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November 9, 2012

Co-op announces ring-fenced Christmas savings scheme

by Jan Harris
Co-op announces ring-fenced Christmas savings scheme
The Co-operative Group is launching a Christmas Savings scheme in the New Year, which will protect savers’ money if the company collapses. All money saved in the new scheme will be placed into a special trust and kept separate from the Co-op’s other finances. This means that it would not be considered an asset of the business if the Co-op fell into financial ...




November 28, 2011

Farepak’s collapse costs £8.2m in fees

by Jan Harris
Farepak’s collapse costs £8.2m in fees
Fees for dealing with the administration and liquidation of Farepak, which ran a Christmas savings club, have now totalled £8.2m, far more that the £5.53 million of compensation promised to customers. Farepak collapsed in 2006, when nearly 120,000 Christmas club members lost an average of £400 each. Just 6,000 customers, who made cash deposits immediately before the business failed, have received ...




October 6, 2011

Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, dies aged 56

by Kay Mitchell
”Apple
Tributes for Steve Jobs, co-founder and former chief executive of US technology company, Apple, are pouring in after he died yesterday aged 56. Flags are being flown at half-mast outside the Apple headquarters in California and many have left tributes outside Apple shops throughout the world. Mr Jobs’ family were with him and said he died peacefully yesterday. US President, Barack Obama, paid ...




September 27, 2011

CBI: Retail sales weaken in September

by Kay Mitchell
”CBI:
According to the latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) distributive trades survey, the volume of sales on the UK High Street were lower this month versus a year ago. The figures suggest continue to be cautious about the economic outlook and rein in their spending on the back of rising unemployment, higher inflation and slow wage growth. The CBI’s survey established that 24% ...




September 22, 2011

Accountant fails energy bill test

by Gill Montia
Accountant fails energy bill test
Energy tariffs are so complicated that even an accountant could not calculate how much they should be paying, according to latest research from Which?. The consumer group asked 36 people including a solicitor, an engineer and an accountant, to work out their domestic energy bill using only the information from the supplier’s website, and a calculator, pencil and paper or Excel. ...




September 20, 2011

Debenhams exceeds profits forecasts

by Kay Mitchell
”Debenhams
Debenhams, which is Britain’s second largest department store after John Lewis, has today exceeded market expectations after reporting growth of 0.4% in the nine week period to the end of August on a like-for-like basis. The retailing giant said aggressive summer discounting and promotions had helped increase its market share. The company said growth came from its Danish subsidiary, Magasin du Nord, acquired two ...




September 19, 2011

Vince Cable attacks excessive fat cat pay

by Kay Mitchell
”Vince
At his keynote speech to the Liberal Democrat conference, Business Secretary Vince Cable is today expected to say that shareholders should have more of a say when it comes to bonuses paid to executives. He is also expected to outline plans which will force firms to disclose their excessive pay packages. Mr Cable is expected to set out new rules that ...




September 15, 2011

ONS: UK retail sales fall 0.2% in August

by Kay Mitchell
”ONS:
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed UK retail sales fell by 0.2% in August after riots earlier in the month affected trade. The fall followed slower growth in the previous two months after sales rose just 0.2% in July and 0.8% in June. In the meantime, food sales were also down – an area which has not particularly ...




Comet sales fall sharply

by Kay Mitchell
”Comet
Figures today show consumers continue to cutback in the face of higher inflation and rising unemployment after Kesa, the parent company of electrical retailer Comet, revealed a sharp fall in sales. Total revenue in the previous three months fell by 9.8% on a like-for-like basis while sales slumped almost 22% after the company blamed weak trading. However, the company said the fall was expected and ...




September 14, 2011

John Lewis reports challenging trading environment

by Kay Mitchell
”John
The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, has reported a marginal increase in sales and said trading conditions are “extremely challenging”. The renowned employee-owned chain, which owns the Waitrose supermarket chain, said sales rose 1% on a like-for-like basis in the six month period to 30 July. However, across the group, first-half pre-tax profits slumped by ...




September 8, 2011

Argos and Homebase sales down, Morrisons sales higher

by Kay Mitchell
”Argos
There is a mixed bag of retail sales figures today after Home Retail Group announced a drop in sales at both its Argos and Homebase chains. The figures are further evidence of a cutback in consumer spending after electrical goods group, Dixons Retail, yesterday posted a fall in sales. At Argos, like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 27 August fell ...




September 7, 2011

Dixons Retail sees sharp drop in sales

by Kay Mitchell
”Dixons
There is further evidence of a cutback in consumer spending today after electrical goods group Dixons Retail posted a drop in sales. The group, which is Europe’s no.2 electricals retailer, said like-for-like sales were 7% lower in the three months to 23 July compared with a year ago, which included a 10% fall in the UK. However, the decline was in line ...




September 6, 2011

Union leaders criticise fat cats over pay

by Kay Mitchell
”Union
Unions have vented their anger at directors today after a report found that the average annual bonus for a director in a FTSE 100 company has soared by 187% in the last decade. The findings were in a report by the High Pay Commission and discovered that top executives received a bonus worth 90% last year compared with 48% of salary ...




August 25, 2011

Co-op hit by falling food sales

by Gill Montia
Co-op hit by falling food sales
Co-operative Group has reported a fall in first-half underlying profit to £230.8 million, down from £262.3 million a year earlier. The mutual has been hit by declining food sales in the face of strong competition, reduced government funding for prescriptions and a change in the income recognition policy on the sale of its funeral bonds. More positively, Co-op's food business has finally completed ...




Steve Jobs steps down at Apple

by Gill Montia
Steve Jobs steps down at Apple
Steve Jobs has stepped down as chief executive of technology giant, Apple, to be replaced by Tim Cook, previously the group's chief operating officer. In his resignation letter, Mr Jobs, who has been on medical leave following a diagnosis of cancer, said: "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations ...




August 22, 2011

Business confidence falls as profit growth weakens

by Gill Montia
Business confidence falls as profit growth weakens
Confidence among British businesses has declined as both UK and global economic turmoil impact on firms' plans for the future. The latest ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor shows confidence at its lowest level since the third quarter of 2009, when the UK was still in recession, with firms seeing turnover and profit growth weakening and revising down future expectations. In particular, ...




August 11, 2011

BAA reports 2.5% rise in July passenger numbers

by Kay Mitchell
”BAA
Airports operator BAA has today reported a rise in passenger numbers at its six British airports in July. BAA, which is majority-owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, said 11 million passengers flew from its UK airports during the month – a rise of 0.8% on an annual basis. Meanwhile, Heathrow, which is the UK’s main airport, saw a record 6.9 million passengers last ...




August 10, 2011

HSBC offloads US credit card division in $32.7bn deal

by Kay Mitchell
”HSBC
Banking giant HSBC has today announced it has disposed of its US credit card division to Capital One Financial, as part of a global strategic cost-cutting exercise. The announcement comes shortly after the bank said it would slash its underperforming US branch network by half and also announced it would axe 30,000 jobs globally in the next two years. The ...




August 9, 2011

BRC warn of riot costs to British businesses

by Kay Mitchell
”BRC
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned that the riots will cause significant harm to British businesses as they count the costs of stolen and damaged goods. The weekend riots in London have already spread to other parts of the UK and the BRC warned that retailers of all sizes had suffered damage. Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to cut ...




July 21, 2011

ONS: UK retail sales post modest rise in June

by Kay Mitchell
”ONS:
Early summer sales on the High Street have led to a modest rise in retail sales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today. According to the ONS, like-for-like sales excluding petrol rose 0.8% in May, while they were 0.2% higher on an annual basis due to heavy discounting. The figures were broadly in line with expectations. The monthly ...