Martinne's Feed
Apr 24, 2014

Tea time again in London as Unilever brews up a drinks revival

LONDON (Reuters) – Consumer goods giant Unilever opened its first European tea shop in London on Thursday, aiming to cash in on the growing appeal of unusual and luxury cuppas and ignite fresh enthusiasm for the national drink.

A new generation of Britons drink more coffee than tea since the arrival of the mighty Starbucks, and a host of imitators that now crowd high streets. But with Starbucks opening a tea bar in New York last October and talking about a $90 billion global market, the tide may be turning.

Apr 24, 2014

Unilever sales top estimates; may sell Ragu, SlimFast

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – Unilever said
it may sell its underperforming Ragu pasta sauce and SlimFast
brands as it reported higher-than-expected first-quarter sales
on Thursday, led by strong sales in Northern Europe of personal
and household cleaning products.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Dove soap
and Lipton tea announced a strategic review of its North
American pasta sauce business, which includes the market-leading
Ragu brand, and the troubled SlimFast brand whose sales have
tumbled in its biggest market, the United States.

Apr 21, 2014

Consumer firms adapt to win over emerging markets’ middle classes

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – From chocolate and dumplings to
toothpaste, consumer goods companies are adapting to new
spending habits as incomes rise in emerging markets while
protecting profits in places where they can be volatile.

Packaging toothpaste into tiny tubes or moving more
manufacturing locally, consumer firms are cutting prices and
costs to make their wares more affordable and accessible to
people able to buy their products for the first time.

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.