Company News Reporter, London
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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.

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.

    • 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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