Company News Reporter, London
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Jun 15, 2015

Could the Glazers lose their public enemy No.1 tag at Manchester United?

LONDON/NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) – The Glazers are
unlikely to ever be liked, let alone loved, by fans of
Manchester United. The fiercely private American family that
bought the famous English soccer club 10 years ago has been
widely depicted by the team’s fans and the British media as
seeking to bleed the club dry after leveraging it up with debt.

Yet the Glazers are now assuaging some of their critics as
the club says it will bankroll new player signings and is in a
position to return to Europe’s biggest cup competition after
failing to qualify in 2014 for the first time in 19 years.
Crucially, their transformation of United into a commercial cash
machine may give them an advantage over rivals.

Jun 11, 2015

Mulberry’s return to its roots helps sales after profit plunge

LONDON (Reuters) – British handbag maker Mulberry (MUL.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday a return to more affordable prices had boosted sales in the first few weeks of its new financial year after an ill-fated move upmarket led to a 74 percent fall in full-year profit.

Mulberry has spent the past year reconnecting with its roots in affordable luxury after an attempt to become more exclusive backfired, prompting a string of profit warnings and the departure of Chief Executive Bruno Guillon.

Jun 5, 2015

Halfords’ cycling push pays off as profits rise

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – British car parts to bikes
retailer Halfords posted a better than expected rise in
annual profit as its customer service push and improved cycling
ranges helped it hit its 1 billion pound ($1.5 billion) sales
target a year early.

In Halfords’ first update since Jill McDonald joined from
McDonald’s in May to replace Matt Davies as chief executive, the
firm said pretax profit for the year to March 27 rose 11.4
percent to 81.1 million pounds ($124 million), ahead of
analysts’ forecast of 78.9 million, according to Reuters data.

Jun 2, 2015

Online retailer AO World to step up European expansion

LONDON, June 2 (Reuters) – AO World, the British
online retailer of domestic appliances that floated last year,
said it would step-up its European expansion next year after
moving into Germany in 2014.

The firm, which rivals Dixons Carphone and Home Retail’s
Argos selling everything from washing machines and fridges to
vacuum cleaners and ovens, said on Tuesday it would start up in
one or more new territories in the first six months of 2016.

May 27, 2015

Ex-Thomas Cook boss Green to donate part of share payout to charity

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) – Ex-Thomas Cook boss
Harriet Green is to donate around 3 million pounds from a bumper
share payout to a charity chosen by the parents of two British
children who died during one of the firm’s holidays in Corfu in
2006.

The media storm over the deaths was reignited after an
inquest this month returned a verdict of unlawful killing from
carbon monoxide poisoning, with Thomas Cook criticised for
having been slow to apologise to the family.

May 27, 2015

Exclusive – Ex-Thomas Cook boss Green to donate part of share payout to charity

LONDON (Reuters) – Ex-Thomas Cook (TCG.L: Quote, Profile, Research) boss Harriet Green is to donate one third of her forthcoming multi-million pound share payout to a charity chosen by the parents of two British children who died on one of the firm’s holidays in Corfu in 2006.

A media storm over the tragedy has reignited after an inquest this month returned a verdict of unlawful killing from carbon monoxide poisoning, with Thomas Cook criticised for having been slow to apologise to the family and over reports it received more in compensation for the deaths than the children’s parents.

May 22, 2015

Whitbread names Lloyds’ Alison Brittain as new CEO

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Whitbread, the owner of
Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee, on Friday named Lloyds
Banking Group executive Alison Brittain as its new
boss, succeeding Andy Harrison.

Brittain, 50, is currently group director of Lloyds’ retail
division. She previously held senior roles at Santander UK and
Barclays and is also a non executive director of Marks
& Spencer.

May 21, 2015

Royal Mail sees tough parcel market, focuses on costs

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Intense competition in the
parcels market from rivals including Amazon will leave
Britain’s Royal Mail reliant on cost controls and
efficiency improvements to underpin profits this year.

Parcels, which generate half of Royal Mail’s 9.4 billion
pound ($14.7 billion) revenues, are the firm’s focus in light of
declining letter volumes. However, growth forecasts have had to
be cut because of overcapacity in the market that led to the
demise of rival City Link last December.

May 19, 2015

Asda suffers worst sales fall in over five years

LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) – Asda, the British arm of U.S.
retailer Wal-Mart, reported its worst quarterly sales
fall in more than five years on Tuesday, but insisted its
long-term strategy was the right one.

Asda, ranked second by annual revenue behind Tesco
among British supermarkets, has been hit by an industry price
war and record food deflation. It warned this year was shaping
up to be even tougher than 2014, with the grocery market
turbulent and shopping habits continuing to change.

May 19, 2015

Topps Tiles eyes commercial sector push

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest tile specialist Topps Tiles (TPT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) may target the commercial market once it has reached its goal of taking a third of domestic sales across the country, it said on Tuesday.

Helped by new openings and improved stores and ranges, Topps Tiles has grown its share of the domestic market for six straight years to 30.3 percent at the end of 2014 and is aiming to take a third in total, possibly this year.

    • 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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