Company News Reporter, London
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Jun 5, 2014

Former Morrisons boss blasts “disastrous” performance

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – Ken Morrison, the son of the
founder and a former boss of Morrisons, on Thursday
labelled the grocer’s performance “disastrous” and called for
its board to be bolstered with more “retail knowledge”.

Morrisons is currently the worst-performing of Britain’s
so-called big four grocers, trailing market leader Tesco
, Wal-Mart’s Asda and Sainsbury’s.

Jun 2, 2014

G4S overhaul continues with new strategy director

LONDON (Reuters) – G4S (GFS.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s biggest security firm, has promoted the boss of its Indian arm to oversee group strategy, marking its latest move in an overhaul designed to help bolster growth after a series of damaging failures.

Mel Brooks, chief executive of G4S’s India business since early 2013, will become group strategy and commercial director on July 1, G4S said, and will focus on developing core services like cash security, manned guarding and facilities management.

May 29, 2014

Hotels group IHG urged by Marcato Capital to look at merging

LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) – A shareholder in Intercontinental
Hotels Group urged the hotelier on Thursday to consider
a tie-up with a rival, following media reports that it recently
rebuffed a mystery 6 billion-pound ($10 billion) U.S. takeover
offer.

Activist investor Marcato Capital Management, which owns 3.8
percent of IHG, said in a statement the prospect of a merger
with a larger hotel operator would have “compelling strategic
and financial merit” and would reshape the hospitality industry.

May 29, 2014

Kingfisher fails to make the most of UK sunshine

LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) – Shares in Kingfisher,
Europe’s biggest home improvements retailer, fell 6 percent on
Thursday as pressure on profit margins and a smaller than
expected sales boost from warmer weather pushed first-quarter
earnings below forecasts.

The owner of B&Q in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in
France said underlying operating profit for the 13 weeks to May
3 grew 20 percent to 142 million pounds ($237 million). Results
a year ago were depressed by bad weather across much of Europe.

May 22, 2014

UK’s Royal Mail rattles investors with warning of rising competition

LONDON (Reuters) – Newly privatised Royal Mail (RMG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) pointed to tougher times ahead on Thursday as it said competition in parcels was intensifying and warned the emergence of a rival British mail delivery service threatened its growth prospects.

The blunt reference to the headwinds it is facing took the shine off a 12 percent rise in full-year profit for the company, which remains embroiled in a political storm over its privatisation, sending its shares down 6.7 percent as the day’s biggest faller in the blue chip FTSE 100 .FTSE index.

May 22, 2014

UK’s Royal Mail warns on competition as profits rise

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Newly privatised Royal Mail
posted a 12 percent rise in full-year profit on Thursday
and said it was taking steps to address increasing competition
in both parcels and letters.

The UK postal firm, which had long posted financial losses
until two years ago, said operating profit before
“transformation” costs – such as IT investments – rose to 671
million pounds ($1.1 billion) in the year to March 30, in line
with a company-compiled consensus forecast.

May 21, 2014

Britvic steps up U.S. Fruit Shoot roll-out as profits rise

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – British soft drink maker Britvic
said its Fruit Shoot drink was now available across the
United States, a milestone in its drive to create international
brands.

The company, which also makes drinks such as Tango, as well
as PepsiCo brands Pepsi and 7UP in Britain and Ireland,
reported a 14 percent rise in first-half operating profit,
broadly in line with an average analyst forecast.

May 15, 2014

Dixons and Carphone agree 3.8 billion pound retail merger

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail have agreed a 3.8 billion pound ($6.4 billion) merger to make the most of an increasing convergence of smartphones and consumer electronics in people’s lives.

Combining Carphone, Europe’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer, and Dixons, Europe’s No. 2 electricals retailer, would create a group with turnover of about 12 billion pounds, 2,900 stores and 45,000 staff, the companies said on Thursday.

May 15, 2014

UK’s Dixons and Carphone agree $6 billion retail merger

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Carphone Warehouse (CPW.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Dixons Retail (DXNS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have agreed a 3.8 billion pound ($6.4 billion) merger to make the most of an increasing convergence of smartphones and consumer electronics in people’s lives.

Combining Carphone, Europe’s biggest independent mobile phone retailer, and Dixons, Europe’s No. 2 electricals retailer, would create a group with turnover of about 12 billion pounds, 2,900 stores and 45,000 staff, the companies said on Thursday.

Apr 30, 2014

Argos owner sees profits rise as turnaround push shows promise

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – Home Retail Group Plc,
Britain’s biggest household goods retailer, posted a 27 percent
rise in full-year profit as a digital push at its Argos chain
and a revamp at Homebase start to bear fruit.

After tough trading during the economic downturn, in which
underlying pretax profit shrank to 91 million pounds in fiscal
2013 from 433 million five years before, the group began
implementing a turnaround plan last year aimed at pushing Argos
sales up 15 percent to 4.5 billion pounds by 2018.

    • 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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