UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Jun 4, 2014

Tesco strategy under scrutiny as British sales slide worsens

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco
recorded its worst quarterly UK sales drop in 40 years,
raising questions over boss Phil Clarke’s strategy to counter
the challenges of a rapidly-changing grocery industry.

British consumers are looking around to save money, trying
to waste less by buying little and often in local convenience
stores instead of a big weekly shop at large out-of-town stores.

Jun 4, 2014

Pressure mounts at Tesco as British sales slide worsens

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco
recorded its worst quarterly UK sales drop in 40 years
on Wednesday, ratcheting up the pressure on boss Phil Clarke to
show his turnaround plan can counter the challenges of the
grocery industry.

British consumers are shopping around to save money, wasting
less and turning to fast-growing discounters such as Aldi
and Lidl or Waitrose and Marks &
Spencer at the top end of the market. The once-mighty
Tesco has posted two straight years of profit decline.

May 29, 2014

Centrica faces leadership void as executive departures continue

LONDON (Reuters) – The head of Centrica’s British Gas division is leaving the company, it said on Thursday, joining other high-profile departures that leave a leadership vacuum as the group contends with public and political anger over soaring energy bills.

The loss of Chris Weston follows the announcement in January that Finance Director Nick Luff is to leave Centrica this year and comes at the same time as the British group’s board makes preparations for the expected exit of long-serving CEO Sam Laidlaw.

May 29, 2014

Centrica loses second executive in five months

LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s Centrica said
the head of its British Gas division was leaving the company,
the second big-name departure to be announced in five months as
it battles public anger over soaring energy bills.

Chris Weston, who will become the new boss of power provider
Aggreko next year, joins Centrica’s Finance Director
Nick Luff in announcing his intention to leave. Media have
speculated that Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw may also soon quit.

May 22, 2014

British property website Zoopla joins rush to stock market

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s second-largest property
website Zoopla plans to list its shares on the London stock
market next month to tap into rising confidence in the country’s
housing sector, potentially valuing the group at about 1 billion
pounds ($1.7 billion).

Majority owner Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT)
said Zoopla’s existing owners planned to sell shares in June to
institutional investors and the estate agents who pay to list
properties on its websites.

May 20, 2014

Vodafone calls on Modi to show open stance with tax talks

LONDON/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) boss Vittorio Colao has challenged India’s new government to back up its pro-business credentials by resolving the telecoms group’s long-running tax dispute in the country.

The British company became India’s largest overseas corporate investor when it acquired Hutchison Whampoa’s (0013.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) Indian mobile assets in 2007 as part of its strategy of chasing growth in emerging markets.

May 20, 2014

Vodafone calls on India’s Modi to show open stance with tax talks

LONDON/NEW DELHI, May 20 (Reuters) – Vodafone boss
Vittorio Colao has challenged India’s new government to back up
its pro-business credentials by resolving the telecoms group’s
long-running tax dispute in the country.

The British company became India’s largest overseas
corporate investor when it acquired Hutchison Whampoa’s
Indian mobile assets in 2007 as part of its strategy
of chasing growth in emerging markets.

May 20, 2014

Vodafone sees 2015 earnings hit by network investment

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – Britain’s Vodafone said
next year’s earnings would be hit by vital investment in its
network, as it reported a 6.6 billion-pound dent to its 2014
results from writing down the value of European operations
struggling in a tough market.

The world’s second-largest mobile operator has reported
record falls in underlying revenue in the last 18 months, due to
fierce competition, regulator-imposed price cuts and European
consumers reducing the number of calls they make to save money.

May 19, 2014

UK takeover rules block higher Pfizer offer before Astra deadline

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer has left itself no room to return with a higher offer for AstraZeneca before a deadline expires next Monday due to Britain’s strict takeover rules, even if the British firm wanted it to, experts say.

Astra, Britain’s second largest drugmaker, rejected Pfizer’s fourth and “final” offer on Monday, just hours after receiving it, saying the $118 billion proposal still undervalued the firm.

May 14, 2014

MPs give Pfizer stick as it waves carrot at AstraZeneca

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer hinted it could raise its proposed $106 billion (62.9 billion pounds) offer if AstraZeneca would only engage in talks, as its boss was grilled by MPs on his commitment to British research spending and jobs.

In response AstraZeneca said it would have to consider a compelling offer but accused Pfizer of an “opportunistic” proposal and a ploy to cut taxes that risked its reputation.

    • 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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