Company News Reporter, London
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Feb 25, 2014

Tesco pins UK turnaround on price cuts and store revamps

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
channels.

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.

Feb 12, 2014

Manchester United prepare for signing spree

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
success.

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.

Jan 30, 2014

Embattled UK outsourcer Serco warns on profits again

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
its toll.

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.

Jan 29, 2014

Mulberry shares plunge as UK discounts hit profits

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.

Jan 29, 2014

Mulberry shares plunge on major profit warning

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
its shares.

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.

Jan 28, 2014

Carpetright warns on profit again as Netherlands woes deepen

LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest floor coverings
retailer Carpetright Plc has warned on its yearly
profit for the second time in almost four months, as
deteriorating trade in the Netherlands offset an improving
performance in the UK.

The company, whose boss Darren Shapland quit after October’s
profit warning, said on Tuesday an expected loss at its Dutch
business meant it now anticipated full-year underlying pretax
profit to be between 7 million pounds ($11.6 million) and 8
million.

Jan 26, 2014

Brompton Bicycle shows British manufacturing how to shift up a gear

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Loan refusal letters and
retailers’ rejections frame the walls of the Brompton Bicycle
factory, a reminder of the obstacles the firm has overcome to
establish itself as the UK’s top bike-maker, selling 45,000 a
year around the world.

Brompton’s success lies partly in its cool – the company
cashed in on a trendy ‘Made in Britain’ tag, and the fact that
its bikes fold up lends the label a geeky chic as well as
popular practicality.

Jan 22, 2014

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon posts strong second-quarter sales rise

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – British pub chain JD Wetherspoon
posted a strong second-quarter sales rise and said it
would continue investing in its business and new pubs at the
expense of margins.

The firm, which has grown to over 900 pubs on the back of
popular food and drinks deals, will open between 40 and 50 new
pubs in 2013/14, with similar plans for future years and has
been investing in IT, staff and training in preparation.

Jan 21, 2014

British soapmaker Cussons spooks investors with currency hit

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – British soap and shampoo maker PZ
Cussons said its first-half performance was hurt by weak
emerging market currencies that showed no signs of improving,
prompting a fall in its shares as some analysts cut their
full-year forecasts.

Cussons, the maker of Imperial Leather soaps, nevertheless
posted a 7.9 percent rise in pretax profit to 47.6 million
pounds ($78.16 million) for the six months to Nov. 30 – in line
with expectations – on sales up 4.1 percent to 431.8 million.

Jan 16, 2014

Online demand, tablets and cheap fashion lift UK retail

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – British retailers who were able
to tap consumers’ growing love of online shopping and demand for
must-have tablet computers, gadgets and cheap fashion enjoyed
robust trading in an otherwise tough Christmas for the industry.

A raft of trading updates on Thursday showed companies
including Dixons Retail, Europe’s No. 2 electricals
retailer by revenue, Home Retail, Britain’s biggest
household goods group, and online-only grocer Ocado
reported strong sales growth over the key festive period.

    • 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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