Company News Reporter, London
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Mar 12, 2015

Shares in Serco slump as it raises cash for recovery

LONDON (Reuters) – British outsourcing firm Serco (SRP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday launched a 555 million pounds ($831 million) rights issue after a spectacular profit collapse and said it was unlikely to return to sales growth for another three years.

Serco’s shares fell as much as 16 percent as analysts’ hopes for a smaller cash call were dashed and the company’s more cautious outlook beyond 2015 rattled investors. Its shares are down 61 percent on a year ago.

Mar 10, 2015

Ted Baker turns its hand to interior design

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) – Not content with producing
quirky jackets or floral cut dresses, British clothing brand Ted
Baker has made a move into interior design with ‘Ted
styled’ apartments.

The firm said on Tuesday it had signed a deal with property
group THAT BCL, majority owned by Ted Baker’s founder and CEO
Ray Kelvin, to provide a trade mark licence and design services
for the development of apartments in Bournemouth, southwest
England, in return for a 250,000 pound ($377,000) fee.

Mar 10, 2015

G4S sees profits rise but UK contract problems remain

LONDON (Reuters) – G4S (GFS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest security group, said it would increase provisions for under-performing UK government contracts by 45 million pounds ($68 million), overshadowing a better than expected rise in 2014 profit.

The British firm, undergoing a restructuring after a run of major contract problems hit its profits and reputation, said on Tuesday 2014 underlying operating profit rose 7.9 percent to 424 million pounds, ahead of a consensus forecast of 414 million.

Mar 9, 2015

Mulberry could have new CEO by July – source

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – British luxury handbag maker
Mulberry is moving closer to appointing a new chief
executive and aims to have one installed by July when its new
creative director joins, a source told Reuters.

Mulberry CEO Bruno Guillon quit almost a year ago after a
turbulent two years that was marked by three profit warnings
during an attempt to move upmarket that failed to pay off.

Mar 6, 2015

King and his consortium win control of Rangers

LONDON (Reuters) – South Africa-based businessman Dave King won the battle for control of Scottish football club Rangers on Friday, winning a vote to oust the board and appoint himself and others to the helm of the 54-times league champions.

Rangers, which re-formed as a fourth-tier club in 2012 after being wound up and now play in the Scottish second tier, have been blighted by financial troubles, problematic takeovers and boardroom infighting and the latest drama came to a head at a short meeting.

Mar 6, 2015

Soccer-King and his consortium win control of Rangers

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) – South Africa-based businessman Dave King won the battle for control of Scottish soccer club Rangers on Friday, winning a vote to oust the board and appoint himself and others to the helm of the 54-times league champions.

Rangers, which re-formed as a fourth-tier club in 2012 after being wound up and now play in the Scottish second tier, have been blighted by financial troubles, problematic takeovers and boardroom infighting and the latest drama came to a head at a short meeting.

Mar 6, 2015

Sports Direct’s Ashley eludes British lawmakers

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) – A British parliamentary
committee wanting to question retailer Sports Direct’s
founder Mike Ashley over the treatment of workers at its fashion
chain USC has been told he is unavailable, but said they have
not given up yet.

The Scottish Affairs Committee said late on Thursday that it
had agreed with Sports Direct to hear evidence from its chairman
Keith Hellawell on March 25 but still wanted to question Ashley
too and had asked for a detailed explanation of why he would be
unavailable throughout March.

Mar 5, 2015

Serco expects final bids for Indian BPO unit in early April

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – British government services
group Serco expects binding offers for its Indian
outsourcing unit in early April, with private equity firms the
strongest contenders to lead a management buyout, three sources
familiar with the matter said.

Serco, which runs one of India’s largest business process
outsourcing (BPO) firms and has over 60,00 employees, has given
at least four buyout funds access to confidential material, one
source said, adding due diligence will continue for three weeks.

Feb 26, 2015

Online demand helps profits jump at UK’s Domino’s Pizza

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Bundle promotions and an
increasingly popular app used by its army of teenage to
30-something fans helped Domino’s Pizza serve up over
1.4 million pizzas a week in Britain and Ireland in 2014,
helping send profits up 15 percent.

A strong start to 2015 with like-for-like sales up 9.5
percent in the first eight weeks also pleased investors, with
shares in Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm up 7.5 percent
to 744 pence at 0943 GMT on Thursday, the top FTSE 250 riser.

Feb 25, 2015

Premier Inn owner Whitbread upbeat on profit as sales climb

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s Whitbread
expects to post full-year profit towards the top of market
forecasts after strong demand at its Premier Inn hotels and
Costa Coffee chain helped to deliver a 5.8 percent rise in
like-for-like fourth-quarter sales.

The group, which also runs pubs such as Brewers Fayre, said
on Wednesday that strong demand throughout the country had
pushed like-for-like sales up 8.6 percent at Premier Inn, with
group revenue per available room — a key industry measure — up
8.9 percent and occupancy for the year at a record high.

    • 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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