Company News Reporter, London
Neil's Feed
Mar 12, 2013

HMV rescue deal expected by the end of March: source

LONDON (Reuters) – Administrators at British entertainment retailer HMV will push to secure a rescue deal for the firm before a big quarterly rent bill becomes due at the end of March, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

The 92-year-old firm was forced to appoint Deloitte to find a buyer for all or parts of the business in January, after succumbing to a decline in CD, DVD and video game markets as well as increasing competition from supermarkets and online rivals.

Mar 5, 2013

Rental firm Ashtead lifts profit target on U.S. demand

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – British industrial equipment
hire group Ashtead raised its full-year profit
expectations after strong demand in the United States helped it
more than double profit in its third quarter.

Ashtead, which makes 85 percent of its revenue from U.S.
division Sunbelt, said on Tuesday pretax profit for the third
quarter to Jan. 31 was 53.8 million pounds ($81 million), up
from 20.6 million pounds in 2012, and easily ahead of analyst
forecasts.

Feb 26, 2013

Whitbread sees more competition in 2013 as growth slows

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Whitbread, Britain’s
biggest hotel and coffee shop operator, said it was preparing
for more competitive markets in 2013 as two of its big rivals,
Travelodge and Starbucks, shake off recent setbacks.

The company said it would meet annual profit forecasts even
though heavy snow in January had slowed like-for-like sales
growth in its fourth quarter to 2.7 percent, hitting its
restaurant business in particular. That was down from a rise of
3.3 percent across the group in the third quarter.

Feb 25, 2013

Bad weather hampers Domino’s Pizza after strong 2012

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Domino’s Pizza, Britain’s
biggest pizza delivery firm, said heavy snow hit its UK sales at
the start of 2013, after surging online demand helped to lift
annual profit 11 percent.

The firm, which operates the British, Irish and German
franchises of the global delivery brand, said on Monday pretax
profit for the year to Dec. 30 was 46.7 million pounds ($71
million), up 10.8 percent on 2011, and in line with forecasts.

Feb 21, 2013

Asda says horse meat scandal could mean higher prices

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s cash-strapped shoppers may have to bear some of the cost of a more rigorous food testing and policing regime in the wake of a scandal over the discovery of horse meat in beef products, the boss of the country’s second-biggest grocer said.

“Can I say that nothing will be passed on (to consumers)? No I can’t,” Andy Clarke, chief executive of Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart, told reporters on Thursday.

Feb 19, 2013

British shoppers may pay high price from horsemeat scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – For Britons worried last week’s beef lasagne was in fact a helping of horse, peace of mind that such a meal will never reach dining tables again may come at a price.

Livestock specialists say that contrary to some public comments by supermarkets, ensuring a chain of quality from farm to table will cost money – particularly at the cheaper, ready-made meal end.

Feb 15, 2013

Compass, Whitbread drawn into horsemeat scandal

LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Compass Group, the
world’s biggest catering firm, and Whitbread, Britain’s
biggest hotel group, are the latest companies to be dragged into
the growing horsemeat scandal, saying equine DNA was found in
products they sold as beef.

The scandal, which has triggered product recalls and damaged
confidence in Europe’s vast and complex food industry, erupted
last month when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that some
beef products also contained horsemeat.

Feb 14, 2013

Drinks firms AG Barr, Britvic aim to keep merger alive

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Soft drink firms Britvic
and A.G. Barr said they would work together to keep
their proposed merger, worth about 1.6 billion pounds, alive
after the deal was referred to Britain’s Competition Commission.

As well as Pepsi drinks, the tie-up would see Britvic pair
brands like Robinsons and Tango with Barr’s Rubicon and Irn-Bru,
the orange fizzy drink that outsells Coca-Cola in Scotland.

Feb 12, 2013

G4S takes 70 million pounds loss on London Olympics contract

LONDON (Reuters) – British security firm G4S, which failed to supply key security staff for the London Olympics last year, will post a 70 million pound loss on the contract after finally agreeing a settlement with the Games organisers.

The world’s biggest security firm revealed just weeks before the Games began that it could not provide 10,400 guards, forcing the government to call on military and police personnel to cover the shortfall.

Feb 12, 2013

G4S takes 70 mln stg loss on London Olympics contract

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – British security firm G4S
, which failed to supply key security staff for the
London Olympics last year, will post a 70 million pound ($110
million) loss on the contract after finally agreeing a
settlement with the Games organisers.

The world’s biggest security firm revealed just weeks before
the Games began that it could not provide 10,400 guards, forcing
the government to call on military and police personnel to cover
the shortfall.

    • 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
    • More from Neil

    • Contact Neil

      Phone:
      0207 542 2292
    • Follow Neil