Company News Reporter, London
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Mar 18, 2014

ASOS shares dive as profits take a hit from cost of growth

LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plunged to a five-year low on Tuesday after the firm said it would increase investment in its warehouses and IT systems to meet increasing demand at the expense of short-term profits.

Founded in 2000 by chief executive Nick Robertson, ASOS has been the success story of British retailing in recent years with its fast-changing fashions snapped up by Internet-savvy twenty-somethings, attracting fans such as singer Rita Ora.

Mar 12, 2014

G4S to repay $181 million to Britain after criminal tagging scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest security firm G4S is to repay 108.9 million pounds ($181 million) to the British government after overcharging it on a contract to tag criminals, raising the prospect that a ban on new work could be lifted.

G4S generates almost 10 percent of its 7.4 billion pound annual revenues from the UK government and the breakdown in their relationship has been a key concern for investors alongside wider worries about the group’s reputation.

Mar 12, 2014

G4S misses profit forecasts, hit by tagging charges

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – Security firm G4S
missed annual profit forecasts on Wednesday and took a raft of
heavy charges related to restructuring and a troubled British
tagging contract that has further hit its reputation.

The world’s biggest security group posted a 2.8 percent rise
in 2013 underlying operating profit on restated 2012 figures to
442 million pounds ($735 million), missing analyst forecasts of
455 million pounds, due to lower revenues in Europe and the
U.S..

Mar 11, 2014

Sports Direct founder Ashley in line for £65 million bonus

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct has proposed a share bonus award worth 65 million pounds ($108 million) for its founder Mike Ashley that will pay out if the firm beats the profit targets of an existing staff bonus scheme.

Ashley, who holds a 62 percent stake in the company he founded in 1982, receives no salary or other bonus from Sports Direct, despite being a key figure in its success and generating free advertising for it through his ownership of English Premier League soccer club Newcastle United.

Mar 11, 2014

Sports Direct founder Ashley in line for $108 mln bonus

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest sporting
goods retailer Sports Direct has proposed a share bonus
award worth 65 million pounds ($108 million) for its founder
Mike Ashley that will pay out if the firm beats the profit
targets of an existing staff bonus scheme.

Ashley, who holds a 62 percent stake in the company he
founded in 1982, receives no salary or other bonus from Sports
Direct, despite being a key figure in its success and generating
free advertising for it through his ownership of English Premier
League soccer club Newcastle United.

Mar 4, 2014

Premier Foods unveils $1.13 billion pound refinancing plan

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Premier Foods announced a 1.13 billion pound refinancing plan on Tuesday as part of an ongoing restructuring aimed at reducing its debts and reviving the business.

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy has spent the past few years selling assets, reshaping its business and cutting costs to help reduce debt built up during an acquisition spree, switching its focus to growing its top grocery brands.

Mar 4, 2014

Premier Foods unveils $1.9 bln refinancing plan

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Britain’s Premier Foods
announced a 1.13 billion pound ($1.89 billion) refinancing plan
on Tuesday as part of an ongoing restructuring aimed at reducing
its debts and reviving the business.

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy has spent the
past few years selling assets, reshaping its business and
cutting costs to help reduce debt built up during an acquisition
spree, switching its focus to growing its top grocery brands.

Mar 4, 2014

UK outsourcer Serco says braced for tough 2014 as profits fall

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Embattled British outsourcing
group Serco said it was braced for another tough year as
it recovers from government contract failures, profit warnings
and management exits that pushed 2013 annual profit down 6
percent.

The firm, which on Friday named Aggreko Chief
Executive Rupert Soames as its new boss, said on Tuesday yearly
adjusted pretax profit fell to 254.4 million pounds ($425
million), slightly below an average analyst forecast of 257
million.

Mar 3, 2014

Mike Ashley, the maverick who changed face of UK sports retail

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.

Feb 28, 2014

Scandal-hit Serco names Rupert Soames as CEO

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.

    • 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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