Charles Pretzlik: Sir Nigel Rudd isn’t playing

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Well, it’ll be hard to beat yesterday’s news. We’ve got a couple of very hot irons in the fire which we hope to be able to say more about tomorrow morning, if not sooner. But in the meantime Sir Nigel Rudd isn’t helping to make today any more fun.

He came on the Alliance Boots analysts’ call in the same week that he had called most of them “stupid” in our pages but then refused to discuss the matter publicly. ”[My presence on the call] is not a reaction to my comments in the FT but I am happy to discuss them off line, but I don’t think it is appropriate to discuss it in this call,” he said. Only Richard Ratner had the gumption to have a dig at him. ”Ratty here,” he said before asking his question, “or the rather stupid analyst at Seymour Pierce.” Chief executive Richard Baker had some good things to say about Alliance Boots’s performance. Seems a bit academic now.

PartyGaming has warned that full-year underlying profits would be below expectations following heavy investment to attract new players in the wake of the ban on online gaming in the US. The shares are off more than 7 per cent.

Very strong looking figures from BSkyB today, lifting the shares more than 5 per cent. The churn rate is up but less than some feared and revenue per user is up too.

Phillip Carter, the chief executive of vocational training company Carter & Carter who was recently named entrepreneur of the year, is believed to be among four passengers aboard a helicopter reported missing overnight on returning from the Chelsea-Liverpool game. In 1996, the then vice-chairman of Chelsea, Matthew Harding, died when a helicopter carrying him and four companions back from a match crashed.

Operating profits at Lonmin fell for the mining group, despite the continuing rise in the market price of platinum group metals. It has suffered from having a furnace out of action because of an accident.

Rumour of the day: Talk of stakebuilding on CRH. More on FT Alphaville.

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