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Sep 18, 2014

easyJet flags higher dividends, buys more planes

LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – EasyJet is to pay more
of its profits out to shareholders via dividends in a sign of
the budget airline’s confidence in future growth.

The company, Europe’s second largest low-cost airline behind
Irish rival Ryanair, said on Thursday its dividend would
now amount to 40 percent of pretax profit, compared to the one
third it previously paid out to investors.

Sep 17, 2014

Insight – Ignored and fed up, UK regions call for Scottish-style devolution

CAERNARFON/YORK (Reuters) – Scotland’s chance to vote for independence has lit hopes in other regions of Britain that a reworking of political ties might boost their chances of self-rule too.

London-based parliamentarians have been wrong-footed by a late surge of support among Scottish voters planning to say ‘Yes’ on Sept. 18, and their consequent hurried promise to award Edinburgh more economic decision-making if it stays part of the union is being eyed by Manchester, Yorkshire and Wales.

Sep 17, 2014

Ignored and fed up, UK regions call for Scottish-style devolution

CAERNARFON/YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Scotland’s chance to
vote for independence has lit hopes in other regions of Britain
that a reworking of political ties might boost their chances of
self-rule too.

London-based parliamentarians have been wrong-footed by a
late surge of support among Scottish voters planning to say
‘Yes’ on Sept. 18, and their consequent hurried promise to award
Edinburgh more economic decision-making if it stays part of the
union is being eyed by Manchester, Yorkshire and Wales.

Sep 16, 2014

Thomas Cook points to slowdown in German market

LONDON (Reuters) – British holiday operator Thomas Cook (TCG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday highlighted a slowdown in bookings in its German market but also provided guidance on full-year earnings that put the company broadly on course to meet analyst expectations.

Thomas Cook said it expected earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of between 315 million pounds and 335 million pounds in the 12 months to the end of September. That compared with analyst expectations of 327 million pounds ($530.2 million), according to a Thomson Reuters consensus forecast.

Sep 14, 2014

Britain’s biggest bookmakers in self-regulation plan

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s four biggest
bookmakers have committed to advertise more responsibly as part
of a voluntary move to self-police, hoping to fend off further
regulation.

William Hill, Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and
Paddy Power said in an open letter published on Monday
they would sign up to a set of rules and establish a watchdog,
responding to what they said were growing concerns about
gambling in Britain and in particular the way it is advertised
on television.

Sep 14, 2014

Tesco seeks ingredient to be Britain’s best-loved grocer again

THETFORD, England, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Standing with bags of
groceries outside discount store Lidl in Thetford, eastern
England, Jodie McGloughlin explains simply why she turned her
back on Britain’s biggest retailer – its high prices.

“With Tesco.. all them pounds add up,” the 22-year-old mum
says. “I think that’s what people notice.”

Sep 4, 2014

British Army damaged by spending cuts – lawmakers’ report

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) – The British Army has been damaged
by spending cuts and by 2020 it will be even more “vulnerable”
from a lack of manpower, a panel of lawmakers said on Friday, in
a warning to the government at a time of heightened
geo-political tensions.

The report was issued as the Ukraine crisis dominated the
first day of a NATO summit hosted by Britain. Britain joining
U.S. air strikes on Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq is
also being debated.

Sep 4, 2014

Go-Ahead raises dividend for first time in six years

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – British transport company
Go-Ahead lifted its dividend for the first time since
2008 after making progress towards a profit target and winning a
new rail contract, prompting hopes of further dividend
increases.

Fresh from winning Britain’s biggest rail franchise, the
Thameslink contract around London, Go-Ahead said on Thursday it
would raise its full-year dividend by 4.3 percent to 84.5 pence
a share after operating profit jumped 19 percent in the twelve
months to June 28.

Sep 3, 2014

Virgin refocuses on transatlantic flights in profit quest

LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – British airline Virgin Atlantic
is to beef up its core transatlantic services and stop
flying to Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver and Cape Town, to help it try
to reach a level of profitability which has proved elusive for
the past 15 years.

The airline, which is 51 percent owned by its founder
Richard Branson and 49 percent by U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines
, also said on Wednesday it was on track to make an
annual profit by the end of this year, after two years of
running at a loss.

Sep 2, 2014

Britain rejects London mayor’s ‘Boris Island’ airport plan

LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – A plan to build a major new
airport to the east of London was rejected by a
government-appointed commission on Tuesday, dealing a blow to
its high-profile backer, the city’s mayor Boris Johnson.

The Airports Commission said having dropped the idea of
building a costly new airport in the Thames Estuary, nicknamed
Boris Island, it would now decide by next year whether to expand
Heathrow airport to the west of London or Gatwick to the south.