UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Aug 29, 2013

Vodafone in talks to sell Verizon Wireless stake to Verizon

LONDON/NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Vodafone Group PLC
said on Thursday that it was in talks with Verizon
Communications Inc to sell its prized stake in Verizon
Wireless, the number one U.S. mobile carrier, in what would be
the third-biggest deal of all time.

Verizon has made no secret of its desire to gain full
ownership of a network that is growing at a rapid rate and
generating billions of dollars in free cash flow, but the
companies have tussled over how such a deal should be valued.

Aug 23, 2013

Recovering UK economy shows broader, faster growth

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, benefiting from a broad-based pick-up in activity that looked to have put the country’s burgeoning recovery on a firmer footing.

Gross domestic product expanded 0.7 percent from the previous quarter, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday, beating its initial estimate and economists’ forecasts and putting Britain’s growth rate on a par with European powerhouse Germany.

Aug 15, 2013

IAG sticks with Airbus to revamp short-haul fleet

LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – IAG, the owner of
British Airways and Iberia, has picked Airbus again
for the latest stage of its fleet modernisation, planning to
acquire up to 220 A320s worth $20 billion to renew and expand
its short-haul fleet.

The move is the latest major deal to be agreed between the
International Consolidated Airlines Group and Airbus, rather
than British Airways’ long-time partner Boeing, and
follows the arrival in London last month of its first Airbus
A380 jet.

Jul 31, 2013

BT takes on BSkyB sport to protect broadband business

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s BT will launch its much heralded sports TV service on Thursday in the biggest challenge to the dominance of BSkyB since Rupert Murdoch launched the pay-TV group over 20 years ago.

The former telecoms monopoly, which has committed around 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) to the project, is stepping into an arena where others have failed, invariably outmaneuvered by BSkyB in the battle for programming and subscribers.

Jul 31, 2013

U.S. drinkers offset slower emerging markets for Diageo

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Demand from U.S. drinkers for
expensive whiskies and new spirits is helping Diageo to
offset slowing growth in some emerging markets, the world’s
biggest spirits maker said on Wednesday, echoing a trend seen
elsewhere in the luxury sector.

In its first set of results under new boss Ivan Menezes, the
maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Guinness stout met forecasts
with an 8 percent rise in annual operating profit and stuck to
its medium-term growth targets.

Jul 29, 2013

Ad groups scramble after Publicis-Omnicom shake-up

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – A plan to merge Publicis PUB.PA and Omnicom (OMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) into the world’s biggest advertising group has begun a scramble by rivals to poach their blue-chip clients worried the new agency might face conflicts of interest.

Without any defections, the Franco-U.S. giant would bring the accounts of major competitors in a number of industries such as Apple and Samsung, or Coca Cola and PepsiCo, under one roof.

Jul 28, 2013

WPP’s Sorrell sees more deals after Publicis Omnicom

LONDON (Reuters) – Martin Sorrell, head of world No. 1 ad group WPP, congratulated long-time rival Maurice Levy on persuading Omnicom to merge, adding that further consolidation was inevitable in the industry.

Sorrell was reacting to news that France’s Publicis and U.S. group Omnicom had agreed to combine in a deal that would catapult the world’s third- and second-largest advertising companies above UK-based WPP.

Jul 26, 2013

BSkyB to upgrade set-top boxes and content to fend off BT

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – BSkyB plans to provide
more and cheaper ways to access its premium content and Internet
services to counter cash-rich rival BT’s offer of free
Premier League football to broadband customers.

The group, which has dominated pay-TV in Britain since
Rupert Murdoch launched it in 1989 and reaches 10 million homes,
said it would invest about 70 million pounds ($100 million) in
the next financial year to improve on-demand programming and
connectivity.

Jul 25, 2013

BT chief signs off with turnaround set fair

LONDON (Reuters) – Outgoing BT (BT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boss Ian Livingston is set to leave on a high note after results that carried all the hallmarks of his five years at the telecom operator’s helm, with costs down, profits up and investment in place for the future.

His successor, head of retail Gavin Patterson, will step into the chief executive role with the company’s stock trading near a six-year high after a recovery from the two major profit warnings Livingston delivered at the start of his tenure.

Jul 24, 2013

Smartphone demand boosts EE and Carphone

LONDON (Reuters) – Demand for high-end smartphones on long-running contracts helped Britain’s largest mobile operator EE and phone retailer Carphone Warehouse to post better than expected results on Wednesday.

EE, owned by Orange and Deutsche Telekom, said it had grown first-half earnings by 9 percent and posted its highest ever margins as demand for mobile contracts, including those running on its superfast fourth generation network, jumped ahead.

    • 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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