European Retail Correspondent
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Jan 16, 2012

Investors want Tesco to toughen share trade rules

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Shareholders want Britain’s
Tesco Plc to tighten rules on when its executives can
trade shares, after a senior manager sold stock eight days
before the company issued a profit warning which hammered its
share price.

Investors said the rules needed revising to put greater
distance between the timing of share deals by executives and
significant company announcements.

Jan 13, 2012

Profit outlook darkens for European retailers

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Fears about the profit outlook for 2012 will loom large when top European retailers including Carrefour and Metro post fourth-quarter sales next week amid signs of growing consumer caution and after a shock warning from Tesco Thursday.

Disposable incomes are being squeezed across much of Europe by rising prices, muted wages growth and government austerity measures. The euro zone debt crisis has also hammered confidence and the signs are that where there have been increases in Christmas sales, this has been due to snow-disrupted comparable figures from the year before and to margin-crushing discounts.

Jan 13, 2012

Tesco exec sold shares ahead of profit warning

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A senior Tesco
executive sold stock just over a week before a profit warning
sent its shares plunging, a regulatory filing shows, causing
fresh embarrassment for the world’s third-biggest retailer.

Noel “Bob” Robbins, UK chief operating officer, sold 50,000
shares at 404.51 pence apiece on Jan. 4, netting around 202,000
pounds ($309,000), according to a filing published on Jan. 5.

Jan 12, 2012

Tesco issues profit warning after poor Christmas

LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Tesco issued its
first profit warning in living memory on Thursday, sending
shares in British grocers tumbling on fears the world’s
third-biggest retailer would launch a price war to fight back
from its worst Christmas in decades.

The warning, which prompted the biggest one-day fall in
Tesco shares since 1988, raised the spectre of a drop in
profitability for the industry as a whole and threatens the cash
engine that drives the company’s overseas expansion.

Jan 12, 2012

Tesco warns on profit after poor Christmas

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco, the world’s third-biggest retailer, issued a profit warning after reporting its worst Christmas sales performance for decades, with the prospect of a price war sending shares in British supermarkets tumbling on Thursday.

Tesco’s warning was accompanied by a raft of weak trading updates from British store groups including Home Retail-owned Argos, bicycles-to-car parts group Halfords and Mothercare, which underscored how cash-strapped Britons have been cutting back spending on non-essential goods.

Jan 11, 2012

Sainsbury’s Christmas sales top forecast

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – British grocer J Sainsbury
beat Christmas sales forecasts as store extensions and
its expansion into convenience outlets, online shopping and
non-food ranges helped it take market share in a tough trading
environment.

Britain’s third-biggest supermarket group behind Wal-Mart’s
Asda and industry leader Tesco said on
Wednesday sales at stores open over a year rose 2.1 percent,
excluding fuel, in the 14 weeks ended Jan. 7.

Jan 10, 2012

UK retailers cautious after cut-price Christmas

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Deep discounting tempted
cash-strapped Britons to spend over Christmas, squeezing profit
margins at retailers who see little sign of business improving
as disposable incomes are pressured and the country teeters
close to recession.

Bellwether store group Marks & Spencer said on
Tuesday it eked out a 0.5 percent rise in underlying British
sales in the 13 weeks ended Dec. 31, as customers treated
themselves to its upmarket foods.

Jan 9, 2012

Morrisons sees tougher 2012 as growth slows

LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Britain’s Wm Morrison
Supermarkets posted a slowdown in sales growth over
Christmas and predicted this year would be even tougher than
2011 as shoppers’ disposable incomes are squeezed and the
country teeters on the brink of recession.

“I think it’s going to be harder than the year we’ve just
come out of,” chief executive Dalton Philips said on Monday.

Dec 29, 2011

Bargain hunters offer little relief to Europe’s retailers

LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) – A brisk start to
post-Christmas sales in some European countries is unlikely to
save retailers from more profit warnings and insolvencies as
cash-strapped shoppers are only being tempted to open their
purses by margin-crushing discounts.

Crowded stores in major economies like Germany and Britain
will ease fears the euro zone’s debt crisis could see consumers
across the region cut back on everything other than essentials.

Dec 2, 2011

Tesco’s year of pain in Britain

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco, the world’s No.3 retailer, could report a drop in underlying British sales for the fourth quarter in a row on Thursday, overshadowing a more solid performance in its overseas markets.

Store groups across Europe are struggling as shoppers’ disposable incomes are squeezed by rising prices, muted wages growth and government austerity measures, and as they worry the euro zone debt crisis will plunge the region back into recession.

    • About Mark

      "Based in London, UK. Responsible for ThomsonReuters coverage of European retail companies. Previously worked as Chief Correspondent of UK Equities and before that as reporter on the UK company news desk."
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