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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.

Mar 20, 2014

Mulberry CEO Guillon quits after turbulent two years

LONDON (Reuters) – Bruno Guillon has quit as chief executive of British luxury brand Mulberry (MUL.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), bringing an end to a two-year tenure marked by three major profit warnings and a move to hike prices that is yet to pay off.

In a brief statement, the maker of Bayswater and Alexa handbags said Frenchman Guillon had decided to step down immediately. He had been CEO for just over two years, having joined from Birkin handbag maker Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Mar 18, 2014

ASOS shares dive as cost of growth hits profit

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – Shares in British online
fashion retailer ASOS hit a 5-year low on Tuesday after
the firm said it would invest more rapidly in infrastructure to
meet future demand at the expense of short-term profits.

ASOS, founded in 2000 by current chief executive Nick
Robertson, is a favourite of internet-savvy 20-somethings and
has also attracted high-profile fans including singer Rita Ora
and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mar 18, 2014

ASOS shares dive as profits take a hit from cost of growth

LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plunged to a five-year low on Tuesday after the firm said it would increase investment in its warehouses and IT systems to meet increasing demand at the expense of short-term profits.

Founded in 2000 by chief executive Nick Robertson, ASOS has been the success story of British retailing in recent years with its fast-changing fashions snapped up by Internet-savvy twenty-somethings, attracting fans such as singer Rita Ora.

Mar 12, 2014

G4S to repay $181 million to Britain after criminal tagging scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest security firm G4S is to repay 108.9 million pounds ($181 million) to the British government after overcharging it on a contract to tag criminals, raising the prospect that a ban on new work could be lifted.

G4S generates almost 10 percent of its 7.4 billion pound annual revenues from the UK government and the breakdown in their relationship has been a key concern for investors alongside wider worries about the group’s reputation.

Mar 12, 2014

G4S misses profit forecasts, hit by tagging charges

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – Security firm G4S
missed annual profit forecasts on Wednesday and took a raft of
heavy charges related to restructuring and a troubled British
tagging contract that has further hit its reputation.

The world’s biggest security group posted a 2.8 percent rise
in 2013 underlying operating profit on restated 2012 figures to
442 million pounds ($735 million), missing analyst forecasts of
455 million pounds, due to lower revenues in Europe and the

Mar 11, 2014

Sports Direct founder Ashley in line for £65 million bonus

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct has proposed a share bonus award worth 65 million pounds ($108 million) for its founder Mike Ashley that will pay out if the firm beats the profit targets of an existing staff bonus scheme.

Ashley, who holds a 62 percent stake in the company he founded in 1982, receives no salary or other bonus from Sports Direct, despite being a key figure in its success and generating 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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