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Aug 8, 2013

Tesco bets on big-store revamp to boost UK recovery plan

LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Tesco, the world’s number
three retailer, is hoping the allure of casual dining, coffees
and even yoga will help tempt Britons back to its retail park
stores as part of a 1 billion pound ($1.55 billion) push to
revitalise business.

Like other retailers, Tesco, which makes about two-thirds of
its revenue in Britain, has seen online shopping, rising petrol
prices and weak consumer spending curb the need for its largest
stores and their big ticket items, with supermarkets now betting
more heavily on online and smaller local convenience stores.

Aug 6, 2013

InterContinental Hotels gets a boost from strong U.S. demand

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – InterContinental Hotels Group
, the world’s biggest hotelier, posted a big rise in
first-half profits on the back of strong demand in the United
States and said it would return $350 million to shareholders via
a special dividend.

IHG, which operates 4,600 hotels globally and is home to the
Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental brands, added to
recent upbeat comments from rivals Starwood and Marriott
International on high U.S. demand, which is helping
offset tougher trading conditions in Europe and Greater China.

Jul 31, 2013

Britain’s centuries-old Royal Mail eyes end of state control

LONDON (Reuters) – After three aborted privatization attempts in 19 years, Britain’s Royal Mail postal service looks closer than ever to a sale that would end almost five centuries of ties to the state.

But the centre-right coalition government must first convince investors, nervous lawmakers and a heavily unionized workforce still opposed to private ownership.

Jul 31, 2013

BAT plans rapid e-cigarette expansion around world

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – British American Tobacco
said it would move rapidly to expand its presence in
the electronic cigarette market around the world after launching
its first product in Britain earlier this week.

The world’s No.2 cigarette maker, whose premium brands
include Kent, Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall, launched
online sales of ‘Vype’ on Monday, becoming the first major
tobacco firm to offer e-cigarettes in Britain.

Jul 30, 2013

UK’s Domino’s Pizza shares drop as Germany push falters

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Britain’s Domino’s Pizza
has slowed expansion plans for its fledgling German business, as
higher wage and training costs there meant the unit would break
even as much as two years later than forecast.

Shares in Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm dropped 7.4
percent to 555.5 pence at 0828 GMT, leading the fallers on the
FTSE 250 index of mid-sized companies and carrying the stock to
a near four-month low.

Jul 29, 2013

Health and hygiene focus helps Reckitt lift sales

LONDON (Reuters) – Reckitt Benckiser’s (RB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) focus on health and hygiene products is paying off, the consumer goods group said on Monday, as demand for brands such as Durex condoms and Dettol disinfectants helped it to nudge up its annual sales forecast.

The British firm, which also makes Cillit Bang cleaners and Finish dishwasher tablets, has been concentrating on high-margin health and hygiene products to take advantage of ageing Western populations and rising incomes in emerging markets.

Jul 24, 2013

Wetherspoon more bullish as UK pub-goers’ mood improves

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Britain’s JD Wetherspoon
nudged up its profit guidance and said it would accelerate new
pub openings next year thanks to a recovery in margins and a
more upbeat mood among customers.

The company’s 800 pubs have helped cash-strapped consumers
ride out the downturn with promotions like curry clubs and ‘beer
and a burger’ bargains. Having planned to open 20-25 sites in
the next fiscal year, 2013/14, it said on Wednesday it was now
aiming for 30.

Jul 23, 2013

Premier Foods sees 2013 profit at top end of forecasts

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – Premier Foods, the maker
of Mr Kipling cakes and Hovis bread, said it expected full-year
results to be at the top end of forecasts after cost cuts helped
the group to report a 50 percent leap in first-half trading

The British food producer also said on Tuesday it expected
full-year free cash flow to be between 50 and 70 million pounds,
slightly higher than earlier estimates, which would help reduce
year-end net debt to 840-860 million pounds ($1.32 billion) from
890 mln at the end of June.

Jul 22, 2013

Demand healthy for Royal Mail selloff, UK minister says

LONDON (Reuters) – The planned flotation of Britain’s postal service is drawing healthy demand from domestic and overseas investors, building momentum for an autumn sale, Business Minister Michael Fallon told Reuters on Monday.

Overseeing the country’s biggest privatization in decades, Fallon said he hoped a pay deal with trade unions and Royal Mail would soon be sealed to help ease investor concerns.

Jul 18, 2013

Sports Direct rethinks founder’s payout, pays staff bumper bonus

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) – Sports Direct, Britain’s
biggest sporting goods retailer, scrapped plans to pay its
billionaire founder Mike Ashley a bonus worth some 60 million
pounds on Thursday, saying it would look for other ways to
reward him for its rapid growth.

Ashley, who founded the company in 1982, has not taken a
salary since Sports Direct floated in 2007, during which time
its share price has doubled. He has also provided significant
free advertising for it through his ownership of English Premier
League soccer club Newcastle United.

    • 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"
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