Homes MILLER Homes has appointed Huddersfield man Steve McElroy as sales and marketing director for Yorkshire. Mr McElroy, 42, has gained valuable experience in the industry having worked for both estate agents and other national housebuilders. His career has taken him full circle as one of his first managerial roles was with Fairclough Homes, which was taken over by Miller three years ago. Based at the Wakefield office, Mr McElroy (pictured) will be responsible for driving the sales and marketing strategies for the company’s 14 developments across the region. Yorkshire has consistently exceeded its target despite the current economic climate. The region achieved the full year target much earlier than anticipated and is already enjoying nearly 50% of forward sales for quarter one. Its developments in Yorkshire include ones in Huddersfield, Liversedge, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Pontefract and Wakefield.
Movers and shakers
Manifest team achieves lift-off
A MARKETING agency has been burning brightly since its formation 10 years ago. So what better way for the company to celebrate than by launching 10 sky lanterns into the November night sky? The agency, based at New North Road, Huddersfield, was established by joint managing directors Nev Ridley and Shaun Beaumont on November 5, 1999 – since when Manifest has grown to become one of the region’s leading marketing consultancies. Said Nev: “We wanted to celebrate what is a considerable achievement – and considering the date, we thought
it appropriate to release the sky lanterns, one for each year we have been operating.” Manifest’s most recent development has been the launch of a new London office to service the company’s growing client base in the south. “We are entering another exciting period with the recent opening of our London office and continued growth in the north,” said Nev. “This is a fantastic achievement which – of course – could not have happened without the hard work of all our staff and support from our clients.”
■ LAUNCH PARTY: Martin Farrar-Smith (left) Nev Ridley (centre) and Shaun Beaumont
Tree cheers for Christmas!
STAFF at Huddersfield accountancy firm Revell Ward are backing Operation Christmas Child, a charity project run by the Samaritans Purse. People are urged to fill a shoebox with gifts for disadvantaged children in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Karen Borowski, partner at Revell Ward’s Market Street offices, said: “The team have been busy buying appropriate gift items to fill their boxes. It’s been a challenge to wrap the boxes, but great fun buying toys and stationery to fill them.”
H O U S E BU I L D E R Re d ro w (Yorkshire) has appointed Simon Prest as land manager for the region. Skipton-based Mr Prest (pictured) moves back to Yorkshire after three-and-a-half years with Redrow in Lancashire. He also spent a year as a work-based learning adviser with building apprentices at Craven College, Skipton. His new role involves helping the company acquire and develop land for housing. Mr Prest, who has a BSc (Hons) degree in building from Nottingham Trent University, has worked in the industry for more than 12 years. He will be based at Redrow’s Wakefield office, but will work across the region. Redrow (Yorkshire) is developing sites in Doncaster, Selby, Hambleton, Sherburn-in-Elmet and Malton as well as Barton-upon-Humber and Grimsby in North Lincolnshire. It also has new schemes planned in Sheffield and Halifax.
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Switalskis LAW firm Switalskis Solicitors has begun a major period of expansion with the recruitment of a high profile family lawyer to its Huddersfield branch. Mark Christie, previously a partner at Gordons LLP, will lead the family law team at the firm’s New Street office. He brings 30 years' experience to Switalskis. Managing partner John Durkan said: “We are very excited to have Mark on the team. He is acknowledged by his peers as an expert in the field of family law and will enhance our firm's growing profile." Mr Christie (pictured) is the first new lawyer to join Switalskis after the firm launched a Yorkshire-wide recruitment campaign in October. The firm has recently secured £1m in funding from Royal Bank of Scotland and aims to increase its turnover by 33% in the next year, to £8m.
■ CAN PLAN: Tracy Wilson, commercial manager for Huddersfield Town with the Christmas tree tins being sent out by the club to clients THE green shoots of recovery may be slow to emerge – but staff at Huddersfield Town are helping their clients achieve real growth. The football club is sending out more than 140 Christmas trees to customers over the next few weeks. The idea is that the each company will nurture the trees and enter a competition to grow the biggest tree, which will be judged in January. Each Christmas tree tin is filled with everything you need to grow your very
own Christmas tree. The tin is filled with Norway spruce seeds and a growing compound. The seeds will sprout within two to three weeks and can be transplanted outside once Christmas is over. “We wanted to give our customers something different, something lasting and fun,” said Town commercial manager Tracy Nelson. “It’s a unique way of saying thank you for their support over the past year.”
Simplify your life Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management Quayside House, Canal Wharf, Leeds, LS11 5PU Tel: +44 (0)113 245 4488 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Member firm of the London Stock Exchange. Member of Liffe. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management Limited is registered in England. Registered No. 2122340. Registered Office: Quayside House Canal Wharf Leeds LS11 5PU. Offices at: Belfast Cheltenham Edinburgh Farnham Glasgow Leeds Liverpool London Manchester Reigate Sheffield.