Company News Reporter, London
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Apr 10, 2014

Struggling Mothercare shares boosted by better fourth-quarter trade

LONDON (Reuters) – British baby products retailer Mothercare (MTC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday better fourth-quarter trading at home and overseas had put on track to hit annual profit forecasts, boosting its shares.

In Britain, which accounts for about 70 percent of its sales, Mothercare has pushed to close underperforming stores, revamp others and expand online amid fierce competition from Internet rivals and supermarkets.

Apr 10, 2014

Government allows G4S to bid for work again

LONDON (Reuters) – 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 failures.

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 9, 2014

Royal Mail warns over watchdog’s price hike probe

LONDON (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’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
failures.

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.

    • 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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