UK media and telecoms correspondent
Kate's Feed
Dec 2, 2013

British energy firms to limit price rises after tax pledge

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest energy companies
agreed on Monday to limit increases to household bills, giving
some relief to Prime Minister David Cameron on an issue that has
angered voters and given opponents a potent line of attack
before a 2015 election.

Soaring energy costs have become a big political issue in
Britain since Labour leader Ed Miliband said in September he
would freeze consumer bills for 20 months if he wins power.

Nov 26, 2013

RWE scraps British wind farm amid political energy row

LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Germany’s RWE has
scrapped plans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm
in British waters only a month after warning that political
wrangling over green energy was endangering billions of pounds
of investment.

RWE’s nPower said that the Atlantic Array project off
southwest England, which would have featured up to 240 wind
turbines and powered as many as 900,000 British homes, no longer
made economic sense in current market conditions.

Nov 22, 2013

Orange expects higher-than-forecast Dominican sale-CEO

BARCELONA, Nov 22 (Reuters) – France’s Orange
expects to announce the sale of its Dominican Republic business
in the next few days for a price “significantly over” 1 billion
euros, Chief Executive Stephane Richard said on Friday.

Speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference in
Barcelona, Richard said he expected to announce a deal that
would increase his financial flexibility as he looks to cut
debt.

Nov 22, 2013

TalkTalk considers eventual special dividend

BARCELONA, Nov 22 (Reuters) – UK group TalkTalk Telecom
will look to pay a special dividend as a drop-off in
the level of investment needed for its television service
coincides with a period of rapid customer growth, its chief
executive said on Friday.

Dido Harding told a Morgan Stanley investor conference in
Barcelona she hoped to pay out excess cash to show her
confidence in a group that is growing strongly and enjoying a
slowdown in the rate of customers leaving the service.

Nov 21, 2013

As Omnicom and Publicis merge, rivals prepare to snare clients

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Three major rivals to advertising groups Omnicom (OMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Publicis (PUBP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which are merging, say they are poaching work from the pair by luring clients who are unsettled by the $35.1 billion deal.

Market leader WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), fourth-placed Interpublic Group (IPG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (IPG) and Japan’s fifth-placed Dentsu (4324.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said they had either begun to win work or believed they could do so as major brands bristle at the coming together of the industry’s second and third largest players.

Nov 20, 2013

BT limbering up for next big TV football auction says CEO

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Fresh from stunning its rivals in the battle to show European Champions League football, British telecoms group BT will be in a strong financial position to bid for the next round of English Premier League rights, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

BT, the once-staid 168-year-old telecoms operator, said earlier this month it had out-bid pay-TV group BSkyB and free-to-air broadcaster ITV to show Europe’s premier football competition from 2015 to 2018.

Nov 20, 2013

Vodafone open to higher network spending after two-year boost

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Vodafone is open to keeping network spending above its traditional levels once its two-year booster program has ended if it needs to respond to customer demand and competitor moves, its chief executive said.

Vodafone, the world’s No. 2 mobile operator, said this month that it would spend an extra 7 billion pounds ($11.3 billion) on its network in the next two years to put it in pole position for when the economy recovers.

Nov 20, 2013

ITV expects to outperform ad market in 2014: CEO

BARCELONA (Reuters) – ITV (ITV.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Britain’s biggest commercial free-to-air broadcaster, expects to outperform the UK advertising market in 2014 due to strong demand by major brands during the soccer world cup, its chief executive said.

CEO Adam Crozier told a Morgan Stanley conference in Barcelona that ITV, the home of “X-Factor” talent show and period drama “Downton Abbey”, was in the best financial shape it had been in for years.

Nov 20, 2013

BT limbering up for next big TV soccer auction says CEO

BARCELONA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Fresh from stunning its rivals
in the battle to show European Champions League soccer, British
telecoms group BT will be in a strong financial position
to bid for the next round of English Premier League rights, its
chief executive said on Wednesday.

BT, the once-staid 168-year-old telecoms operator, said
earlier this month it had out-bid pay-TV group BSkyB and
free-to-air broadcaster ITV to show Europe’s premier
soccer competition from 2015 to 2018.

Nov 14, 2013

Scandal-hit Serco’s shares plummet after profit warning

LONDON (Reuters) – Serco (SRP.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the embattled contractor accused of overbilling the British government, revealed the extent of its problems by announcing heavy one-off charges and a profit warning on Thursday.

The company, which has a temporary CEO and is the subject of seven investigations, said operating profit would fall in 2013 and 2014, setting its shares on track for their worst day of trading since July 2002.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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