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Apr 9, 2014

Britain’s Royal Mail warns over watchdog’s price hike probe

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) – Britain’s newly-privatised Royal
Mail warned an investigation into a rival’s complaint
over wholesale mail price rises would lead to a long period of
uncertainty around the prices it charges other postal operators.

Royal Mail’s regulator Ofcom on Wednesday said it would
investigate the complaint from Britain’s No.2 postal operator,
TNT Post under its Competition Act powers, a process that can
take up to two years.

Apr 9, 2014

Britain allows G4S to bid for work again

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) – British security group G4S
will again be considered for government contracts after
ministers said on Wednesday they were satisfied with the firm’s
efforts to overhaul itself following a series of damaging

Last month G4S, the world’s biggest security group, agreed
to repay 108.9 million pounds to the government after
overcharging it on a contract to tag criminals. That mistake
followed its failure to provide enough guards for the London
Olympics in 2012.

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.

Apr 8, 2014

Sports Direct share price sinks after founder cuts stake

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – Shares in Sports Direct,
Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer, fell by over 10
percent on Tuesday after its founder Mike Ashley cut his stake
and raised over 200 million pounds ($332 million).

The sell-off, which cuts Ashley’s stake by 4 percent to 57.7
percent, follows the surprise decision last week by the
remaining Sports Direct investors to oppose a proposed bonus
share scheme for Ashley worth 73 million pounds, the third time
such a payout plan has failed.

Apr 4, 2014

Under-fire McIlwee quits as Tesco finance boss

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) – Tesco’s finance chief
Laurie McIlwee quit on Friday, delivering a fresh blow to CEO
Philip Clarke who is struggling to turn around the British-based
supermarket operator.

Announcing his decision just days before results that are
expected to show another decline in profits, McIlwee said he
would quit the board and resign after five years as CFO but stay
on long enough to hand over to a successor.

Apr 2, 2014

Sports Direct pulls Ashley bonus plan on shareholder opposition

April 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s Sports Direct has
scrapped plans for a shareholder vote on a share bonus scheme
worth 73 million pounds ($121 million) for its founder Mike
Ashley after failing to secure enough support.

Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer had planned to put
a proposal to grant Ashley 8 million ordinary shares, worth
about 73 million pounds at its current share price of 907 pence,
to a vote this Friday.

Apr 1, 2014

Britain’s Royal Mail sale short-changed taxpayers – watchdog

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – Britain sold off Royal Mail
too cheaply, the spending watchdog said on Tuesday,
prompting the main opposition Labour party to accuse Prime
Minister David Cameron’s government of failing to look after the
interests of taxpayers.

Britain’s decision to sell a 60 percent stake in the
500-year-old state postal operator last October for 330 pence a
share has been heavily criticised by Labour and trade unions
after the stock soared by as much as 87 percent.

Mar 26, 2014

Carpetright warns on profit as UK sales growth slows

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – Carpetright,
Britain’s biggest floor coverings retailer, has cut its annual
profit forecast for the third time in less than six months,
saying sales growth has slowed and it has yet to see any benefit
from an improving housing market.

Shares in the firm, with more than 470 UK stores and
concessions as well as 142 stores in the Netherlands, Belgium
and Ireland, fell over 8 percent in early Wednesday trade.

Mar 25, 2014

Union warns of industrial action as Royal Mail cuts 1,300 jobs

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – Just five months after its
privatisation, Britain’s Royal Mail postal service has
announced plans to cut a net 1,300 jobs to reduce costs,
prompting a threat of industrial action from a trade union.

Royal Mail, sold off last October in Britain’s biggest
privatisation for decades, has shed 50,000 jobs in 11 years as
it tries to adapt to the rise of electronic mail and a shift
from traditional letters to more parcel deliveries.

Mar 20, 2014

Three former G4S guards to face UK manslaughter charges

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – Three former officers of
security firm G4S will face manslaughter charges over
the 2010 death of a man who died as he was being deported from
Britain by the group, government prosecutors said on Thursday.

The prosecutors office, which had previously ruled out any
action in relation to the case, said it had decided not to
charge the company itself, the world’s largest security firm,
for corporate manslaughter.

    • 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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