Martinne's Feed
Apr 17, 2014

Strong European currencies eat into company profits

LONDON (Reuters) – As European policymakers consider action to stop a strong euro holding back jobs growth, companies across the continent say the currency’s strength is already eating into their profits.

Some of Europe’s largest companies including Danone (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), SAP AG (SAPG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and L’Oreal (OREP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have posted buoyant first-quarter sales volumes in the past week thanks largely to strong demand in emerging markets such as Brazil and in North America.

Apr 17, 2014

Diageo, Remy Cointreau crimped by Chinese sobriety

LONDON/PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – Britain’s Diageo
and France’s Remy Cointreau reported steep sales
declines in China on Thursday, failing to revive a taste for
their luxury spirits more than a year after an anti-corruption
campaign first hit conspicuous consumption.

Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch and Smirnoff vodka,
posted a 1.3 percent drop in third-quarter organic net sales,
versus market expectations for a 2 percent increase, according
to analysts. Sales slid 19 percent in Asia and saw weakness in
other emerging markets including Russia, South Africa and Kenya.

Apr 16, 2014

Reckitt leans towards pharmaceuticals spin-off

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – Consumer goods maker Reckitt
Benckiser Group stood by its 2014 financial targets on
Wednesday despite unusually weak sales of disinfectants and
signalled it was leaning toward spinning off its declining
pharmaceuticals business.

The British company said a strategic review of Reckitt
Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (RBP) that it launched in October was
progressing well and that a “capital markets solution is
emerging as a strong option”.

Apr 15, 2014

Imperial Tobacco to shut factories in UK, France

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) – Britain’s Imperial Tobacco
is shutting cigarette factories in England and France
with the loss of about 900 jobs as it grapples with declining
sales in Europe.

The maker of Gauloises and Davidoff cigarettes blamed the
closures on tough economic conditions, increased regulation and
taxes and growth in the illicit tobacco trade.

Apr 15, 2014

SABMiller’s African troubles weigh on sales growth

LONDON (Reuters) – SABMiller (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s second-largest brewer by sales, posted a modest rise in full-year lager sales volumes following troubles in a number of African markets that have been fuelling growth for the past few years.

The London-listed company behind beers such as Miller Lite and Peroni also said on Tuesday it was reviewing its “non-core” holding, worth about $1 billion (597 million pounds), in South African hotel company Tsogo Sun Holdings (TSHJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research).

Apr 11, 2014

London art exchange lets collectors buy shares of a Banksy

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) – It may look more like a trading
floor than an art show. Hundreds of well-heeled Londoners mill
about, checking screens to see the latest trades and buy shares
in initial public offerings. But the Banksy paintings and
Shepard Fairey print point to a serious art gallery.

My Art Invest opened its doors in East London on Thursday,
providing art collectors with a front for an online trading
platform where they can buy shares in works by important street
artists for as little as 5 pounds ($8).

Apr 8, 2014

British supermarket discount war not spooking suppliers

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – Supermarket discount wars have
long been the stuff of nightmares for grocery suppliers expected
to slash their own prices in turn, but this time around in
Britain many say they are sleeping just fine.

Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have
together pledged 2.4 billion pounds ($4 billion) in lower prices
to compete with fast-growing German-owned discount chains. But
many experts think an all-out price war is unlikely and for now
supermarkets are footing the bill themselves, not squeezing
their suppliers.

Apr 7, 2014

Brown-Forman among those eyeing Whyte & Mackay: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drinks company Brown-Forman (BFb.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is one of several parties considering second-round bids for the Whyte & Mackay whisky business, expected to fetch around 350 million pounds ($581 million), said three people familiar with the matter.

The bulk of Whyte & Mackay is being sold by United Spirits (UNSP.NS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to satisfy antitrust concerns arising from Diageo’s (DGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) purchase of a controlling stake in the Indian drinks firm. Diageo is already the leader in the UK Scotch market, where Whyte & Mackay’s business is centered.

Apr 3, 2014

Britain says ready to ban all branding on cigarette packs

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain plans to force tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets without branding to improve public health and cut the number of child smokers, a government minister said on Thursday, dismaying the industry and delighting anti-smoking campaigners.

The government said it wanted to leave space on cigarette packaging only for graphic health warnings, after holding a short final consultation on the issue, and said the rule could become law within a year.

Mar 24, 2014

Australian tobacco sales edge up despite plain packs: industry

LONDON (Reuters) – Deliveries of tobacco to retailers in Australia rose slightly last year for the first time in at least five years, even after the introduction of plain packaging aimed at deterring smokers, according to industry sales figures released on Monday.

Australia, which in December 2012 became the first country to ban branded cigarette packs, is being closely watched for signs of success as other nations including Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom explore similar measures.