UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Oct 24, 2014

Bond investors take fright at Tesco’s fall from grace

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Investors demanded higher yields
to hold Tesco’s debt on Friday while the cost of
insuring against default rose sharply after ratings downgrades
left Britain’s biggest grocer hovering just above junk status.

Though Tesco does not face any short-term liquidity issues
and has significant spare cash and undrawn bank facilities at
its disposal, first-half interest costs amounted to almost 80
percent of its operating profit.

Oct 22, 2014

Tesco’s results set to reveal extent of accounting scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – Dave Lewis, the new boss of crisis-hit British grocer Tesco Plc (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), will face his first public test on Thursday when he reveals the damage caused by a financial scandal on a business already losing popularity with shoppers.

Britain’s biggest retailer has been reeling since Sept. 22 when it said an earlier profit warning had still overstated first-half group profit by around 250 million pounds, wiping a fifth off its market value.

Oct 16, 2014

New Tesco boss likely to sell assets to fund recovery plan

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Just six weeks into his job,
Tesco boss Dave Lewis must look at selling assets in
Britain and abroad as he battles to raise funds to pull the
world’s No.3 grocer out of the deepest crisis in its 95-year

Trading at the British retailer has deteriorated to such an
extent that its debt and ballooning pension deficit mean it
could do with more cash. And that’s even before it starts to
consider the cost of a plan to revive sales.

Oct 14, 2014

New Zealand shows the way for Vodafone’s cable strategy

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – For those investors questioning
the potential of Vodafone’s 12 billion pound ($19
billion) move into the European cable business, the company’s
experience in New Zealand shows what can be achieved.

With revenues sliding at an alarming rate in Europe, the
British mobile operator has embarked on a programme to buy large
fixed-line broadband assets such as Spain’s Ono and Germany’s
Kabel Deutschland to offer more services to customers.

Oct 14, 2014

UK inflation slides in Sept, market sees delayed rate hike

LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation slowed sharply in September to its lowest level in five years, further reducing pressure on the Bank of England to start raising interest rates even as the economy grows strongly.

Consumer prices rose by a weaker-than-expected 1.2 percent on the year in September, down from 1.5 percent in August, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

Oct 8, 2014

UK’s EE launches TV service to boost broadband sales

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest mobile operator
EE is to launch a new TV service, aiming to steal a march on its
traditional rivals and take on entertainment groups such as
BSkyB by offering premium programming as part of a
broadband package.

Britain’s communications industry has been transformed in
recent years, with former state telecoms group BT
broadcasting Premier League soccer matches and media groups
pushing their shows to viewers via smartphones and tablets.

Oct 6, 2014

Walt Disney rescues Euro Disney with $1.3 billion funding deal

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has come to the rescue of its loss-making subsidiary Euro Disney (EDLP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) with a 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) funding deal announced on Monday, which could give the U.S. group total control over Europe’s biggest tourist attraction.

The deal includes a rights issue and debt restructuring which will inject 420 million euro in cash into the Euro Disney group and eliminate 600 million euros of its debt owed to Walt Disney via an equity swap.

Oct 1, 2014

UK’s Sainsbury’s cuts full-year sales forecast after trading worsens

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Britain’s J Sainsbury cut
its full-year sales forecast and said it would assess its
dividend policy as part of a strategic review after
second-quarter sales fell sharply, adding to the turmoil in the
grocery market.

Shares in the company, which trails troubled market leader
Tesco and is battling with Wal-Mart Stores’
Asda to be the UK’s No. 2 grocer, rose initially on relief that
sales had not fallen further.

Sep 30, 2014

Virgin Media lodges complaint over Premier League rights auction

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Cable operator Virgin Media has complained to Britain’s broadcast regulator over the way that rights to Premier League soccer matches are sold, saying that consumers are being forced to pay too high a price to watch games.

Britain’s Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, says it does not plan to bid in the next rights auction but it is affected by the prices paid through its role as a wholesaler of sports channels from BSkyB and BT.

Sep 22, 2014

Tesco cuts profit outlook again and suspends staff after accounting error

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco cut its profit forecast for the third time in two months on Monday and suspended four members of staff after finding a major fault in its accounts, dealing another blow to the reputation of the world’s third biggest retailer.

Just three weeks after Dave Lewis started as its new chief executive, Tesco’s shares fell up to 12 percent after the firm said it had called in its lawyers as well as new accountants to investigate an error in its UK food business that forced it to cut its first-half profit outlook by 250 million pounds ($408.50 million).

    • 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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