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Apr 22, 2015
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Tesco’s new beginnings are a long way from the end

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Dave Lewis has stopped the rot. The chief executive of Tesco took on a huge challenge when he started the top job at Britain’s biggest grocer last September. The 6.4 billion pound pretax loss for last year, announced on April 22, was one of the worst in UK corporate history. There’s brightness in the underlying picture. But the number shows the depth of Tesco’s malaise.

Apr 22, 2015
via Breakingviews

Tesco’s new beginnings are a long way from the end

Photo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Dave Lewis has stopped the rot. The chief executive of Tesco took on a huge challenge when he started the top job at Britain’s biggest grocer last September. The 6.4 billion pound pretax loss for last year, announced on April 22, was one of the worst in UK corporate history. There’s brightness in the underlying picture. But the number shows the depth of Tesco’s malaise.

Feb 24, 2015
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London’s FTSE can extend its record-breaking run

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

It has been a long time coming. But after 15 years the FTSE 100, the main UK equity index, finally set a new record on Tuesday. Yet while the nominal value of London stocks is higher than ever, and the investment proposition is a long way from risk-free, the FTSE 100 is attractive.

Feb 19, 2015
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Drinks can merger may yet get flattened

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Rexam wants to go to the ball, but trustbusters might ruin the party. After a short flurry of talks, the board of the UK drinks can maker is recommending that shareholders accept a 4.3 billion pound cash and shares offer from U.S. rival Ball Corp. Small wonder, since the offer represents a full 40 percent premium to Rexam’s undisturbed market value. Add debt, and this equates to a generous-looking 10 times 2014 EBITDA.

Feb 18, 2015
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Tesco’s new chairman is logically logistical

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Investors may be a little disappointed that John Allan has been named chairman of Tesco. Archie Norman, who impressed as one of the turnaround chiefs at UK grocery rival Asda, would have been a bigger name.

Jan 5, 2015
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Centre-left may have UK election edge

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Britain’s three main political parties are weak. Its two nationalist groups are stronger. The probable five-way fight in the 2015 general election, due in May, will be unusual. It is also likely to produce an inconclusive result. A new Breakingviews calculator suggests, however, that a Labour-led coalition could take power.

Dec 30, 2014

Breakingviews: Tesco will have to fight for its independence

By Robert Cole

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Tesco will have to
fight for its independence in 2015. The UK grocer’s equity value
fell from 33 billion pounds ($51 billion) three years ago to 15
billion pounds in mid-December. The group will start the year by
unveiling a new strategy and, probably, a new chairman. Neither
provides solid protection against a bid.

Tesco’s pretax profit could be less than 1 billion pounds in
the financial year to the end of February, data from Thomson
Reuters’ SmartEstimate shows. Net debt is around 7.5 billion
pounds. The 22.5 billion pound enterprise value may put it
beyond the reach of a financial buyer, especially factoring a
premium on top. A club deal is conceivable to break it up, but
these are notoriously hard to put together – and keep together.

Dec 30, 2014
via Breakingviews

Tesco will have to fight for its independence

Photo

By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Tesco will have to fight for its independence in 2015. The UK grocer’s equity value fell from 33 billion pounds ($51 billion) three years ago to 15 billion pounds in mid-December. The group will start the year by unveiling a new strategy and, probably, a new chairman. Neither provides solid protection against a bid.

Dec 9, 2014
via Breakingviews

Tesco troubles are deep and long-lasting

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The bad news at Tesco just gets worse. Guidance issued with the unscheduled Dec. 9 update indicates that group trading profit for the current year to next February will be no more than 1.4 billion pounds. That’s 28 percent down on the previous consensus of analysts’ forecasts. It is barely two-fifths of last year’s level.

Nov 27, 2014
via Breakingviews

SABMiller’s Coca-Cola push is Africa buy signal

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

If there was any doubt about SABMiller’s interest in soft drinks, the brewer’s tie-up with Coca-Cola in Africa should squash them for good. SAB, Coca-Cola and privately held Gutsche Family Investments have agreed to merge bottling assets in southern and eastern Africa into a soft-drinks group with $2.9 billion of annual sales. It is a deal that ticks all the boxes for SAB.

    • About Robert

      "Robert is Assistant Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in London. He has a special focus on investment, writing about it on a global basis. Robert worked for The Times, in London, in a variety of writing and editing capacities from 1998 to 2010. For nearly 10 years he edited the newspaper’s daily Tempus investment column. He was also deputy business editor, acting business editor, a leader writer, the chief obituaries writer and a news editor in the home affairs department. Prior to joining The Times, Robert worked on The Independent and the London Evening Standard. His most recent book is ..."
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