Page 1


In association with


5858.41 ▲ 22.52 MARKS & Spencer was the FTSE 100 Index’s top faller yesterday, despite posting a 13% rise in annual profits, as analysts fretted that its results could be “as good as it gets” for the retailer. The high street bellwether, which has enjoyed a strong run in recent weeks, fell 11.4p to 385.6p, or nearly 3%, as investors looked beyond the rise in full-year profits to £714.3m and noted the group’s caution. Despite a share slide at M&S, the FTSE 100 Index staged a modest recovery.

SuperPort plan could see Mersey trade soar EXCLUSIVE by Bill Gleeson


TRADE volumes passing through the Port of Liverpool could treble, it has been claimed. A director at economic development agency, The Mersey Partnership, made the claim while commenting on TMP’s Mersey SuperPort plan in an LDP Business video released today. Mark Basnett, director of investment at TMP said: “The potential within the port and other projects that

are looking to come forward, we can increase a huge amount, maybe by 200%.” Currently just under 30m tonnes of cargo is handled at the Port of Liverpool every year, with another 7m passing through the Manchester Ship Canal. If Mr Basnett’s forecasts are correct, that figure would rise to 90m tonnes at the Port of Liverpool. Gary Hodgson, managing director of Peel Ports, which owns the Port of Liverpool, said: “We are very close to lots and lots of population.

“We are relatively small compared with some ports in Asia, and there’s some catching up to do. “We have huge opportunity in terms of logistics facilities, but the key is being part of a supply chain.” The SuperPort plan includes the creation of a new £200m in-river container berth at Seaforth that would be able to handle the world’s largest cargo ships. Another part of the plan is the recently announced 1.4m sq ft expansion of Stobart’s container handling facilities at Widnes. Peter Nears, head of strategic devel-


Councils join forces for regeneration OFFICIALS in Liverpool and Sefton are joining forces for the next wave of regeneration in Merseyside. PAGE 2

CEO in call CLEANING firm Proventec needs to move into profit soon, its chief executive says. PAGE 5

Ian Heesom, seated, with, from left, practice partners David Collinson, Colin Farrington and Peter Equizi



LiverpoolCommercialDistrictBIDBallot 29thApril–27thMay.


■ SEE Pages 8&9 for full report on the LDP superport debate

Bank backs dentist’s buyout



opment at Peel Holdings, described the plan as a step change. He added: “Looking back to the history of Liverpool, Jesse Hartley in 1844 opened five docks in one go. Gladstone Dock was built in 1927. It had the ability to cater for any ship afloat. That was a step change. Then containerisation in Seaforth in the 1960s was another step change. “We are discussing with a number of users (of the in-river berth).”




A SOUTHPORT dental practice is being acquired by three of its senior dentists. David Collinson, Peter Equizi and Colin Farrington, of the Hoghton Street Dental Practice, are buying the share of the business held by their former colleague John Rostron, who is retiring after 40 years. The business has been in Southport since 1886 but now has approximately 30,000 patients. The Co-operative Bank is providing finance over a period of 10 years. The bank’s Ian Heesom said: “We’re delighted to provide the funding for the dentists to acquire John’s share of the business.”



Yourdistrict. Yoursay. a vibrant business location at theheartof Liverpool


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business







The latest from the creative and digital industries

Updates throughout the day

‘If Ryanair keeps raising its fares, then we may have to ask what is it for?’ businessbeat/

TOP FIVE 1 B&M snaps up 11 Focus stores 2 Bean opens on Princes Dock 3 Stobart plans for the future 4 Peter Hook speaks at festival 5 Hancock: firms join Big Society

Log on to

European goal for Mersey company A BOOTLE flexible packaging specialist is flying the flag for the UK in a European business competition. Weir & Carmichael is representing the country in the European Business Awards, sponsored by HSBC. The firm, which was founded in 1955, is one of the representatives for the UK Trade & Investment Innovation Award for their product Britwrap Reusable Transit Packaging. Britwrap is designed to protect products during transit, while cutting packaging costs, waste, damaged returns and encouraging correct manual handling. Weir & Carmichael commercial director Martin Ellioth said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be selected to represent the United Kingdom.” Adrian Tripp, European Business Awards chief executive, said: “We are looking forward to seeing Weir & Carmichael in the next round.” Final category award winners will be unveiled in Barcelona on November 22.



FOR News, Sport and Business on your phone

Text LDP to 67800

Bid to drive investment as regeneration looks north by Alistair Houghton LDP BUSINESS STAFF

OFFICIALS in Liverpool and Sefton are joining forces to ensure the next wave of regeneration in Merseyside benefits Liverpool and Bootle. The North Liverpool and South Sefton Regeneration Framework (SRF), which is being launched this week, aims to showcase the area to potential investors. The document, produced by Liverpool City Council and Sefton Council alongside Liverpool Vision and the Homes and Communities Agency, focuses on regeneration projects already planned for the area. They include Peel’s Liverpool Waters redevelopment and the plans to create a “superport” at the Port of Liverpool in Bootle. The report focuses on three areas – Prosperity, People and Places. Under Prosperity, the report looks at projects to encourage economic growth in the area. That includes Liverpool Waters, the redevelopment plans for Everton FC and Liverpool FC, and the £150m Project Jennifer regeneration scheme in Everton. Under People, the report lists ways in which agencies could “address the wide range of social issues” in the region. That includes improving standards in the education system, creating a region-wide Health Plan and promoting the arts. And, under Places, the SRF’s partners pledge to keep working to improve housing stock, strengthen local “district centres” such as Bootle town centre, and improve the transport infrastructure. Ian McCarthy, programme director at Liverpool Vision, said the document created a long-term strategy for north Liverpool and south Sefton. He said: “We’re creating a focus on the north of the city. There have been great strides made in the south of Liverpool, and the city centre has been



¦€„› „„ w w w . l d p b u s i n e s s . c o . u k June 2011

Liverpool City Council leader, Cllr Joe Anderson, with Sefton Council leader, Cllr Peter Dowd, for the launch of their joint regeneration plan; inset: the latest edition of LDP Business magazine, out tomorrow Picture: RAY FARLEY transformed over a ten-year period. But the focus for the longer term is to create the right sort of conditions for investment by putting it into context, as this report does.” Liverpool City Council leader, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: “There is a strong and compelling case for the positive regeneration of north Liverpool. “It includes some of the city’s, and indeed the country’s, most deprived communities. But it also has some major assets and unique opportunities that offer huge potential for regeneration, including Liverpool Waters, the investment and development of the Port, Everton Park and Liverpool and Everton football clubs.

“It’s our collective job – as politicians, officers, residents and business people – to make the most of these assets to secure a better future for this part of the city and make it a fantastic place to live, work and visit. “We are working together to lobby central Government, attract investment and improve the prospects of residents and businesses.” Alan Lunt, director of built environment at Sefton Council, said the public sector needed to ensure the right infrastructure was in place so private firms can invest in the area. He said: “If the housing offer is attractive and the schools are well-performing, people will come to live close

Sweet taste of success

We meet restaurant pioneer Tim Bacon

Super plans for city’s port

F u t u re l o o k s b r i g h t f o r inter national trade links lAt the helm: Pro Liverpool CEO’s big plans lPartners: Sefton looks south lPotential: Industrial park to get new lease of life È

to their places of work. With Liverpool city centre nearby, plus the job opportunities that will come from Liverpool Waters and the port, we need to make sure the infrastructure is right so people can live on the doorstep of where they work.” ■ THE latest edition of the LDP Business magazine, free with the Liverpool Daily Post tomorrow, features an in-depth report on the regeneration of south Sefton and a big feature on Liverpool’s superport plans. The magazine also includes an interview with Tim Bacon, managing director of Living Ventures, as well as a review of Liverpool’s popular Piccolino restaurant.

First funding award for region’s eco-friendly sector RUNCORN-BASED hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has received a £400,000 investment from The North West Fund for Energy and Environmental. The fund is managed by Warrington-based CT Invest-

ment Partners, and is the first investment from the £20m energy fund, which is part of a £185m fund to support North West small businesses, backed by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund.

Adam Workman, a partner at CT Investment Partners, said: “With significant financial backing and management support, ACAL Energy is now working towards commercialisation of its fuel cell technology which will radically

improve reliability and cost effectiveness.” The chief executive of The Heath Technical and Business Park based firm Dr SB Cha said its technology will deliver substantial reductions in CO² emissions, and help

build the North West region into a centre for low-carbon industries. Andy Leach, chief executive of North West Business Finance, which is overseeing the £185m pot, said he looks forward to further investments.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business




Battleforgolfingtopspotpushes sportschainuptheleaderboard American Golf, led by chief executive Nick Wood, sold more than 6m golf balls last year

Alistair Houghton speaks to NICK WOOD, chief executive of American Golf AS THEY battle it out on the world’s golf courses for the world number one slot, it’s unlikely Lee Westwood and Luke Donald give much thought to the Warrington business world. But their battle for supremacy has given a timely boost to one of that town’s best-known brands – American Golf. This week, the Warrington-based specialist golfing retailer announced that sales for the year to January 31 stood at £86.6m – up 20% on the previous year. Much of that growth came through store openings, as well as the acquisition of a golf website in March. But Nick Wood, American Golf ’s chief executive, says that the strong recent performance of British and European golfers on the PGA tour has helped stoke more interest in the sport – and therefore in his business. “Europe has got six of the top 10 golfers,” he says. “When you have a debate every week as to whether Lee Westwood and Luke Donald is the world number one, it hits the news more than when Tiger Woods was at the top for eight years.” Leicester-born Wood went to Cambridge University before joining private equity firm 3i, where he soon gained hands-on experience managing its investments. In 1997, he took that experience to the Dixons Group, where he spent 10 years. He ran businesses including the Dixons chain of high street stores and mobile phone retailer The Link. But, in 2008, his career took a dif-

ferent turn when he was asked to join American Golf. The company was founded by Robert and Howard Bilton in the 1970s. In 2004, it underwent a management buyout backed by private equity firm LDC. “I was called by one of the private equity team looking after the investment in 2008,” says Wood. “They were looking to take the business to the next level. “It was still in that transition from being an entrepreneurial business to being a professional retail business. That’s what I’ve been working on. “We already had good knowledge of golf. Now I want to make this company a better retailer.” Wood joined American Golf as chairman, becoming chief executive later that year. Sales of golf equipment did dip in the recession, but Wood says American Golf weathered the downturn better than its competitors. “We probably saw a 10% fall in the market,” he says. “During that time, we performed pretty well. We grew our overall sales partly on the basis of store openings, but our like-for-like sales performed significantly better than -10%. “We have now started to see some improvement – partly generated by this crop of golfers doing well.”

The company has refitted its existing stores, backing that investment with advertising campaigns. Wood says the firm has also been helped by the fact that major equipment manufacturers are promoting technological innovations to their clubs. The chain’s success at improving its stores is shown, says Wood, by the 13.9% rise in like-for-like sales at its stores in the 13 weeks to May 1. He says: “More customers are coming into our stores to buy more because we’re offering what they want – which is a combination of range, service and value.” The company has also launched a store opening programme. “We’ve opened 14 stores in the last 2½ years, including one in Aintree,” says Wood. “We’re investing because of the belief we have in our proposition. “The business was started in Warrington. Its first few stores were around the North West. But then it grew, particularly into Scotland. “We are now a national retailer, but there are some towns and cities we aren’t in – Oxford, Swindon, Reading. They’re pretty sizeable places in which we should be represented. “We cover the North West quite well, and we’re OK in Scotland. But the big opportunities for us are in the Midlands and the South.”

q&a Age: 45 Biggest achievement in business: There’s a moment at a business where you feel everybody is going in the same direction, and working together to beat the competition. I felt that at The Link in 2003, and it’s feeling like that at American Golf at the moment Still to achieve: I’d like to travel the

world a bit more. You don’t get to do that when you run a business – you might just see LA for three days while you visit a supplier Best advice received: Always make a decision, but always be the first to know whether that decision is right. That’s particularly valid in retail, where we need to take a lot of decisions frequently

That expansion will continue, says Wood, at a steady pace. “In time, our proposition could support about 140 stores,” he says. “But we won’t get there overnight, because we’re looking for a specific type of property, close to golf courses and fitting the social demography of the golfer – and the property needs to be at the right price. “We’ll probably look to open six to eight stores a year over the next five years.” In 2004, American Golf bought SW Golf, the operator of the brand. The group now generates 15% of its sales online, with 30% of those sales coming from overseas. “It was the right strategic move for our business,” says Wood. “It’s given us a strong position in the internet space in the UK, but also in Europe. “There are two areas of golf that are growing – one is online sales, the other is the European market. SW gave us access to both of those. “American Golf ’s website is now integrated on the same platform as We’re getting synergies from the acquisition and benefiting from their experience.” The average handicap of American Golf ’s retail staff, says Wood, is eight. The enthusiasm they have for the sport is passed on to customers, which in turn helps drive sales. “They are there to help the amateur golfer improve their game,” says Wood. “The only way they can do that is if they know more than the average golfer. It’s part of our proposition as a specialist retailer that we have strong staff knowledge. “If you’re fanatical about golf, then we’ve got a great job for you where you can talk about golf all day.” Wood is, of course, a keen golfer himself, playing off a handicap of 18. “But my colleagues call me

‘streaky’,” he smiles. “I play very well for about three holes, and then I’m all over the place.” Those colleagues, says Wood, see him as an “open and collaborative” manager. “Some people would say I’m demanding,” he adds, “but at the same time I have a reputation for being very fair in terms of what those demands are.” Wood also prides himself on taking time to explore the company’s store network. “Every summer, me and my operations director visit every store,” he says. “We meet the store teams to get a feel for what they deal with day in, day out. “It’s a job that’s getting bigger – there were only 65 stores when we started out.” Wood spends three days a week at the company’s Warrington headquarters, spending the other days visiting suppliers or the company’s e-commerce base, in Harlow. Wood is based in London, where he has lived for 18 years. “I get the 5.39am from Euston to Warrington most Mondays,” he says. “I’m still at my desk before most of the office.” Outside work, he spends as much time as he can with his wife and nine-year-old twin daughters. Wood remains upbeat about the future of his business, taking the view that, if it can negotiate a 10% fall in its market, then it is well-placed to take advantage when the economy recovers. “We give the amateur golfer the right kit to improve their game,” he says. “If we get that right, we will get more people buying from us and our business will improve. “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved at American Golf, but there’s still a job to be done.”


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business


Contract wins drive Abbey on HAULIER Abbey Logistics has its foot firmly on the accelerator after securing three major contracts. It has signed long-term agreements with global giants Cargill and Unilever to transport bulk liquids from Northern Europe to the UK worth more than £1m a year. Its palletised division – which was created last year after acquiring TP Farrell Transport – has grown steadily in its first year and has

now won a new contract due to start next month with a pan-European Customer with operations in Ellesmere Port. The contract will require 10 trucks and 15 trailers to start. The company, which employs 250 people from its Bootle base, recently rebranded from Abbey Road Tanks to Abbey Logistics Group to better reflect the range of services on offer and has set out a green agenda

with all vehicles bearing the slogan “on the road to a greener future”. The change is part of its strategy which it began in 2009 to add to its core offering of domestic bulk liquid transport. It has diversified into bulk powder transport, palletised transport and European bulk liquid transport in addition to its core business which is bulk liquid transport in the UK.



Waves splashes out in UK drive

Waves’s David Wiles, left, and Mike Taylor, of Liverpool Vision

by Neil Hodgson


A NEW nationwide support agency for small firms has been launched in Liverpool. Speke-based Waves Enterprise will sell business growth and development services and training programmes to firms of all sizes and stages of development. It is an extension of the Waves Sirolli model which created three projects across the city in 2007. Each project funded a business facilitator, backed by a panel of volunteers comprising local residents and businesses in the area who provided free advice and support for new firms, through their facilitator. Waves will continue to offer free help for firms in central and South Liverpool, but profits from Waves Enterprise – which is supported by the city’s economic development company Liverpool Vision – will help fund Waves’s free services for local firms. David Wiles, chair of Waves and chief executive of Waves Enterprise, said: “There is little doubt that the future success of our economy will depend on the success of our small and medium-sized enterprises.

“High-quality business support is vital and in these times of reduced public spending we believe that we now offer business support solutions that are affordable, effective and are of real benefit to business.” He added: “The new Waves Enterprise model draws upon the considerable talents of the Waves facilitation panel as well as a dedicated management team to provide a more comprehensive service. “It is the realisation of a long-held vision for the team of business owners and consultants who have worked with us since 2007. “Our first weeks of operation have seen our first clients through the doors and they are already beginning to see results.” Mike Taylor, deputy chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: “Waves Enterprise has responded to the reduction in public funding by developing a whole range of low-cost services businesses will want and can afford, helping to unlock entrepreneurial talent and building on the city’s growing business success. “We need to reduce the dependency of the city on public sector jobs, keeping what we’ve got, but also to help people who want to set up in business in every way we can, creating new jobs and wealth. “We wish the initiative every success.”

World-class exam result A LIVERPOOL trainee accountant has been placed first out of more than 27,000 candidates worldwide. Simon Ashworth, who works at Grant Thornton’s Liverpool office, scored 98% in his ACCA Performance Management paper. He studied at Kaplan,

which is based in the Cotton Exchange, in Liverpool’s commercial district. Nick Drape, tutor at training firm Kaplan, said: “From my point of view, it was clear that Simon took to the subject well from day one. “He clearly puts a lot of effort in to his studies and

the prize was just rewards for all that hard work. As a tutor, such events make you very proud.” Mr Ashworth added: “I am over the moon with this result and would like to thank my tutor at and colleagues at Grant Thornton for their support”.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business



Iceland leads retail pack as sales increase beats rivals FROZEN food chain Iceland heaped pressure on potential bidders yesterday by emerging as one of the winners from the industry’s latest sales figures. Revenues at Deeside-based Iceland increased 5.7% in the 12 weeks to May 16, beating the grocery market as a whole, which saw growth of

4.8%, according to figures released by Kantar Worldpanel. Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, is understood to be mulling a £1.5bn for the chain, but the strong performance could entice it, or other potential bidders, to pay more. Iceland counts for 1.9% of

the grocery market. The figures also reveal that discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl saw their sales grow by 15.4% and 16.1% respectively, as cash-strapped shoppers continued to tighten their belts in the face of soaring inflation, tax hikes and spending cuts. German chain Aldi now has a record 3.4% of food and drink

sales. The grocery market, which had seen sales growth of just 2.6% in the 12 weeks to March 20, was boosted by recent hot weather, the Royal Wedding and Easter, said Kantar. Sales were up 7.8% in the four weeks to May 15. Edward Garner, communications director at Kantar, said: “A rising tide lifts all boats

and the top retailers performed well this month buoyed by the lifted market growth rate.” Waitrose was among the top performers, with sales up 8.8%, increasing its market share to 4.3% from 4.1%. Supermarket leader Tesco increased its market share to 30.7% from 30.6%.

Proventec’s losses halve as dash for profit starts by Neil Hodgson


SPECIALIST cleaning company Proventec has more than halved its interim losses, but chief executive David Chestnutt said it was imperative for the company to stem losses and produce a profit. The Rodney Street-based business has developed steam cleaning techniques to combat hospital superbugs such as MRSA and C-difficile which have also been developed for use in industrial sectors. Last year, it underwent a major refinancing through a debt for equity swap with key Dutch shareholder InnoConcepts NV. The deal has helped reduce costs, but the company still reported a pre-tax loss of £715,000 in the six months to March 31, although this compared with a £1.6m loss last year. Turnover grew by 6% in the six month period to £7.5m. Mr Chestnutt said: “Having restructured the group’s finances, the focus during the period has been on driving sales and developing our markets. “Despite the continued difficult trading conditions Proventec has reported a 6% increase in revenues compared to the same period last year.” He added: “We have reported a significantly reduced loss compared to the previous period and the board strives to identify new growth opportunities to put the group in a stronger

commercial and financial position. The group’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) loss of £423,000 in the six-month period is a considerable improvement in the group’s performance, but it is still a loss and as such these losses must be stemmed as quickly as possible as Proventec tries to return to profit.” Administrative costs have been cut by 12%; the group said the janitorial supplies market remains robust; and it achieved “positive results” from a clinical trial of its steam cleaning equipment for the Durham and Darlington NHS Trust, and said that the potential growth opportunities for industrial steam cleaning equipment are “significant”. However, Mr Chestnutt acknowledged that the opportunities for its industrial operation are tempered by the fact that each customer currently requires a “bespoke solution”. Nevertheless, chairman Michael Hough said the board “continues to look for opportunities that will strengthen the group and improve its performance”. Proventec’s shares were readmitted to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on December 8 last year after a six-month absence. Its stock had been suspended after the breakdown of refinancing talks. But trading recommenced after the company agreed its debt for equity swap with InnoConcepts NV after lengthy negotiations.

Charity in call to business leaders LIVERPOOL charity Neurosupport is appealing to the region’s business community to help it improve its profile and fund-raising efforts. The Norton Street organisation provides non-medical advice to people with neurological conditions and their families, friends and carers. It says neurological conditions are often misunderstood and stigmatised by society. Chief executive Maureen Kelly said: “As a result, the charity seeks to combat this by offering up-to-date information, increasing the awareness of neurological conditions, advance discussion and debate, nurture self-confidence and independence, putting forward examples of ability, and pushing for improved services for people with neurological conditions.” As part of her initiative to improve provision in the community, she is proposing to create the Neurosupport North West Business Development Board and is appealing for up to 12 leading business people to offer their expertise at monthly early morning meetings. She said they would act as a “sounding board” for proposals and fundraising events. Anyone wishing to put themselves forward to join the development board is asked to email alec@neurosupport. or maureen@ or call 0151-293 2999 and speak to either Alec or Maureen.


MOBILE Proventec chief executive David Chestnutt said the firm’s focus was on ‘driving sales and developing our markets’

CCTV firm wins Wirral contract

Tax warning

MERSEYSIDE CCTV specialist OSS Security has won a contract for a Wirral scheme. The installation, worth £70,000, is set to cover all areas of the Marine Point project in New Brighton, which is being led by Neptune Wirral.

LIVERPOOL accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth is warning restaurant owners and other cash businesses in Merseyside that HM Revenue & Customs is planning a clampdown. The firm said HMRC has reported that London restaurants dodging tax will be contacted in the next few weeks before it rolls out its investigations to the North West.

The development is due to open in September and includes a 24,000 sq ft casino, an eight-screen 3D digital cinema, a Morrison’s supermarket, a restaurant plaza, a Travelodge and free car park. The system includes a mix


of “point and go” fully functional dome and static cameras. The point and go domes have technology which allows the operator of the system to point the on screen cursor to a position where the dome will automatically respond to.

FOR News, Sport and Business on your phone

Text LDP to 67800


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business



Timpson is key-note speaker at awards

Venmore TV auction nets £1.2m-plus

by Alex Turner


THE chairman of shoe repair and key-cutting chain Timpson will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Liverpool Daily Post Regional Business Awards. The awards ceremony, the most prestigious event in Merseyside’s business year, will be held at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Thursday, June 23. John Timpson will be the event’s keynote speaker while the night will be compered by journalist-turnedcelebrity dancer John Sergeant. Mr Sergeant has previously worked as a politics reporter for the BBC and ITN, and famously withdrew from the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing after a storm of protests about his success in the competition. Categories include the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year Award and the DLA Piper Business Person of the Year title. This year, the KPMG Business of the Year award – which has previously been won by outstanding firms Cammell Laird and Princes Foods – will be fought out between logistics group Stobart, vouchers and gift card firm Park Group, and Skelmersdale-based Hotter Comfort Concept Shoes. The full shortlist can be read online at www.regionalbusiness John Timpson has led Timpson since 1983, and has seen it grow into a £125m-turnover business. He joined the original family footwear business, William Timpson, soon after graduating from Nottingham University, and in 1970 became the director responsible for buying. The company was bought by the UDS Group in 1973, and Mr Timpson continued his rise through the ranks. But, in 1983, he led a £42m management buyout of the company. And, in 1987, he sold its shoe shops and began concentrating on the shoe repair and key cutting business.

John Timpson, pictured here when Childline founder Esther Rantzen came to thank him and his firm for their generous support, led a management buyout in 1983 of the company, which dates back to 1869 Timpson has since diversified into engraving, watch repairs, dry cleaning and photo processing. In 1995, it bought the 120-shop Automagic chain, while in 2003 he bought Minit UK and its 200 repair shops. In June, 2008, it bought 40 Sainsbury’s concessions, and in December that year it bought 187 Klick and Max

Spielmann photo processing stores. Today, the Timpson chain has more than 800 branches nationwide. Mr Timpson, who lives in Cheshire, has five children. He and his wife, Alex, were foster carers for 29 years, during which time they fostered more than 80 children. In 2000, he wrote a book, Dear

James, in which he passes lessons on to his son. Last year, he published Upside Down Management: A Common Sense Guide to Better Business. He was awarded a CBE in 2004. ■ TO BOOK places at this year’s event, please call 0151 472 2422. Single places cost £95 plus VAT. A table of ten is £950, plus VAT.

Run Services in school revamp

Borrowing figures cast doubt on Government’s deficit drive

RUN SErvices have been appointed by GB Building Solutions and Manchester City Council to redevelop a Manchester school in a project worth more than £300,000. The Liverpool-based regeneration firm will transform Lily Lane Primary School, in Moston, in an 18-week project, extending the nursery building with the construction of two extra classrooms. Nigel Ward, technical manager at Run Services, said: “We are building two extra classrooms complete with modern facilities to create further space for the children. “Building work on schools is a key growth area for us and we have recently completed several successful school projects and we are really pleased to add this scheme to our portfolio.” Other school schemes Run has recently completed include the refurbishment of Abraham Moss Learning Centre, in Crumpsall.

THE Government’s deficit reduction plans were dealt a blow yesterday after official figures revealed that last month’s borrowing figures were the highest ever recorded for the month of April. Public borrowing, excluding financial interventions such as bank bail-outs, hit £10bn, compared with £7.3bn the previous year, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figure, which is higher than City expectations of £6.5bn, will cast doubt on whether the Government can meet its target of bringing the deficit down to £122bn this

financial year. The ONS said tax receipts fell year on year, which had been boosted to the tune of £3.5bn a year earlier by the tax on bankers’ bonuses. However, there was some good news for the Government as borrowing figures for the year to March 2011 were revised downwards to £139.4bn, from £141.1bn. This was mainly caused by tax receipts being boosted after VAT was hiked to 20% from 17.5% previously, said the ONS. But the higher-than-expected borrowing in April pushed the Government’s


debt to a record £910.1bn, or 60.1% of GDP. A spokesman for the Treasury said: “One-off factors affected borrowing this month, but it is clear from the downward revision to last year’s borrowing figures that the Government’s deficit reduction strategy is making headway in dealing with our unsustainable deficit.” The Treasury said the bonus tax caused a glut of payments last April. Its new levy on bank’s balance sheets will raise more money than the bonus tax but will be spread more evenly throughout the year.

LIVERPOOL property auctioneer Venmore says its May event generated sales of more than £1.2m. The firm, which welcomed BBC TV’s Homes under the Hammer to film the auction for an up and coming show, offered 47 lots for sale at the auction which was held at the Hilton Hotel, in Liverpool One. High levels of preauction activity resulted in 10 properties being sold prior to the event, including Lot 11, The Stables Bar, in Garston. The auction saw 60% of the residential lots on offer sold and attracted more than 300 people. Nick Ball, head of auctions at Venmore, said: “It was really encouraging to see so many investors in attendance which resulted in some competitive bidding wars. “We had a packed out auction room at the Hilton this month, and there are still some opportunities to secure some great properties including lot 38, a prime city centre property located in Sir Thomas Street.” Latest figures from auction data specialist, Essential Information Group, showed the number of properties successfully sold at auction in April was 7% higher when compared to the same period in 2010. James Kersh, of Liverpool’s Sutton Kersh, said: “There has been a noticeable improvement in activity in the auction market.”



FOR the latest news from the creative sector

www. ldpcreative.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business




Jury still out as Cameron moves to relaunch maligned Big Society

Matt Johnson

ONE of David Cameron’s main focuses when coming to power just over 12 months ago – his desire to create a Big Society – has been kicked around by all and sundry,

applauded by some and ridiculed by others. This week, the PM has returned to his theme to promote the Big Society. This time out, he has played to the perceived strength of his case by zooming in on the way British citizens currently view charitable donations and volunteering. In a renewed effort to promote the Big Society, he is calling for us to give more to charity – in terms of both time and money. Downing Street strategists are looking at how social networking sites can help the Government deliver this part of its agenda. Initiatives include being able to

make charitable donations directly from cash machines or via mobile phones. And, in terms of giving time by volunteering, social networking sites may provide a new vehicle capable of reaching new audiences. When Big Society was first publicised, critics soon emerged. Among them were those who, rather than suggest the devil was in the detail, worried more that there was not enough detail. The more surprising, then, that when he returned to his theme on Monday, Mr Cameron appeared a

little light on detail. For example, the statement on one official site that: “Government policies will also be tested for social value as well as value for money.” Although this particular plank of policy may need more detail, others have been worked up to be presented in what looks to be a much more viable and credible manner. For example, this week we have been told that there will be a £10m social action fund to support measures to promote giving and boost volunteering in priority areas in England; prizes of

‘Initiatives include donations through mobiles’

up to £100,000 for the best solutions to “volunteer challenges”; a £30m fund to improve the effectiveness of infrastructure organisations which support front-line volunteering; £1m to support the Youthnet volunteering website and £700,000 to support Philanthropy UK, which connects wealthy donors to charities. We could believe there is plenty of detail there. But whether or not it’s enough of the sort of detail required to re-energise a previously criticised policy remains to be seen. ■ MATT JOHNSON is chief executive of Mando Group

Women’s Organisation explores Boston trade links LIVERPOOL female enterprise agency The Women’s Organisation linked up with some of the leading female entrepreneurs in the US, including fashion designer Donna Karan, at a high-profile conference in Boston. Chief executive Maggie O’Carroll attended the Simmons Leadership Conference which discussed promoting growth of women’s businesses through international trading. It follows a recent trade mission from Boston to Liverpool, inspired by the takeover of Liverpool FC by the Boston-based Fenway Sports Group last October. It is hoped the new links can boost trade between the two cities. Ms O’Carroll said: “The opportunities for Merseyside and wider women’s business owners to trade with the US are immense.” She added that initiatives like the Golden SEED Angel investment programme, which involves a group of 130 US female “angels” investing in women-led businesses, could present excellent opportunities for female enterprises based in Merseyside.

Maggie O’Carroll, right, Prof Teresa Nelson (Simmons School of Management), left, and Donna Karan

Turbulence in Middle East hitsHolidaybreakrevenues by Graeme Evans


THE owner of school trips firm PGL said its adventure holidays arm faced a £1.5m hit to profits this year, due to cancellations and lower bookings caused by the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Cheshire-based Holidaybreak said the business, which includes the brand Explore, had enjoyed a period of “very strong trading” prior to the disruption. It said the uprisings led to high levels of cancellations and lower levels

of forward bookings, as well as increased costs in dealing with the disruption. The events are estimated to have cost the division around £1m in lost profit in the first half of the financial year, with a further £500,000 in the second half. It has refined its product offering to focus on more profitable tours but said sales for the adventure arm were still 3% below last year. Losses in adventure rose to £2m from £600,000 a year earlier in the six months to March 31, contributing to wider losses for the group over the

seasonally quieter half-year of £19.2m, up from £17.7m last year. Holidaybreak was also impacted by tougher trading conditions in its Superbreak hotels division, where half-year profits fell £300,000 to £4.2m. Hotel sales are currently 9% below last year, although this is partly due to the loss of lower-margin airport hotel contracts with large travel agents. Holidaybreak said its education arm – its biggest operation and much less exposed to discretionary spending – continued to trade well, with 96% of revenues already secured for this financial year and 39% for 2012.

The company’s PGL UK centres will be accommodating around 6,000 schools at sites including Liddington, in Wiltshire, and Windmill Hill, on the Sussex Downs, during this year. It also reported an “excellent trading performance” from Meininger following the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Berlin-based business, which has city centre sites near cultural locations, including in Cologne, Frankfurt, Vienna, London and Munich. Chief executive Martin Davies said: “We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half despite the difficult trading environment.”

Franchise model ‘thriving in UK’ THE North West franchise industry is holding steady in the face of tough economic conditions, a survey reveals. Franchised businesses in the region generated £1.3bn last year – the same as in 2009 – according to the study by NatWest and the British Franchise Association (BFA). Nationally, in 2010, franchising further increased turnover by £600m to £12.4bn. Since 2006, the sector’s turnover, and number of franchise systems, have both grown by 15%, despite a UK GDP growth rate of only 9.4% in the same period. The number of franchise systems operating in the UK has grown to 897 over the past year, increasing the number of franchise business units to 36,900. An extra 56,000 jobs have been created, taking total employment in the sector to 521,000. Franchising is also helping to drive international trade. Around a third of UK franchisors have units located outside of the UK, additionally, 38% of domestic only franchises plan to expand abroad. Average start-up costs also reduced for a second year to £46,600. Brian Smart, director general of the BFA, said: “Yet again, franchising has demonstrated its inherent tenacity and stability, despite a tough climate last year. “This means many more sustainable business start-ups and jobs have been created by ethical franchising – further helping the UK economy.”


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business Bill Gleeson Eurozone fears bring instability to global markets PRESIDENT Obama’s trip to Europe could hardly have suffered from worse timing. Not only is Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano spewing tonnes of ash into Europe’s airspace, causing the President to reschedule his itinerary for fear of being trapped for weeks in Ireland, but there are also mounting protests in the Continent against public sector spending cuts and rising unemployment. At the same time, fears that Greece, Italy and Spain will be unable to re-pay their sovereign debts without an expensive bail-out sent markets in Europe and North America tumbling earlier this week. None of this will, of course, come as a surprise to those who have observed the behaviour of many Eurozone nations since the euro was created. Italy, in particular, has consistently stretched its budgets to well beyond the internationally agreed limits. It is impossible to countenance default by any European nation, never mind the relatively big ones like Spain and Italy. Default would cost the world’s banks, including those here in London, a fortune. It would shoot to pieces the recent recapitalisation of our financial institutions. We would have a credit crunch all over again, making the situation infinitely more arduous than it is now. In reality, there is only one solution. This will have to take the form of a combination of deeper spending cuts by the governments of the struggling nations and German largesse. It won’t go down well in Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich, but not to contribute generously to restructure the debts of struggling nations would cause the eurozone project to implode, causing several years of recession to follow. Britain appears to have got lucky and escaped lightly from this crisis

because we did not join the euro. Nobody could have foreseen the scale of the problem as it has emerged today, but many certainly did predict that we would run the risk of having to bail out weaker countries if we joined the single currency. If Europe thinks it has problems, however, President Obama may be able to say a word or two to set the financial troubles here into context against the issues he’s got back in the US. American politicians are debating whether or not to extend US national debt from $14trillion to $16trillion by 2012. The deal has to be clinched by August, but both Republican and Democrat senators are digging in their heels along dogmatic lines and refusing to reach a consensus. The Republicans are refusing to permit tax increases while the Democrats won’t countenance cuts to the nation’s healthcare budgets. Unless a deal is done and a Federal budget agreed, the US government will default on its repayment terms, something that would throw the world’s economy into chaos. MARKS & SPENCER is a barometer for the health of Britain’s high street. So what can we read into yesterday’s trading figures from the company? On the face of it, the results were quite good. Annual pre-tax profit was up 13% to £714m, beating forecasts. M&S, however, remains cautious about the outlook for the high street. That chimes with various warnings in recent days from the British Retail Consortium and Ernst & Young’s ITEM club that the UK’s retail trade will remain slow for the foreseeable future. M&S is showing confidence in the future by announcing a major re-fit plan for its stores, which it hopes will restore its former profitability.

The logistics of The superport plans can supercharge the economy in the next decade. Alex Turner reports THE superport concept is a simple one, says Steve O’Connor. “It’s really about road, rail and the water and air coming together,” he said. “We are blessed with a fabulous road network in the North West, then overlay that with the West Coast Main Line. “We see the opportunity of all the modes of travel being connected so there’s a cohesive plan, which gives a competitive edge particularly when we are trying to attract retailers.” Mr O’Connor was named the Liverpool Daily Post’s business person of the year in 2010 for his part in capitalising on that opportunity. As managing director of Stobart Ports, he is effectively responsible for the commercialisation of the Mersey Multimodal Gateway (3MG) scheme in Widnes. Its location alongside the West Coast Main Line and near to the M6, M62 and M56 motorways maximises the efficiency of its distribution network. That attracted Tesco to the site, and the retailer opened a 528,000 sq ft chilled distribution facility last May which has created about 1,200 jobs. “The retailers tend to cluster and when one retailer comes in – when they see the whole supply chain is robust and sustainable – they look to see how robust the distribution links are,” he said. The superport scheme brings together 3MG, and the sub-region’s other key transport assets, including the Port of Liverpool, Manchester Ship Canal, the deep-water post-Panamax in-river terminal and Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA). An action plan published earlier this year highlighted the economic impact the £1.8bn Superport developments are expected to have. Analysts Amion Consulting have forecast the potential for more than 21,000 new jobs and an additional £6.1bn GVA – gross value added, a measure of economic output – by 2020, then nearly 30,000 jobs and another £18.3bn of GVA by 2030. “There’s a lot that makes it super,” said Mark Basnett, director of investment at The Mersey Partnership (TMP). “A lot of that is the potential it has to drive the economy. “The port has been central to driving the wealth of the city and city region for many years. “It has not punched its weight over the last 20 years in terms of it being the huge driver it could be. “Put together with road and rail and the knowledge sectors together, it can make a very big difference to the economy over the next 10-15 years.” Peter Nears, strategic planning director at Peel Holdings – which owns the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, as well as having a minority stake in JLA – disagreed with Mr Basnett’s underwhelming assessment of the port’s success. He said: “We are getting better. We are punching our weight, but when I worked on the Ship Canal we were often competing with the Port of Liverpool. “The Ship Canal was built by the traders of Manchester to bypass Liver-

A panel discussed the superport plans – left to right, Steve O'Connor, of Stobar Gleeson; Peter Nears; of Peel Holdings; and The Mersey Partnership’s Mark Bas pool and they were competitors for many years. “Peel buying the Port of Liverpool has brought the two together. “We can now synergise them. That enables us now to hopefully punch our weight.” Although tonnage through the Port last year, of 30m tonnes, was 11% below its 2005 peak, the Port’s preferred measure of its position and progress is market share of unitised traffic, arguing that tonnage is an outdated measurement. In terms of market share, it has shown five years of growth, climbing steadily from 4.51% of UK trade in 2005 to 5.25% last year. Gary Hodgson, managing director of Peel Ports, said: “Trade is not slow. We beat the market last year by about 5-6%. “In the context of superport, we have to look at it as an integrated strategy. “But I want to put into context something about the superport. If a port just sees itself as a point of entry, it has lost the plot. “We have huge opportunity in terms of

‘Port has been central to driving wealth’

logistics facilities but the key is being part of a supply chain.” The next stage in the superport’s development is the planned post-Panamax terminal at Seaforth. That will enable the port to handle the largest vessels – dubbed post-Panamax because they will only be able to navigate the Panama Canal when it is widened, which is due to be completed by 2014. The investment – “it will be north of £200m”, said Mr Nears – will be one of the North West’s biggest capital projects, and aims to make Liverpool the first port of choice for northern Britain and Ireland. The in-river double berth will be able to handle container ships carrying up to 13,000 teu (20ft equivalent units). “It offers the ability to make a step change,” Mr Nears said. “Looking back to the history of Liverpool, Jesse Hartley in 1844 opened five docks in one go. Gladstone Dock was built in 1927, it had the ability to cater for any ship afloat and was future-proof, that was a step change. “Then containerisation in Seaforth in the 1960s was another step change.” He acknowledged that “it is going to be


Wednesday, May 25, 2011 IN ASSOCIATION WITH

the big feature


of region’s growth

Road, rail, air and sea all present options for moving goods around the region

Superport plans can boost businesses in all sectors

art Ports; Gary Hodgson, of Peel Ports; Liverpool Daily Post business editor Bill snett Picture: COLIN LANE/ tmcl180511debate-1 a push to be ready and open” by the time the Panama Canal widening is completed, but that Peel remains committed to making the development happen. It is in talks with users and financiers to deliver the terminal. Mr Nears added: “We have always delivered before. People said the same about John Lennon Airport and Media City. But we can’t do everything at once and we have to go with the economic cycles and we are committed to deliver it.” Mr Hodgson outlined the scale of the opportunity that exists for the Port of Liverpool, and the sub-region’s other logistics operators. “Slightly over 50% of containers end up in our hinterland, but only 6% of that comes through Liverpool,” he said. “The containers need to get here. We don’t have the facilities because of the locks. It’s not about creating the demand, the demand is there. “There’ll be seven calls per berth and two berths – that’s 14 calls a week. “That will take us up to 2m TEUs capability.”

He believes the uplift would see Liverpool move towards Felixstowe, which currently has 10% of the market, and London, with 7%. Although the label of superport more commonly refers to the global hubs of trade, like Dubai or Singapore, TMP’s Mr Basnett argues that the difference is one of quantity, not quality. “The principle is the same,” he said. “It’s being a superport for the UK. We are not of the scale of Dubai or Singapore, but we have expertise that is similar. “The potential within the port and 3MG and other projects that are looking to come forward, we can increase a huge amount. “It’s not just about the port improving, it’s also facilities. It’s about attracting retailers, manufacturers, to use the infrastructure that’s here. “That’s why it’s an integrated process, so all of that infrastructure works together.” ■ TO VIEW the LDP Business debate online, log onto

‘It offers the ability to make a step change’

THE Mersey Partnership (TMP) is keen to make sure that businesses in all sectors consider the potential benefits from being involved with the superport developments. Mark Basnett, TMP’s director of investment, said: “Whether it is the post-Panamax terminal or the expansion of 3MG – they will need professionals, they need construction. “We are already seeing it to some extent. Businesses that are here will look to take more space, and those that aren’t here will look to come here when their leases are up. “We need the demand and we are looking at being pretty full in terms of large, good quality distribution space.” This week, Stobart has announced it has submitted its masterplan for the remaining 1.4m sq ft of land at 3MG to Halton Council. Analysts Amion Consulting assessed the impact on GVA – gross value added, a measure of economic output – of the expansion of 3MG being worth £1.3bn by 2020. It is the most well-progressed

element of the superport plan, but could be quickly joined by other elements. The post-Panamax facility is pencilled in for completion in 2014 – although that remains an ambition rather than a schedule – but could generate £1.3bn GVA and create more than 4,000 jobs. The long-awaited second bridge across the River Mersey, the Mersey Gateway, is expected to be opened in 2015 and is earmarked to deliver GVA growth of £450m by 2020. Peel’s plans to develop key logistics sites along the Manchester Ship Canal – principally Port Warrington and Port Salford – is forecast to bring 1,700 jobs and £430m GVA, while Stobart’s Port Weston plans, at Runcorn, could bring 1,400 jobs and £450m GVA. Two long-term elements of the plan could also boost the sub-region’s economy – 20-year expansion plans at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and local authorities bringing forward prime distribution sites and premises.

private business

Efficiency catalyst for firm’s growth

SPECIALIST chemicals firm Azelis UK got back on its strong growth track last year, with profits also increasing. The Runcorn-based distributor increased sales by 11% to £76.9m in 2010 – an increase of more than £30m in the last four years. Pre-tax profits reached £2.9m, an 18% annual rise and an improvement from a break-even position in 2007. Azelis introduced enterprise resource planning systems to improve efficiency and during 2010 increased its gross margin from 10.8% to 13.2%. In accounts filed at Companies House, the directors looked forward to continued improvements. It said: “The strategy of the company is to continue to pursue further growth in the core sectors in which the Azelis group of companies is present. “This includes seeking further growth in the UK in markets such as coatings and polymers, plastics additives, animal feed and chemical industries.” No dividends were paid during the financial year, resulting in an increase in shareholders’ funds of nearly £2m, to £4.57m. However, interest payments of £476,000 were made to group companies, in addition to £819,000 on bank facilities. Amounts owing to group companies stood at a net total of £5.8m at the year, up from £4.9m a year earlier. Azelis UK is part of a European group, Azelis, which distributes speciality chemicals, polymers and related services. It rebranded its UK operation, which was previously known as Chance & Hunt, at the start of this year. The Luxembourg-based parent company bought the Runcorn operation in 2002. Chance and Hunt was originally established as a chemical company in 1835. ALEX TURNER


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business briefing Gold rush expected to boost profits PAWNBROKER Albemarle & Bond said full-year results will be at the top end of analyst expectations as its pledge book stood at £37m on April 30 – up from £36m, at the end of 2010. The company, which operates more than 140 stores in the UK, said gold buying continued to contribute significantly and the gross margin levels reported at the half year have been sustained.

Home run for Homeserve EMERGENCY repair and insurance group Homeserve posted a 16% rise in underlying pre-tax profits in the year to March 31. The West Midlands-based company said the strong results came as it increased its customer base by 14% to 14.9m.

Lending up SPECIALIST buy-to-let mortgage lender Paragon Group said pre-tax profits increased by 34.8% to £39.5m in the six months to March 31. The Solihull-based firm said new lending had progressed well as it advanced £50.2m in loans.

Oil takeover BRITISH firm Tullow Oil has acquired Dutch firm Nuon Exploration and Production for £262.1m from its parent the Vattenfall. Nuon has 30 gas-producing fields in the North Sea, which Tullow will take over, boosting its North Sea production by 9,000 barrels per day to around 23,000 barrels.



Tel: 0151 546 5577 Fax: 0151 546 5588 Accredited with BS7412 & BS7950




Credit where it’s due for struggling sole traders by Neil Hodgson


THE Project Merlin shortfall in bank lending to small firms will have come as no surprise to many sole traders. But one source of finance, which sprang from the friendly societies of the 18th century, is growing in popularity and could expand even further if a proposed change to legislation occurs later this year. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions owned and controlled by their members to promote thrift, provide credit at competitive rates and other financial services to members. Surplus funds are shared between savers, which means loan interest can be kept low. Many exist to further the development of the communities they are based in. They grew in popularity in 1979 when the Credit Unions Act was passed. Current legislation limits them to operate a single member system. But this is ideal for the “one-man band” or business that faces daunting lending criteria from the big banks unwilling to take a risk on a small, unproven venture. Restrictions and hurdles facing small businesses that, ironically, weren’t in evidence before the 2008 credit crunch, have seen an increase in sole business owners turning to credit unions for support. Tracey Fletcher, chief executive of Liverpool-based Partners Credit Union, said: “There has been an increase, and this area is growing, slowly but surely. “We’re finding more and more people who ordinarily wouldn’t go to a credit union are coming to us for help. “They complain about their treatment from the banks or the fact they wouldn’t go to a bank for fear of refusal.” She said having that “light bulb moment” and coming up with a business idea is the easy part for entrepreneurs: “What is really hard is getting the investment to enable you to start or expand your business, because, even with the greatest idea in the world, you always have to wait to get a return and generally have to invest start-up capital. “Banks don’t necessarily want to help because you can’t demonstrate success, whereas the credit union listens, understands and they don’t naturally adopt the cold commerce that is performed by banks.” Individual members who Dale Street-based Partners – which also has offices in St Helens and Bootle – have helped realise their business dreams include young women finishing beauty college training and keen to start up a mobile business, to the self-employed who need new vehicles or equipment to further their venture. One grateful recipient was Jenny Kirk, who set up her venture, Crosswood Consultancy, in April, 2010. Ms Kirk, from Melling, said: “Although I was working in a job I loved, I knew I could do more.” She provides bespoke training such as business development, strategic

Enterprise Credit Union chief Karen Bennett oversees assets of £4.7m on behalf of 8,000 members Picture: ANDREW TEEBAY/ at190511acredit-1

Jenny Kirk – set up with the support of Partners Credit Union Picture: JAMES MALONEY/ jm230511ldpbiz-1

planning, project management and marketing: “We also address information technology migration issues that companies face when acquisitions and mergers take place.” Ms Kirk needed £20,000 for equipment and said: “I knew the credit union was a viable option for me and they would lend me the money. “As well as this, I knew both my savings and loan were insured for free.” Last November, she was offered a nine-month contract with Lloyds TSB: “Ironically, this was the first bank that turned me down for a loan.” Even at this early stage, she already employs two part-time staff. Enterprise Credit Union has also

noted a rise in enquiries from sole traders at its Huyton headquarters and its three satellites in Prescot, Page Moss and Dovecot. Chief executive Karen Bennett said members they have helped include mobile hairdressers, mobile DJs, a beauty salon, a cafe, and taxi drivers. “A lot of taxi drivers contact us for loans for their annual insurance and MoT costs on their cabs.” Lending rates are extremely competitive. For example, a £1,000 loan over 12 months would attract interest of just £63, which falls as the loan reduces. And while credit unions may not rival someone like Santander as, it claims, the small business bank of choice, many sole traders do bank with

them. Ms Bennett said: “A lot of selfemployed people save with us. They see us as a community bank because the money is kept in the community.” Enterprise was set up in 1988 and by 1998 had 500 members and assets of £47,000. Today, it boasts more than 8,000 members and assets of £4.7m. But Ms Bennett said the impending law change will allow them to extend their support even further. Credit unions can only deal with individual members. But a Legislative Reform Order currently making its way through Parliament would allow them to extend membership to small organisations such as businesses, community groups and social enterprises, if enacted. The proposals include some limitations, such as a 10% ceiling on the membership of corporate clients, a 25% limit on the amount of shares corporate members can hold in a credit union, and a 10% limit on loans to corporate members compared with total loans to all members. Another benefit could be a significant reduction in the influence of door step lenders and loan sharks. Partners Credit Union chief executive Tracey Fletcher said: “We feel the changes due and the services we will be able to offer will be of great benefit and go a long way to assist businesses, especially given today’s economy and the difficulties people still have lending from banks.”


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business De La Rue warns of job losses BANKNOTE printer De La Rue warned of job cuts across the company after underlying profits dropped by nearly 70% to £33.3m. The firm, which prints notes for the Bank of England and 150 other countries, added that a problem banknote contract that caused much of the profits shortfall remains on hold. It suspended production on the contract, rumoured to be with the Reserve Bank of India, last July after it claimed some employees falsified paper specification test certificates for the contract. The firm, which employs 4,000 people, took a £29m charge in the last financial year for the contract, but added that, as talks are still ongoing with the customer and other relevant authorities, it cannot yet assess the full financial impact.

M&S profits soar despite ‘challenging’ conditions by Jamie Grierson


Marks & Spencer has seen both profits and market share grow

Advertising Feature

Final space available in landmark building The Investment Centre in the heart of Bootle town centre is south Sefton’s most prestigious business address. The landmark office building on Stanley Road offers 26,000 sq ft of flexible business accommodation, as well as mixed-use areas and a cafe on the ground floor which is due to open in late 2011. There is also parking for 48 vehicles. A key feature of the five-storey development is the i-space incubator centre, officially opened by the Duke of Kent in late 2009.




The i-space provides managed office space for up to 18 start-up businesses on easy-in, easy-out terms. Tenants also benefit from a free computer and broadband as part of the package, as well as onsite business advice and support from social enterprise specialists South Sefton Development Trust, the managers of the centre. The building is also increasingly in demand from external organisations for meeting, seminar and conference use. The Investment Centre - which features a transparent facade and a colonnaded walkway has some impressive ‘green’ credentials.

Arvato, Sefton New Directions and two state-of-the-art dental surgeries on the ground floor. Over time, the Investment Centre will also benefit the local community. When the building was created with funding from Sefton Council, it was agreed that any surplus rental income will be reinvested in future regeneration projects in the area. Special negotiable and flexible rates are now being offered on the remaining space in the Investment Centre. Office suites from 780 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft are available at £9 sq ft, with free parking spaces.

It is heated by geothermal energy, a natural ventilation system has removed the need for air conditioning and recycled rain water is used in the toilets.

Units in the i-space incubator centre - open plan workstations and one and two-person offices - are available from £30 per week, inclusive of rates and service charge.

Tenants of the building include Sefton Council’s Economic Regeneration Department,

For more information contact South Sefton Development Trust on 0151-934 2637.

MARKS & Spencer revealed a surge in annual profits yesterday, after winning market share in the face of “challenging” high street conditions. The chain, which runs 600 stores in the UK and 300 overseas, posted a 12.9% increase in underlying pre-tax profits of £714m in the year to April 2. M&S, which sees around 21m customers pass through its doors every week, said industry figures showed it boosted its clothing market share in the year by 0.5% to 11.7% and food market share by 1% to 3.9%. Helped by an advertising campaign featuring X-Factor judge Dannii Minogue and former footballer Jamie Redknapp, the retailer has put in a resilient performance over the year, despite tough trading conditions which have squeezed many other high street operators. The results are the first delivered by chief executive Marc Bolland, who took up the role a year ago after leaving supermarket Morrisons. The Dutchman unveiled a strategic

review for the business in November, which involved increasing the rate of overseas expansion, making cost savings in its supply chain and a revamp of its various labels to create “proper brands”. Delivering the results, Mr Bolland said: “We traded well in a challenging environment, growing our market share in both clothing and food. “We did this by offering customers great quality and value, and more choice through innovation.” The group said it had a good start to the new financial year, but warned that rising pressure on customers’ spending power and soaring costs of raw materials would present challenges in the months ahead. M&S said it was able to drive market share growth by offering customers more choice and appealing to a “desire to trade up”. The company said sales of its “better” and “best” ranges, such as cashmere knitwear and its Autograph brand, were strong. The group added that a range of “innovative” products were also driving sales.


Move into South Sefton’s premier office building for less Special rates on office suites from 780 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft

Grade A offi ce accommod ation in the heart of Bootle

Now from £9 per sq ft with free parking spaces Serviced offices in the i-space - starter units from £30 per week inclusive of rates and service charge Meeting and conference facilities also available Call us on:

2637 0151-93in4 formation for more

For more information contact South Sefton Development Trust



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business




Landlords need to refurbish older buildings to attract occupiers

view point

by Ian Steele, director at GVA

DURING the course of the past five to 10 years, there has been a migration of occupiers relocating from the traditional core to newer, better-quality buildings with large floorplates loc-

ated in the northern end of the city, thus creating a new central business district (CBD). With the exception of Prince’s Dock, much of the new development and speculative grade A refurbishment schemes have been focused in and around the Old Hall Street area. There has been a steady stream of occupiers who have vacated buildings in the traditional core to relocate to newer, more efficient buildings, leaving behind listed buildings which have not been refurbished and are difficult to adapt. These occupiers have included Hill Dickinson, DWF, Allied Irish Bank, RBS, The UK Passport Agency and Lloyds Banking Group.

Castle Street, which was once the prime business address in the city, has now effectively become the physical link between the new CBD and the retail core. The next wave of refurbishment schemes should be focused on refurbishing and adapting those buildings that have recently been vacated and that have large voids such as India Buildings and Queens Buildings, in an attempt to try to encourage occupiers to consider buildings in the traditional core. While these types of refurbishment schemes may be difficult to fin-

ance in the short term, it will also be important to provide occupiers with a range of different accommodation. Some of the biggest challenges landlords face to promote the refurbishment of these buildings is not only the availability of funding but the cost of adapting these buildings to meet modern standards and the lack of rental growth. There has also been a decrease in demand, which is partially down to a number of occupiers actually re-gearing or renegotiating their leases. So it has become difficult to prise occupiers away from their existing

‘Greater quality divide between the two’

DTZ secures letting at Runcorn site PROPERTY giant DTZ has secured the first letting at Astmoor Industrial Estate, in Runcorn. Tarmac has taken units 19 and 20 on the Brindley

Road for a period of five years and at a rent of £3.50 per sq ft, to service a contract with Halton Council. The letting follows the implementation of an asset man-

agement strategy on site, including the refurbishment of units allied to offering flexible leasing arrangements. This also involved DTZ’s building consultancy and

property management departments, who oversaw the refurbishment of the units, as well as substantial improvements to the estate and its landscaping.

BUSINESS to BUSINESS Commercial Premises

Savills Oxford

01865 269000

buildings, especially given the competitive terms that are on offer from existing landlords. This lack of demand, coupled with the other challengers mentioned previously, has resulted in the majority of landlords adopting a cautious approach to speculative refurbishment. If these buildings are not refurbished, it is likely that occupiers of larger space will become more footloose due to the lack of availability of good quality refurbished product within the traditional core. This may result in the continued migration to the new CBD, but will also see a greater divide in terms of building quality between the new and the traditional CBD.

CBRE wins deal for L1 scheme




07850 204481

INDUSTRIAL UNITS To Let. South L’pool 500 to 4000 sqft, monthly tenancy, competitive rents. From £50pw Tel: 0151 427 5051

KNOWSLEY OFFICES TO LET From 800 to 9,500 sq ft. Deacon Park, Moorgate Road, L33, flexible terms, contact Edward Symmons 0151 2368454

Industrial Property UNITS TO LET Bootle Area 5,000−15,000 sqft. Flexible terms 0151 486 0004

Compton House is one of two properties with office space

Extensive golf course in accessible location


Chester 2.5 miles, M56/M53 Interchange 5.5 miles • 18 hole, 6,611 yard, par 73 golf course • 900 sq m (9,687 sq ft) GEA clubhouse with extensive function space • Purpose built greenkeeper’s building • Substantial freehold asset About 169 acres Guide £795,000

This space could be working for you. For details telephone

0151 227 2000


by Tony McDonough


COMMERCIAL property advisors CB Richard Ellis have won a five-way competitive pitch to become joint agents for refurbished office space in the Liverpool One scheme. Owner Grosvenor is marketing a total of 17,693 sq ft of space across two buildings – Compton House and Russell Building. Suites available range from 2,200 sq ft and 3,200 sq ft. Agents from the Liverpool office of CBRE will join Keppie Massie joint letting agents. Compton House is an 1870s five-storey former warehouse, while the six-storey Russell Building was built in the 1860s. Newly-refurbished, both buildings provide “attractive, contemporary” office space.

Mark Worthington, director of office agency at CBRE, said: “We are delighted that Grosvenor has appointed CB Richard Ellis to work with their existing agents, Keppie Massie, in leasing the remaining office accommodation at Liverpool One. “Liverpool One is the most important development in the city for a generation, providing a highquality mix of retail, leisure, residential and office environments. “We are anticipating good interest in the space, particularly from the indigenous creative industries, which are an increasingly important economic driver for the city.” Miles Dunnett, head of asset management, Grosvenor Liverpool Fund, added: “I am pleased to welcome CBRE to the team tasked with letting our new office space, alongside Keppie Massie. The suites available are in two prestigious historic buildings.”


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business Maghull appoints agents to scheme MAGHULL Developments has instructed Knight Frank to jointly market Switch House, an office scheme at Switch Island, in north Liverpool. The scheme is situated at the end of the M57 and M58 motorways, eight miles north of Liverpool and offers frontage onto Dunningsbridge Road. The two-storey office scheme has space available from 1,000 sq ft to 6,794 sq ft and is home to occupiers including Maghull Developments, Merseycare NHS Trust, Mee’s Developments and Saving Faces. John Brown, surveyor, Knight Frank’s Liverpool office, said: “Switch House provides occupiers with large open-plan floor plates, which can be subdivided to accommodate specific workspace requirements.”

RICS says firms at risk due to poor property choices by Tony McDonough


Regional RICS spokesman, Steve Gillingham – businesses don’t do enough research


St Helens’ Premier Business Park

Tempting offices To Let/For Sale at Mere Grange Self-contained offices 2,500 – 10,100 sq ft

01925 273000





THE Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in the North West says too many small firms and start-ups are not doing enough research before signing up for commercial premises. RICS says many are making bad choices and end up paying for space that is not needed or a building not fit for purpose, both of which will prove detrimental in the long term. The leading organisation responsible for setting the standards in land, property and construction, is advising businesses to approach the property search in a logical and organised way to avoid overlooking any key points which may hinder it at a later stage. Regional RICS spokeman, Steve Gillingham, said: “So many businesses don’t do enough research when it comes to finding the right premises to operate from, and this is one of the most common reasons they run in to problems. “It is essential that existing companies and start-ups consider their

business strategy when choosing premises, for example, the number of people they employ and the processes used in their business, as well as any plant or machinery required. “They must also consider ongoing and future plans, such as additional space needed to expand. “The quality and size of the actual workspace environment needs to be thought about thoroughly, and how this may impact on the staff and their productivity.” RICS recommends firms prepare a specification of the premises they want by sketching out a plan on graph paper, detailing requirements including facilities such as car parking and kitchen/utility areas. This will enable a business to get a rough idea of the size and floor area needed. Mr Gillingham added: “It’s important to check the chosen building’s state of repair, too. “The chosen property must have planning permission for commercial use, and it’s essential to check that there are no restrictions to running the business from the building – for example, a limitation on working hours or noise emissions.”




A570 St Helens Linkway Off J7 M62, St Helens



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business Aerospace & Defence

32334 20812 Hend Smllr Cos 311

Index 3358.76 ▲ 7.06 304


Avon Rbbr



36978 29434 BAE Systems 32834xd -112






40978 Witan



73612 51958 Chemring



Fixed Line Telecoms

24758 19214 Cobham

227 xd


Index 2417.55 ▲ 21.79

38078 26134 Meggitt



15912 11114 Senior

15114xd +114

Automobiles & Parts Index 4895.91 ▲ 74.82 23718 10914 GKN

20178 11978 BT Gp 4438


4658 Cble&W Wwide 5218



87512 610




Bco Santander 679


300 xd +134


31534 Sainsbury

34218xd +458





6578 Thorntons



7534 1738 Ireland



Food Producers

7758 4934 Lloyds Banking4934


Index 5244.16 ▼ 13.82

Ryl Scotland

1959 1525 Stan Chart


1182 927


Index 9737.51 ▼ 10.41


36412 Britvic

1301 1029 Diageo 2306 1827 SABMiller



72312 47712 Carrs Mill

72212 797




3518 16



Premier Foods 3278




62812 40918 Tate Lyle




2000 1688 Unilever





61412 36758 Mondi

16934 5834 Elementis

157 xd +118 2008


Construction & Materials Index 3920.85 ▼ 9.82 35714 22934 Balfour Beatty 31734xd +14






Close Bros








London Stk Ex 908 96412xd


1418 88612 Kier Group



1922 1154 Schroders



6312 2834 Low Bonar



46934 329

Drax Gp

44858 28412 Intl Power 1368 1011 Scot&Sthrn







Electronic & Electrical

Index 3202.07 ▲ 26.41


9834 Laird

13814xd +258


17312 Morgn Cru

303 xd







12812 Volex Gp

Oxford Inst


Equity Inv Instruments Index 6050.30 ▲ 32.08 385

29312 Alliance



14012 105

Br Assets





Candover Inv 58712




Dunedin IncGth 219 xd

14214 10112 Dunedin Sml 49112 37214 Edin Invst 66012






477 xd +358

Edin US Trkr Tst 642 xd

31712 25138 Forgn & C





Smith Nph



Aga Rngmstr 121 xd



Barratt Dev




728 xd


75312 511





15334xd +114




4314 2214 Taylor Wimpey 3638


39734 18212 Bodycote 85312 567




Industrial Transportation



Index 2582.77 ▲ 3.41

1948 88412 Weir Gp


24034 175



2812 1134 Dixons Retail 1912




18812 Home Retail

208 xd


23718 Inchcape

38334xd +334 905 xd

+15 -18


19812 Kingfisher








62712 382

2326 1868 Next


-1138 +4 -1

Standard Life 20714xd -114



D Mail Tst




2885 1724 Signet Jwlrs


1171 864


48238xd +38

59012 46612 Reed Elsevier 549


Var 5Day





4 14



89712 Dee Valley 32214 easyJet




241 Albany Inv Tst



782 AMEC




35714 3912 594 1258

Anglesey Mining

22934 Balfour Beatty 29 Beale 501 Compass Gp 478 Coral Prod



683 JD Sports Fashion




1112 JJB Sports






31734 xd




370 Nichols

37 574 1114

+ 12 -1

-5 +14

Johnson Serv



8312 NWF


1934 Park Gp


76212 Rathbone

3153 2037 Carnival 594 479


2470xd -15

Compass Gp 574

32214 easyJet

Gwth & Inc




Income Plus








Jpan Spec Sits




Spec Sits




Sth East Asia







-18 -114

Euro Sel Opps




1504 1042 Go-Ahead Gp 1450


Pratical Inv

12234 77

Enterprise Inns 77

41258 31114 FirstGroup






Intercontl Htls 1258xd

21278 Intl Cons Airlns 23034


Index-Linked Acc




International Acc

-1024.32 1078.23


15214 12234 Ladbrokes



Pacific Acc





-1 8

Property Bonds

-2001.18 2084.44


Mitchells&Btlrs 31714




-3 4



9038 58

Punch Taverns 7258

15234 9434 Rank Gp

35314 28438 Big Yellow Gp 338






-3 8











27178 190

TUI Travel

-1 2

Monthly Inc


Brit Land

79512 545


33114 25014 SEGRO

Land Secs

6112 3012 Emblaze


Index 3877.93 ▼ 38.18

36414 23014 Invensys


Vodafone Gp 16934


1754 1238 Admiral Grp


12612 85

190112 127034 Marsh McL




34618 26412 Centrica

321 xd +534

121212 89712 Dee Valley







28214xd -112

22234 Sage


Oil & Gas Producers

137612xd +33

1912 334

AEA Tech

1811 1207 Aggreko



20778 77



51912 36014 Berendsen






745 xd








54912 De La Rue



Ashtead Gp

45638xd +438

29478 20534 Electrocmps



43534 +1658




2336 1554 Ryl D Shell B


28234 23734 G4S


1493 99112 Tullow Oil





Oil Equipment & Services


Personal Goods



24134 Hyder Cons





3534 Sportech




3234 UK Coal



Telme Gp




19012 Cape





Dawson Intl





818 2614


3512 1534 Johnson Serv 3312 xd




Portmeirion P 49212xd -212

34634 15214 Northgate



30834 20838 Prem Farnell



12134 8414 Rentokil




Travis & P


Redhall Gp

Var 5Day


13418 xd





- 12


- 12



+ 14

- 38



+ 34 - 18

1 38


- 12



1688 Unilever

1945 xd







520 Utd Utils





0.70 1.80

Inc & Gwth








North Amer Acc






1028xd +27



1975xd +26


Young A












yen dollars



£761132 Cons 4% .................£7734 £50 Cons 212% ..............£5114



£69 Cnv 312%.................£7212 -132



New Zealand

Low Funds

£1091132 £10118 Cnv 9% 11 ............£10118






European Union



7938 67



In order to give a greater range of Unit Trust information, covering a larger number of trusts, the list of funds changes each day as follows: UNIT TRUST MANAGERS DAYS PUBLISHED A to Com ................................................... Tuesday F to Inv....................................................Wednesday JP to Pru...................................................Thursday Roy to T .........................................................Friday



323.71 1.10














110 xd



56.75 4.50





Far East

5112 1112 Scapa Gp 110





Smiths News 9712 xd +212

1914 Speedy Hire

17312 55


- 54.32 -





223.70 3.09


Crimson Tide 112

20212 1112 JJB Sports +5






1914 Speedy Hire

Armour Gp

-1 2


▲ 0.40%



3034 Man Brnze

2261 1223 Wolseley


1334 412



1127 709





905 xd


28912xd +12


115 RSA Insurance

Index 866.33 ▼ 3.26


28914 PZ Cussons



18312 Interserve




Utd Utils

33734 Menzies J


9712 Redrow

63112 520


Burberry Gp




12012 79

Index 21538.27 ▲ 175.04





49314 366




52034 30278 BP


Pennon Gp

Index 4557.23 ▲ 48.05

RSA Insurance 13418xd -158

Cairn Energy


UK Equity Inc A


1515 1135 Severn


265.60 3.10



63212 48414 National Grid 62412 675


Sterling Bd Unit Tst


14714 10134 Logica



European Smllr Cos A -


Support Services -2


1657xd -19

Index 4706.40 ▲ 39.26

Mobile Telecoms


Gilt & FI



Index 737.83 ▲ 0.04 1793


Restaurant Gp

1887 1315 Whitbread

Software & Comp Servs


1975 1271 Autonomy








171.58 4.31

11718 9038 Marston’s









134812 1095 GlaxoSmthKln 131912xd +5


5514 3234 UK Coal







1671 965

4712 288012 Rio Tinto



Holidaybreak 26912 +2912

Gilt & Fixed



Index 4662.47 ▼ 23.59





Travel & Leisure

607.70 1808.00

Thomas Cook 14534





20734 145

Var 5Day






-212 +1712


2231 1767 Imperial Tob



Price Gross

Amer Spec Sits


- 18





42734 28012 Gt Portland



274512 200612 Br Am Tob




1356xd +54





1435 982


Denmark 28712



1365 659

up 4.87


1682 843




16014 10412 Spirent Comms 15118

24678 16034 Stagecoach

1251 782


9312 4814 ITV

Index 9494.41 ▲ 21.34 3385 280112 AstraZeneca

Index 1958.11

Index 25269.41 ▲ 191.66

Index 4261.33 ▲ 3.96

10234 7134 Psion

Cancel Fund




7934 xd


30938xd +514


39814 WH Smith


156412 1002 BG



50212 37614 Greene King

Pharma & Biotechnology

Real Estate

Index 8246.95 ▲ 107.49



2919 2210 Daejan Hldgs 2784

14312 115



To assist in the analysis of the market two figures are given for each sector. Firstly an index (set at 100 on January 1 1992) to give a comparison in the performance of various market sectors. Secondly an indication of the percentage change in the price of all the securities within a sector since the previous close.





Index 1638.49 ▼ 10.24

11278xd -118

59412 433


Nonlife Insurance

47778 29978 Aviva

24434 173



12334 7334 Lgl & Gen 48914 Prudential


ARM Hldgs


BBA Aviation 21738xd +14

31134 21114 Resolution



Index 4353.84 ▼ 21.50

+34 +534

1934 BATM

1196xd +36

Life Insurance


JD Sports

38 1982

Index 1775.34 ▼ 6.94

96412 683


Trinity Mirror


1634 761

18234 133



263112 168412 BHP Billiton







2063 1346 Spirax Srco




MS Intl


3437 2254 Anglo Amer




Those securities which have increased in value since the previous close are shown in bold type.

Index 24784.46 ▲ 441.01

9312 xd




4312 Molins






34814 Halfords


1007xd +14

37934xd +238



1112 62412 IMI



48334 Utd Business 59512


29038 Rexam

7738 53




Brown (N) Gp 29334




31114 221


39178 18634 Fenner



STV Group

6655 4425 Randgold Res 4813xd +93

Coral Prod

2514 1214 Ashley L


1983 1355 Lonmin




Index 31445.60 ▼ 11.50

s............ dealing suspended xd.............price ex-dividend xs ......... price ex-scrip issue xr ........ price ex-rights issue xc ..... ex-capital distribution xa................................ ex-all £......price value in £ sterling



Smith DS


84612 61412 WPP



334 AEA Technology




39 Adv Medical


Household Goods

1258 478





662 xd

General Retailers


Index 3780.89 ▲ 6.65

72412 36738 Cooksn Gp

Index 3182.62 ▲ 27.85 Domino Ptg


General Industrials

1429 1014 Smiths Gp


Health Care Equip & Serv

Index 7128.71 ▲ 28.28


Index 8265.72 ▲ 75.51


May 24, 2011


1033 72812 Provident



MARKS & SPENCER Nov 24, 2010

Industrial Engineering

1257 76212 Rathbone












3648 3015 Reckitt Benck 3378xd -10

25418 3i


Share price (pence)

Index 5856.04 ▲ 15.49

88812 664

May 16 - May 20


General Financial


12412 7834 Marshalls

May 9 - May 13

Index 6539.39 ▼ 12.28

23234xd +34

170558 102012 CRH

May 2 - May 6


Forestry & Paper Index 6376.64 ▲ 43.08

1905xd +26



3055.16 ▲ 0.41%


Index 736.75 ▲ 6.56





1962 93712 Croda




90712 735



AB Foods

42478 33934 Dairy Crest

Index 7501.82 ▲ 138.10

2100 1460 Johnsn Mat




1395 93012 Barr (AG)


5967.85 ▼ 0.18%

FT ALL-SHARE up 12.50


30814 25734 Morrison W

62312xd -314



Food & Drug Retailers

73078 59614 HSBC



5858.41 ▲ 0.39%

20 DAY MOVING AVERAGE down 10.55

20-Day Moving Average



FT-SE 100 INDEX up 22.52


Index 4834.68 ▼ 0.38

Index 4431.06 ▼ 30.46 344


Tech Hardware & Equip

Closing Indices

FTSE 100 INDEX 6000


Cble&W Comm 48

6534 4312 KCOM





Keep track of all the major share moves of the day with our live FTSE ticker at


37178 27314 Law Debenture 37018 18614 Scot Am


1.50 8.12

1.582 8.552


£61 £11734

£50 Tr 212% ................. £553132 £10858 Tr 9% 12................£10858



£1031332 Tr 5% 12............. £1031332





-116 -116

Tr 8%







£114332 £109532 Tr 5% 14............. £1102532




£1112932 £105732 Tr 734% 12-15........£10614





















£30414 Tr 212% IL 16 .........£32718


£142316 £1322132 Tr 834% 17 .......... £1352332



£147132 £1332732 Tr 8% 21............. £1392332



new lira





United States






£6712 War Ln 312%............£7312


Last night, the pound was worth: $1.6185 (up 0.0083)....... 1.1475 euros (down 0.0011) ....... 125.26 yen (down 0.43) ....... Its trade weighted index was 79.90 (unchanged) Metals in $ per troy ounce: Gold 1527.00 (up 16.50) ......................... Silver 35.85 (up 1.15)......................... Platinum 1759 (up 9)......................... UK base lending rate 0.5%0.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business London market MARKS & Spencer was the FTSE 100 Index’s top faller yesterday, despite posting a 13% rise in annual profits as analysts fretted that its results could be “as good as it gets” for the retailer. The retail bellwether, which has enjoyed a strong run in recent weeks, fell 11.4p to 385.6p, or nearly 3%, as investors looked beyond the rise in full-year profits to £714.3m, and noted the company’s cautious comments on trading this year. Despite a share slide at M&S, the FTSE 100 Index staged a modest recovery following Monday’s major sell-off and rose 22.5 points to 5858.4. The pound was down against the euro at 1.15 after the single currency benefited from stronger economic data from Germany, but was up against the dollar at 1.62. Miners were among the biggest risers after benefiting from improved sentiment. This helped offset some of the heavy losses seen yesterday in the London blue-chip index, following fears over the eurozone debt crisis and faltering Chinese growth. However, London’s progress was stunted by a difficult session for UK banks, after Moody’s said 14 of the 18 banks and building societies it covers were in danger of ratings downgrades, due to the withdrawal of emergency support. The biggest Footsie risers were Fresnillo, up 54p at 1356p, Cairn Energy, ahead 16.6p at 435.8p, Aggreko, up 57p at 1769p, and Antofagasta, ahead 36p, at 1196p. The biggest Footsie fallers were Marks & Spencer, down 11.4p at 385.6p, Lloyds Banking Group, off 1.1p at 49.7p, International Consolidated Airlines Group, down 4.2p at 230.8p, and ITV, off 0.9p, at 68.1p.



market comment

Moody’sto downgrade ratingsof14 Britishbanks andlenders

CREDIT rating agency Moody’s may downgrade 14 British lenders, including Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, because regulators appear less willing to bail out banks in the future. Lenders which face rating cuts by Moody’s also include Santander’s British operations, National Australia Bank’s Clydesdale arm, Bank of Ireland UK, and Nationwide Building Society, the agency said yesterday. Analysts said the move had been widely expected, while Moody’s said ity, Skipton, West Bromwich and Yorkits decision did not indicate a weakshire building societies were also at ening in either government finances risk of downgrades that would push up or the banks. their cost of borrowing. “The reassessment is not Among listed banks, the ratdriven by either a deterioring agency kept a “negative” ation in the financial strength outlook on HSBC’s ratings of the banking system or that and cut guidance for future of the Government,” said Barclays ratings moves to Elisabeth Rudman, a Moody’s “negative” from “stable”. senior credit officer and lead Canaccord Genuity analyst analyst for a number of BritEMAIL us with Cormac Leech said the ish banks. your views at Moody’s statement was not “It has been initiated in letters@ that surprising, given moves response to ongoing guidance, by regulators around the from the UK authorities (the or write to us PO Box 48, Old world to avoid a repeat of the Bank of England, the FinanHall Street, credit crisis, when taxpayers cial Services Authority and Liverpool had to step in to rescue the Treasury) that banks that L69 3EB troubled banks. fail in the future should not “It is a clear objective of the expect capital injections from regulators to not have to bail out finthe public purse.” ancial institutions going forward,” Shares in Britain's banks slipped in said Leech. line with European peers, while sterRegulators and politicians across ling recovered from an initial dip as it Europe are drawing up reforms that shrugged off news of a disappointing would allow some banks to fail in start to the fiscal year for Britain’s future, in a bid to avoid a repeat of public finances. government bail-outs of 2008 that cost Moody’s said Co-Operative Bank and taxpayers billions of euros. the Coventry, Newcastle, Norwich & Proposals drawn up by the Peterborough, Nottingham, Principal-

What do you think?

Lloyds Banking Group is one of 14 British lenders facing a downgrade by credit ratings agency, Moody’s Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI European Commission include making bondholders take losses. In Britain, the Government has set up an Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) to look into how to make the banking sector safer and more competitive, and how to deal with banks considered too big to fail. Commission Chairman John Vickers told lawmakers yesterday, however, that while his proposals would reduce the risk to taxpayers, there would always be some implicit subsidy of the banking system. “There are always going to be cir-

cumstances when the Government will feel committed to come to the rescue of banks,” Vickers told Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee. In an interim report in April, the ICB said top banks should ring-fence retail arms from riskier trading operations and hold more capital to protect taxpayers from future crises. Moody’s had already said in April that it could downgrade Britain’s smaller banks as it assessed how they would fare without a tacit understanding that the government would always bail them out if they got into trouble.

For twice-daily FTSE updates from Rensburg Sheppards, log on to

business diary Wednesday, June 1 A networking event for people in the in the charity and voluntary sector has been organised by Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services. The free event, from 5.30pm-7.30pm, is

being held at Barclays Corporate’s office at 20 Chapel Street, and the bank will provide some insights into aspects of charity funding and finance. To book, call 0151 227 1234. Thursday, June 2 Merseyside’s self-proclaimed “geek com-

munity” will be gathering once again for the next Ignite Liverpool event. Ignite sees presenters given five minutes to talk about their passions. Subjects for debate this time will include “record buying in a pre internet age” and the importance of teaching software coding to children. For information, visit www.igniteliver- Tuesday, June 7 QVC’s general manager James Keegan and its training and development consultant Jenny Proctor will present a two-hour course outlining the QVC approach to the customer experience. The Knowsley Chamber of Commerce event is free to members and £12 for non-members. It starts

at 4pm and is at QVC, South Boundary Road, Knowsley Industrial Park. To book, visit www.knowsley Wednesday, June 8 Bruntwood chairman Michael Oglesby is the keynote speaker at the summer philanthropy lunch. It costs £20 for Liverpool Chamber members and £30 for non-memebrs and is at

Radisson Blu, Old Hall Street. It is from 12pm-2.15pm – to book, call 0151 227 1234. Thursday, June 9 The latest Fish! networking event is taking place from 5.30pm-8.30pm. E-mail for more details. Thursday, June 9 A UK Trade and Investment roadshow on Financing the Future:

Export Credits Guarantee is being held at Daresbury Laboratory. It will explain more about new ECGD products that were announced in the recent white paper, Trade and Investment for Growth. The free event is from 1.30pm-4pm. For more details, email harrysavage.ukti


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LDP business trading gossip ■

IT IS hats off to Geo Harris, of Sainsbury’s, in Old Hall Street, Liverpool, who just keeps pushing the boundaries in her quest to raise cash for children’s hospice Claire House. Geo, below, has been raising money for over a year now. Her exploits have included dressing up in silly costumes and abseiling down tall buildings. However, her greatest challenge comes tomorrow night at the Marriott Hotel where she will perform a five-minute standup comedy routine at the 3rd Annual Comedy



the back page

Charity event is a net gain for property man

working day

Martyn Green is a partner a King Sturge property consultants, based in Castle Street, Liverpool. This was his day:

5.45am: Woke up well before the alarm went off, which is really annoying – can’t get back to sleep no matter how hard I try – might as well get up and grab a coffee and watch the news. Show, in aid of Claire House. Her act will comprise “observational humour”, so anyone who regularly uses Sainsbury’s, in Old Hall Street, may find themselves part of the act tomorrow.

PROPERTY group Peel has big ambitions – Liverpool and Wirral Waters and the superport. Perhaps no surprise, then, to see the firm trying to generate cash from wherever it can. This week, a photographic colleague of ours from the Liverpool Echo was down at Peel’s Princes Dock with a model doing a fashion shoot. Our man was happily snapping away when a security guard appeared and insisted they stop. “You can’t just turn up and do this,” he said. “There is a charge and it’s £5,000 an hour.”

LDP CREATIVE FOR the latest news from the creative sector

www. ldpcreative.

6.50am: Made some porridge and a coffee (still on the New Year diet – don’t know how long this will last) then toasted some crumpets and made a drink for my wife. Time for her to get up now. 7.15am: Get dressed while watching more of the BBC Breakfast News. Susannah Reid and Charlie Stayt keeping me well informed on what’s going on around the world. 8am: Pull in to my parking space at One Park West, our most successful residential development currently on offer. Guy Butler, the development director, is also in the car park. We are meeting later but quickly discuss the offers received this week – nine sales this month – maybe things are looking up. 8.15am: Quick chat to Kevin, the concierge at One Park West, to see how things are going in the building. He has recently started tweeting – discuss how many followers he has and what his plans are for the day. 8.40am: Arrive at the office and open my emails. Have a quick Tweet myself about our new gadget show flat at One Park West – it’s got a 3-D telly, LCD projector and bar – only just got into this @green_martyn. Hope I get some more followers. Once emails checked and tweet tweeted, I then pop to see the sales and lettings teams downstairs. Good week, guys. 10am: Quick conference call with St Paul’s Square, another of our residential schemes we are selling. Discuss recent marketing activities and how the new shared equity scheme is attracting a good level of interest and sales to first-time buyers with limited deposits. Really positive feedback from viewers – we have five offers this week to discuss.

Martyn Green, of King Sturge – oversees sales at the city centre One Park West development 11am: Start the preparation for a charitable tennis coaching event which is due to be held on May 19 at Chavasse Park, Liverpool One. We are offering free coaching to disadvantaged children being supported by Positive Futures Charity – really looking forward to this.

get to watch legends such as Greg Rusedski and Martina Navratilova.

3.30pm: Meeting with One Park West to discuss sales and marketing.

1pm: Lunch at my desk – cheese sandwich, apple juice and some fruit. Check up on BBC news on the internet to see if the world has changed since breakfast.

5pm: Spruce up and leave the office for drinks.

12noon: Coffee with a guy from a PR agency. We discuss the charity event and the fact that we have also just signed up to be sponsors of the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament to be held in June at Calderstones Park. It is a great PR opportunity, plus I

2pm: Call to Clare Corran from Positive Futures re charity event. They are a great local charity helping disadvantaged kids in Liverpool, agree that 20-30 kids can attend the coaching day. Let her know we are giving some tickets for the tournament away as prizes – she is delighted.

7pm: Out for a meal with Simon, from Simon Parker Tennis – he’s doing the tennis coaching for us at the event. Eat at The Noble House – the clam chowder is amazing, but am totally blown away by the paprika chicken. 10pm: A few Bacardi and Cokes later and it’s a taxi home and back to bed – hopefully I won’t wake before the alarm tomorrow.

LDP Business 25.05.11  

Weekly business supplement from the Liverpool Daily Post

LDP Business 25.05.11  

Weekly business supplement from the Liverpool Daily Post