Business briefs: Older staff | Minis | Hurricane Energy | HMV

OLDER workers’ confidence in their job security has fallen since the start of the year, with only younger people expressing optimism, according to a new report.

A study by Legal & General found that adults aged between 45 and 54 were 10 per cent less confident about their job security since last October and there was a 6 per cent drop among the over-55s. The only increase was in the 18 to 24-year-old category, which was up by 4 per cent. L&G said the drop in confidence among those who are both looking after older and young dependents was “worrying”.

• Sales of Minis raced through the 300,000 mark for the first time since the marque was relaunched in 2001, accounts from BMW have revealed.

Last year, the Oxford-based car-maker saw sales of the British icon rise 5.8 per cent to 301,526. This is the second highest sales figure since 1971, when the fortunes of the classic Mini were flying high after being featured in the film The Italian Job in 1969. When BMW started producing the new Mini, sales were 24,980 in the first year. Previous to this, Rover produced the Mini, and it was acquired by BMW in 1994.

• North Sea oil explorer Hurricane Energy is mulling a £500 million stock market flotation, it was reported yesterday.

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The company, based in Aberdeen but headquartered in Surrey, recently raised £30m from private investors to support drilling on its Lancaster field, about 60 miles west of Shetland.

The firm specialises in experimental drilling technology which allows it to tap difficult to reach “basement” reserves. The company was founded in 2005 by Dr Robert Trice.

• Administrators will be under pressure this week to secure a buyer for failed music retailer HMV ahead of a quarterly rent bill running in the tens of millions due to land on 25 March.

It is thought that Deloitte has whittled 50 expressions of interest from buyers down to five as it works out plans to keep the firm’s remaining 116 stores and 1,500 jobs going.

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Asda is thought to be a bidder as well as Hilco, the restructuring firm which acquired HMV’s debt. The 90-year old retailer fell into administration in January.