UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Feb 4, 2015

Strong British and German demand boost maiden Sky results

LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Strong demand for pay TV in
Britain and a record jump in German customers helped Sky Plc
post better-than-expected first-half profit on
Wednesday in its first results as a European group.

Sky, which formed from the combination of Britain’s BSkyB,
Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to serve 20 million customers in
Europe, said it had also seen a significant decline in the
number of people leaving the platform.

Feb 2, 2015

Ryanair sees cheap oil fuelling competition on fares

DUBLIN/LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Ryanair cautioned
on Monday that profits would only rise modestly in the year
ahead as low oil prices help rivals to cut fares, taking the
shine off its third profit upgrade in as many months for the
year ending in March.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers, has
increased its profit forecast for the current financial year by
over 30 percent since it reported stellar half-year results
three months ago, due to improvements in its much berated
customer service that have boosted fares and passenger numbers.

Jan 30, 2015

BT to upgrade fibre network in latest stage of transformation

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The revival of the once staid
British telecom monopoly BT picked up pace on Friday when
it launched a drive to upgrade its fibre network ahead of a key
soccer rights auction and a deal to buy mobile operator EE.

Getting its finances in order ahead of the two pivotal
events, BT also agreed a new deal with its pension trustees to
tackle a deficit that has hit 7 billion pounds ($10.5 billion),
up from 3.9 billion pounds three years ago.

Jan 29, 2015

Sky to enter Britain’s mobile market with Telefonica deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s dominant pay-TV group Sky SKY.L plans to launch a mobile service from 2016 through a deal with O2 owner Telefonica (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research), ramping up the pressure in the country’s already crowded communications market.

Sky, which raced to become the country’s second-largest provider of home broadband after entering the market just seven years ago, will offer voice and data services to all customers through a wholesale partnership with Telefonica’s O2 network.

Jan 21, 2015

Pearson expects to return to growth this year

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s Pearson said
it expected to return to earnings growth in 2015, after a solid
performance its North American higher education unit helped
bring an end to a turbulent two years of restructuring and
profit downgrades.

The education and media group said for 2015 it expected
adjusted earnings per share to come in between 75 and 80 pence,
up from the 66 pence it expects for last year, in what would be
the first rise since 2011.

Jan 7, 2015

Sainsbury’s posts better-than-expected Christmas quarter

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – British grocer Sainsbury’s
reported a better-than-expected Christmas quarter,
boosting its shares and providing a rare bright spot in an
industry convulsed by the march of the discounters.

The firm, which trails troubled market leader Tesco
and Wal-Mart Stores’ Asda by sales, said it remained
cautious about prospects for its full financial year with food
price deflation and intense competition likely to continue.

Jan 5, 2015

John Lewis may rein in Black Friday push next Christmas

LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) – British department store chain
John Lewis enjoyed the most lucrative week in its
150-year-history thanks to “Black Friday” business which helped
to drive sales nearly five percent higher in the five weeks to
Dec. 27.

However, the company said the late November discounting
brought by the import of Black Friday from the United States was
disrupting traditional Christmas trading patterns and may have
to be tempered.

Dec 23, 2014

UK households drive economy, current account deeper in red

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy relied more heavily on spending by households for growth in the third quarter despite a fall in take-home incomes, underscoring the challenges of getting the recovery onto a sounder footing.

In another disappointing sign for policymakers, business investment was weaker than in an earlier reading of how Britain’s economy fared from July to September.

Dec 16, 2014

Resurgent BT comes back to haunt old rival Vodafone

LONDON (Reuters) – BT’s move to buy mobile operator EE is expected to put the former state-owned telecoms giant back in pole position as fixed line and mobile services converge, forcing rivals such as Vodafone to make costly moves of their own to keep up.

BT on Monday entered into exclusive talks with the owners of EE, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, after playing them off for weeks against rival suitor, Telefonica, showing the power the 168-year-old fixed-line operator now wields with its vision of providing a unified fixed and mobile broadband Internet service.

Dec 15, 2014

BT opts for EE over O2 for 12.5 billion-pound UK mobile deal

LONDON (Reuters) – BT (BT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has entered exclusive talks with the owners of EE for a potential 12.5 billion-pound ($19.6 billion) acquisition deal to give the former UK state telecoms firm the top position in mobile as well as fixed line broadband services.

BT had been in competing talks with both the Spanish group Telefonica’s (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) rival mobile firm O2 and EE’s owners, Orange (ORAN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), putting the 168-year-old fixed line firm in a strong position in negotiating for a return to the consumer mobile market after 13 years away.

    • 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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