Company News Reporter, London
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Oct 23, 2014

New Tesco boss starts long journey with small steps

LONDON (Reuters) – Retail is detail, the industry adage goes, and new Tesco boss Dave Lewis will be hoping investors and shoppers agree after he unveiled a flurry of small tweaks to Britain’s ailing No.1 grocer, but not the big rescue plan many think it needs.

Only seven weeks into the job, and in the midst of an accounting scandal that forced him to scrap the company’s full-year profit forecast, Lewis was never likely to commit himself to a costly revival plan that he didn’t know if he could afford.

Oct 23, 2014

Whistl loses challenge to Royal Mail’s tax exemption

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Whistl, a company launching a
rival delivery service to Britain’s dominant Royal Mail,
on Thursday lost a High Court challenge to have the former
state-owned postal operator’s VAT exemption removed.

As part of its status as Britain’s six-day-a-week universal
service provider, Royal Mail is exempt from paying value-added
tax, currently set at 20 percent, on revenues it receives from
delivering mail that is collected and sorted by rivals.

Oct 23, 2014

Tesco scraps profit outlook as accounting black hole deepens

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco reported a bigger than expected hole in its accounts on Thursday after finding mistakes in booking income had gone back further than initially thought, forcing Britain’s biggest grocer to scrap its full-year profit outlook.

Tesco, which has lost 20 percent of its market value this month after the accounting mis-statement compounded three earlier profit warnings, scrapped the outlook as its second-quarter underlying domestic sales fell 5.5 percent.

Oct 22, 2014

SuperGroup founder steps aside as Sutherland named CEO

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – SuperGroup Plc, the
British company behind the Superdry fashion brand, named
ex-Co-op Group boss Euan Sutherland as its new chief executive
on Wednesday, replacing Julian Dunkerton who founded the company
on a market stall 30 years ago.

Sutherland, who has more than 19 years experience in the
retail sector with roles at the likes of home improvement chain
B&Q, electricals group Dixons and fizzy drinks maker
Coca-Cola, had been a non-executive director at
SuperGroup for two years and will be charged with overseeing its
international expansion.

Oct 14, 2014

Mulberry hit by drop in tourists, strategy shift

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – British luxury handbag maker
Mulberry cut its profit forecast for the third time this
year, saying a drop in tourist shoppers had compounded the
disruption to its business from a shift back to selling
lower-priced bags.

Mulberry shares dropped as much as 25 percent to a four-year
low on Tuesday, after it said full-year pretax profit would be
significantly below analysts’ expectations.

Oct 10, 2014

Court clears Britain to take tighter control of online gambling

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s plans to bring licensing and taxation of online gambling companies under UK control got the green light on Friday when a court dismissed a legal challenge to the move.

Bookmakers with big British businesses including William Hill and Ladbrokes have based their online operations offshore in places like Gibraltar in order to take advantage of lower local taxes.

Oct 9, 2014

Serco eyes sale of environmental services, leisure arms – source

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Struggling British outsourcer
Serco Group Plc is looking to sell off its environmental
services and leisure businesses as part of an overhaul designed
to restore its fortunes, a source close to the situation told
Reuters on Thursday.

Serco’s strategy and businesses are being reviewed by new
boss Rupert Soames as he plots its recovery from a disastrous
spell of contract problems and a UK government work ban that has
sparked profit warnings, a cash call and a restructuring.

Oct 3, 2014

Britain threatens to ignore European Court of Human Rights rulings

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will quit the European Court of Human Rights unless it agrees that the Westminster parliament has the final say over its rulings, according to pre-election plans detailed on Friday by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party.

Cameron, who is seeking to counter the threat from the anti-European Union UK Independence Party in May’s national election, has said rulings by the European rights court had prevented Britain deporting suspected militants.

Sep 29, 2014

Construction losses force Balfour to warn on profit again

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Shares in Balfour Beatty
plunged on Monday after the British construction firm
cut its profit forecast for the third time in less than five
months, blaming increased losses on the mismanagement of a
number of UK contracts.

Balfour, which rejected the merger advances of UK rival
Carillion for the third time last month, said profits
at its UK Construction Services unit would be 75 million pounds
($122 million) less than expected due to writedowns on
engineering contracts in London and costly setbacks on a number
of building projects.

Sep 25, 2014

UK’s Mitchells & Butlers blames rainy August for scant sales growth

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – British pubs and restaurants
group Mitchells & Butlers blamed a relatively rainy
August and persistently weak consumer sentiment for meagre sales
growth in its final quarter, sending its shares down more than 5

The group said on Thursday underlying sales in the nine
weeks to Sept. 20 grew just 0.1 percent, compared with the 0.7
percent growth recorded in the 42 weeks to July 19, resulting in
annual underlying growth of 0.6 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"
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