Company News Reporter, London
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Apr 29, 2015

Home Retail cautious on first half prospects at Argos

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
and TVs.

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.

Apr 28, 2015

Costa Coffee owner ramps up expansion plans as CEO departs

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
targets.

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.

Apr 23, 2015

Tesco counts cost of decline with record 6.4 billion pound loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) revealed the cost of its spectacular decline on Wednesday with an annual loss of 6.4 billion pounds ($9.5 billion), one of the biggest in British corporate history, and warned investors there could be more pain to come.

The 96-year-old group, which dominated the British retail landscape for decades, wrote down the value of its business by 7 billion pounds, suffering in an industry price war sparked by the challenge from German discount chains Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl [LIDUK.UL].

Apr 22, 2015

Tesco suffers record annual loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plunged to an annual loss of 6.4 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) on Wednesday, the worst in its 96-year history, after shoppers deserted Britain’s biggest retailer and forced it to write down the value of its stores.

Hurt by an accounting scandal and a price war sparked by the march of discount groups Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl [LIDUK.UL], the supermarket wrote down the value of its business by 7 billion pounds to reflect restructuring charges and the lower sales its stores were making.

Apr 22, 2015

Tesco suffers record annual loss of 6.4 billion pounds

LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) – Tesco plunged to an
annual loss of 6.4 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) on Wednesday,
the worst in its 96-year history, after shoppers deserted
Britain’s biggest retailer and forced it to write down the value
of its stores.

Hurt by an accounting scandal and a price war sparked by the
march of discount groups Aldi and Lidl,
the supermarket wrote down the value of its business by 7
billion pounds to reflect restructuring charges and the lower
sales its stores were making.

Apr 21, 2015

UK supermarkets face possible probe over pricing practices

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s embattled
supermarkets face a possible probe by competition regulators
after UK consumer watchdog Which? demanded an investigation into
grocers’ pricing practices.

Which? said on Tuesday it had made a “super-complaint” to
the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after identifying
“misleading and confusing” pricing tactics over seven years in
areas such as multi-buy offers, at the likes of Tesco
and Asda (part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc ).

Apr 17, 2015

Poundland may scrap 99p Stores acquisition after competition questions

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – British discount retailer
Poundland warned on Friday it may walk away from its
planned 55 million pounds ($82 million) acquisition of rival 99p
Stores rather than be subject to a lengthy probe by the UK
competition watchdog.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said last
week the agreed deal could result in a substantial lessening of
competition and would be subject to a further investigation in
the absense of undertakings, such as selling some stores.

Apr 17, 2015

Property writedown to add to Tesco’s turnaround challenge

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will point to recent signs of recovery when Britain’s biggest retailer reports annual results on Wednesday, though an expected big writedown on the value of its stores could highlight the work still needed to mend its finances.

Analysts think asset sales, including perhaps parts of its Asian and mainland European businesses, could be on the cards, and that Tesco may also ask shareholders for cash to help reduce about 7.5 billion pounds ($11 billion) in net debt and a pension deficit that may have ballooned to more than 5 billion pounds.

Apr 16, 2015

Debenhams posts first-half profit surprise rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Debenhams (DEB.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Britain’s No.2 department stores chain, posted a better-than-expected rise in first-half profit as fewer promotions boosted full-price sales, and an improved online offering helped increase demand.

Pretax profit of 88.9 million pounds ($132 million) for the 26 weeks to Feb. 28 was up 4.3 percent on a year earlier. It was also above a company-compiled forecast of 84.5 million pounds

Apr 16, 2015

Debenhams posts H1 profit surprise rise

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – Debenhams, Britain’s
No.2 department stores chain, posted a better-than-expected rise
in first-half profit as fewer promotions boosted full-price
sales, and an improved online offering helped increase demand.

Pretax profit of 88.9 million pounds ($132 million) for the
26 weeks to Feb. 28 was up 4.3 percent on a year earlier. It was
also above a company-compiled forecast of 84.5 million pounds

    • About Neil

      "I'm a company news reporter covering the retail and leisure sectors. Based in London I write on everything from the big retailers to fashion chains, hotels, drinks firms, pubs and coffee shops. I've previously covered the outsourcing sector and before that worked on Reuters sport for three years. You can follow me on Twitter @ReutersMaidment"
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
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