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May 21, 2013

G4S chief quits after series of embarrassments

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – G4S, the world’s largest
security group, is replacing its chief executive after a series
of failures including a staffing fiasco at the 2012 London
Olympics culminated in a recent profit warning.

Nick Buckles, 52, who has led the company for eight years,
will be succeeded at the end of the month by Chief Financial
Officer Ashley Almanza, a former executive of oil and gas firm
BG Group who joined in March.

May 16, 2013

Asda shuns vouchers as sales rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Asda, Britain’s second-biggest grocer, said it would not take part in profit-squeezing promotions sweeping the industry, as it reported a pick-up in first-quarter sales.

“We’re not being distracted by gimmicks happening around the market,” Andy Clarke, chief executive of the British arm of United States retailer Wal-Mart (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), told reporters on Thursday.

May 16, 2013

Wal-Mart’s British arm Asda shuns vouchers as sales rise

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – Asda, Britain’s second-biggest
grocer, said it would not take part in profit-squeezing
promotions sweeping the industry, as it reported a pick-up in
first-quarter sales.

“We’re not being distracted by gimmicks happening around the
market,” Andy Clarke, chief executive of the British arm of
United States retailer Wal-Mart, told reporters on
Thursday.

May 14, 2013

Enterprise Inns say UK pub regulation proposals flawed

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Government proposals to ensure
British pub tenants are treated fairly by pub owners are based
on flawed and misleading evidence and could lead to more pub
closures, Enterprise Inns Plc said on Tuesday.

In April ministers outlined proposals for a statutory code
to stop pub companies abusing the “beer tie”, under which
tenanted pubs are forced to buy their beer from the firms who
hold their leases, often at above-market prices.

May 2, 2013

M&C Hotels cuts profit target as Asia slowdown bites

LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) – Hotelier Millennium & Copthorne
said full-year profit would fall below expectations in
2013 after warning the worst of a slowdown in its core Asian
market was not yet over.

M&C, with 100 hotels globally, on Thursday said trading in
Asia, where it makes 40 percent of its revenue, had suffered
from slower growth in China, falling tourist numbers in South
Korea and a host of problems in its biggest market, Singapore.

Apr 29, 2013

Royal Mail listing draws closer as Britain seeks advisers

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Britain said it expects to
appoint lead bank advisers for a possible stock market listing
of Royal Mail Group by the end of May, as it pushes on
with plans to privatise the firm.

In what would be one of the most significant privatisations
of a British asset since John Major’s Conservative government
sold the railways in the 1990s, Business Minister Michael Fallon
said on Monday a listing is the preferred method of sale for
government and that investor feedback so far had been positive.

Apr 29, 2013

Rentokil sells troubled courier arm for one pound

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Pest control to hygiene group
Rentokil Initial said it had sold its loss-making
courier arm City Link to private equity firm Better Capital,
exiting a business that has dragged on group performance for
years.

Previously described as a “problem child” by Rentokil
bosses, and like an “albatross round the neck of management” by
analysts, City Link has racked up losses every year since 2007
despite efforts to turn it around.

Apr 24, 2013

Britain’s Costa Coffee eyes Paris high street

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – British hotel and coffee shop
operator Whitbread is on the hunt for high street stores
in Paris as it looks to expand its ever-growing Costa Coffee
chain into France.

Costa has grown rapidly in Britain to 1,500 outlets as
demand grows for coffee on the go, and is set on increasing that
to 3,500 globally by 2016, with a 500-store target in China a
big focus.

Apr 17, 2013

Burberry bolstered by China’s demand for luxury

LONDON (Reuters) – British luxury group Burberry (BRBY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) calmed fears about slowing demand in China with better-than-expected fourth quarter results as it sold more of its most expensive items.

Burberry said demand from affluent Asian customers for its more expensive handbags and coats helped boost sales. It said “aspirational” shoppers were spending less, but its most affluent customers were spending more and its staff were helping to push more expensive items.

Apr 5, 2013

Hilco to rescue UK music retailer HMV – source

April 4 (Reuters) – Restructuring specialist Hilco could
seal a 50 million pound ($76 million) deal to rescue Britain’s
most high profile entertainment retailer HMV as early as
this Friday, a source familiar with the deal told Reuters.

Hilco is expected to acquire around 130 HMV stores and all
nine cut-price Fopp branded outlets in a deal that could save
2,500 jobs. It has long been the favourite to take HMV out of
administration after the firm bought up its debt in January.

    • 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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