LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) – Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct empire began in 1982 on a quiet high street in southeast England, with the help of a 10,000 pound ($16,800) loan from his parents.
Thirty-two years on, the company dominates Britain’s sports retail market and Ashley is a billionaire whose unconventional image and management style, and penchant for a quick deal, have earned him admirers, as well as critics, along the way.
LONDON (Reuters) – British outsourcer Serco named Rupert Soames, a grandson of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as chief executive on Friday to restore profits and its reputation following high-profile government contract failures.
Serco shares have lost 40 percent since July when it, along with G4S, was shown to have charged for tagging criminals who were not being monitored, in prison or dead. The government imposed a ban on new work the same month.
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Embattled British outsourcer
Serco named Rupert Soames as its new group chief
executive on Friday as it focuses on rebuilding a business
rocked by high-profile government contract failures and profit
Soames, the grandson of former British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill, is joining Serco from British temporary power
provider Aggreko where he served as CEO for 11 years.
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Madame Tussauds waxworks is
coming to Beijing while Dubai will get a Legoland theme park
under an international expansion drive by Britain’s Merlin
Entertainments, which announced its maiden results as a
listed company on Thursday.
Merlin, the world’s second-biggest operator of visitor
attractions behind Walt Disney, currently makes over 60
percent of its revenue in Britain and continental Europe.
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Domino’s Pizza said a
spike in orders from customers staying in to escape Britain’s
wet weather was behind a 14.6 percent jump in sales in 2014,
although the strong start was tempered by setbacks to its
expansion into Germany.
Domino’s, the UK’s biggest pizza delivery firm with nearly
800 stores, has grown rapidly via promotions and online sales
and has expanded into Ireland, Switzerland and Germany. But in
Germany, where it has 23 stores, roll-out plans have been hit by
weak trading and higher-than-expected labour costs.
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s Tesco, the
world’s third-largest retailer, is to focus on cheaper pricing
as it relaxes its view on operating margins and steps up its
store revamp programme and investment in online and convenience
Outlining his plans at an investor and analyst seminar on
Tuesday, Chief Executive Philip Clarke said the measures
accelerate a turnaround plan aimed at countering increased
competition in the British retail market, but which has so far
failed to boost its languishing sales.
LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – English soccer champions
Manchester United will ramp up spending on new players
to improve their ailing squad and boost the team’s chances of
winning the trophies that have been key to their financial
United, slumped in 7th place in the Premier League in a
tough debut campaign for new manager David Moyes, on Wednesday
posted an 11.6 percent rise in second-quarter revenue showing
their on-pitch difficulties had not yet effected business.
LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Britain’s Serco said 2014
profit could be as much as 20 percent below forecasts, a sign
that the cost of rebuilding the outsourcing group from
high-profile government contract failures is continuing to take
The warning came minutes after Serco’s biggest client, the
British government, said it had decided to allow the firm to
once again win new work, ending a six-month hiatus after Serco,
along with rival G4S, charged for tagging criminals who
were not being monitored, in prison or dead.
LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in Mulberry (MUL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) plunged by over a quarter on Wednesday as the British luxury fashion company warned annual profit would be well below forecasts due to heavy Christmas discounting in the UK and weak demand in South Korea.
The warning is a blow to Mulberry boss Bruno Guillon, who has hiked prices to take its brand more upmarket from a traditional position of “affordable luxury”, and embarked on a drive to increase the company’s profile overseas, targeting affluent Asian shoppers with new stores in key tourist spots.
LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – British luxury fashion group
Mulberry warned its annual profit would be substantially
below forecasts due to heavy Christmas discounting in Britain
and weak demand in South Korea, wiping more than a quarter off
The Bayswater and Alexa handbags maker said on Wednesday
total retail sales for the 17 weeks to Jan. 25 were down 3
percent on a year ago, which included a 7 percent decline for
the crucial 8 weeks to Jan. 25 Christmas period.