LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Whitbread, the owner of
Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee, on Friday named Lloyds
Banking Group executive Alison Brittain as its new
boss, succeeding Andy Harrison.
Brittain, 50, is currently group director of Lloyds’ retail
division. She previously held senior roles at Santander UK and
Barclays and is also a non executive director of Marks
LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Intense competition in the
parcels market from rivals including Amazon will leave
Britain’s Royal Mail reliant on cost controls and
efficiency improvements to underpin profits this year.
Parcels, which generate half of Royal Mail’s 9.4 billion
pound ($14.7 billion) revenues, are the firm’s focus in light of
declining letter volumes. However, growth forecasts have had to
be cut because of overcapacity in the market that led to the
demise of rival City Link last December.
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) – Asda, the British arm of U.S.
retailer Wal-Mart, reported its worst quarterly sales
fall in more than five years on Tuesday, but insisted its
long-term strategy was the right one.
Asda, ranked second by annual revenue behind Tesco
among British supermarkets, has been hit by an industry price
war and record food deflation. It warned this year was shaping
up to be even tougher than 2014, with the grocery market
turbulent and shopping habits continuing to change.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest tile specialist Topps Tiles (TPT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) may target the commercial market once it has reached its goal of taking a third of domestic sales across the country, it said on Tuesday.
Helped by new openings and improved stores and ranges, Topps Tiles has grown its share of the domestic market for six straight years to 30.3 percent at the end of 2014 and is aiming to take a third in total, possibly this year.
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest tile specialist
Topps Tiles may target the commercial market once it has
reached its goal of taking a third of domestic sales across the
country, it said on Tuesday.
Helped by new openings and improved stores and ranges, Topps
Tiles has grown its share of the domestic market for six
straight years to 30.3 percent at the end of 2014 and is aiming
to take a third in total, possibly this year.
LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – English Premier League soccer club Manchester United hinted on Thursday at another spending spree this summer after promising to have a squad capable of competing with the best teams in Europe next season.
Led by new coach Louis van Gaal, the 20-times champions spent around 150 million pounds ($237 million) last year after slumping to a shock seventh place in 2013/14 when they failed to qualify for the lucrative European Champions League for the first time in 19 years.
LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) – British pub landlord group
Enterprise Inns plans to sell 1,000 pubs, create a large
property rental arm and expand its own managed pubs unit in
response to a new tenant law that stands to hit profits.
The law that will allow publicans to choose where they buy
their beer, threatening future profits of landlords who under a
system known as the “beer-tie” charge tenants above-market
drinks prices and offer subsidised rent and benefits in return.
LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – British data centre provider
Telecity Group Plc has opened talks on a possible 2.3
billion pound ($3.5 billion) takeover by Equinix Inc,
throwing into doubt Telecity’s deal to buy Interxion Holding NV
agreed three months ago.
Telecity, which runs some of the huge computer centres which
process traffic on the Internet, said on Thursday it believed it
was duty-bound to enter talks with U.S. group Equinix over a
possible offer of 1,145 pence per share, a 27 percent premium to
Wednesday’s closing price.
LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Home Retail, Britain’s
biggest household goods retailer, warned first half sales at
Argos would likely decline this year as it works through revamps
to the business and battles weaker demand for tablets, consoles
The group, which also runs DIY chain Homebase, is
transforming its larger, more profitable Argos arm from a
catalogue-based retailer into an online business, targeting
higher sales from mobiles and tablet PCs and making collections
faster and easier.
LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) – The boss of Costa Coffee and
Premier Inn hotels operator Whitbread on Tuesday
announced plans to leave by February next year, as the company
posted another surge in profits and stepped up its expansion
Whitbread’s stock market value has grown from 2.5 billion
pounds ($3.8 billion) to almost 10 billion pounds since Andy
Harrison joined from easyJet as chief executive in September
2010, as it tapped demand from cost-conscious customers for
affordable hotels and takeaway coffee.