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Amazon to add another 100 new employees to Tech City hub Thursday, 10th January 2013
Amazon has announced plans to add 100 new employees to its Tech City hub in London.
The online giant will use the new staff force to work on expanding its global development hub, bringing Amazon’s on-demand video services to new devices such as games consoles and tablets. According to City AM, hiring is set to take place over the next few months.
“We are growing all the time and seeing ever increasing demand for our services,” Amazon’s Paula Byrne told City AM.
Bang & Olufsen under pressure as profits plunge 47% Thursday, 10th January 2013
Photo credit: Bang & Olufsen
Danish brand Bang & Olufsen on Wednesday said second quarter net profit fell 47 per cent for the company, as it announced 125 store closures across its operations.
From September to November last year the high-end electronics maker earned a net profit of EUR 2.06 million, a sharp drop from the same quarter a year before. Bang & Olufsen said it intended to close 125 of its 637 stores during the next 18 months due to under-peformance, with most closures taking place in its European outlets.
Quarterly sales managed to rise 5 per cent year-on-year for the company to EUR 110 million, thanks to the recent launch of new products , but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to turn around the cult brand which has so far been slow to release both new and updated models. Bang & Olufsen said it would now look into expanding into the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Tesco’s Christmas coup: sales up 1.8% after stronger seasonal offering Thursday, 10th January 2013
Photo credit: Tesco plc
Tesco on Thursday reported a 1.8 per cent rise in sales for the run up to Christmas, its strongest UK growth in three years, after the retailer stepped up its game for the festive season.
The nation’s largest retailer said sales excluding new store openings, VAT and petrol grew 1.8 per cent in the six weeks to 5 January, compared with the same time a year before.
With its back to basics festive campaign and “a much stronger seasonal offering” the supermarket giant said food sales had been particularly strong, with online food sales up 18 per cent.
The results come in stark contrast to Tesco’s peak trading results from a year before, when sales fell 2.3 per cent after “strained” Christmas trading.
"We are just nine months into the implementation of our six-part plan, which is about Building a Better Tesco in the UK for the long-term.” Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said on Thursday.
"Whilst our seasonal performance is encouraging, there is a lot more to do and the team is focused on delivering further improvements for customers in 2013."
Along with the trading results, Clarke also announced Tesco’s current chief operating officer Chris Bush had been named at the managing director of the retailer’s UK business.
Speaking in light of the update, John Ibbotson, director of retail consultants Retail Vision said: “With like-for-like sales growth jumping to its highest level for three years, Tesco has come out fighting. In the face of falling retail sales, to deliver a 4.3% jump in total non-petrol sales is an impressive achievement.
“The crucial like-for-like number is flattered somewhat by Tesco’s dire performance over Christmas 2011, but it does confirm both a return to form – and a decisive victory over rivals Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. The £1 billion Tesco has invested in revamping its stores and boosting customer service is finally delivering a handsome return."
Total sales for the group, excluding petrol, grew by 3.9 per cent. Sales in Europe fell 0.6 per cent while total sales at the retailer’s US Fresh & Easy chain rose 4.1 per cent.
Marks & Spencer slides as analysts cut forecasts Friday, 4th January 2013
Marks & Spencer Shoreham store. Photo credit: Marks & Spencer plc
Marks & Spencer shares fell on Friday after analysts said they expected third quarter sales to fall back on a weak general merchandise performance.
With less than a week until its quarter sales update on Thursday, Marks & Spencer shares fell 11.4 p at 377p on Friday after analysts at Nomura cut their full year forecasts from £694 million to £666 million.
According to the Guardian the bank expects the update from the department store to show UK like-for-like sales down 1.4 per cent, attributed to a weakness in its general merchandise offering.
Burberry shares slashed after sales warning Tuesday, 11th September 2012
Photo credit: My Retail Media
Luxury fashion label saw 17.8 per cent swiped off shares this morning after an unscheduled trading update warned of a slowdown in sales.
The market did not respond kindly to Burberry’s announcement on Tuesday that like-for-like sales had ground to a stop in the 10 weeks to 8 September, and have even started to fall in recent weeks. Total sales including new space rose by just 6 per cent.
Burberry went on to warn that adjusted pre-tax profits for the year to 31 March would come in at the lower end of market expectations, which analysts forecast to be between £407 million and £455 million.
The update marks a stark change in tone from the British fashion house’s most recent trading figures. Last year Burberry reported a 24 per cent rise in annual profits with total revenues also up 24 per cent.
Interest mounts for troubled JJB Sports Monday, 10th September 2012
More than ten parties are thought to have registered their interest in JJB Sports, which put itself up for sale in August after failing to secure the funds needed to turn its business around.
The sports retailer is expected to give an update on progress this week after French chain Decathlon, Better Capital and JJB founder David Whelan were all said to have requested information on the sale of the company.
Having struggled to compete with JD Sports and Sports Direct during a summer of sports events in the UK, analysts have little hope that the retailer can avoid administration.
Co-op profits fall 16% as euro zone crisis takes its toll Thursday, 30th August 2012
Britain’s fifth biggest food retailer saw profit at supermarkets slashed during its first half, as competitors stepped up the competition and tough trading took hold.
Co-op said operating profit from its food business fell 16.4 per cent to £119 million, after rivals such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose continued to expand into the convenience store sector.
Underlying profit across Britain’s largest mutually-owned business fell to £174 million, compared with £264 million for the same period a year before.
"A year ago I warned that we were operating in the worst conditions that I have seen in more than 40 years in business. The results we are announcing today show the full impact of that with the profitability of our two biggest businesses affected," chief executive Peter Marks said in a statement on Thursday.
Although Co-op maintained that its performance was expected to improve for the second half, it remains to be seen if the retailer’s market share can withstand the increasingly aggressive tactics made by rivals.
All eyes on Halfords as shares plunge ahead of Q1 results Thursday, 5th July 2012
Halfords came dangerously close to finishing at its lowest-ever share price this week, as the industry gears up to hear from what is thought to be a wash-out first quarter.
The Independent on Thursday reported that with the wettest June on record coupled with aggressive discounts from rivals, there could be trouble ahead for Halfords. In the run up to the results, Kate Calvert from Seymour Pierce cut her pre-tax profit forecast for the year by 15 per cent, saying she did “not expect pretty first quarter sales numbers”, as cited by the Independent.
The bicycle and outdoor retailer saw shares drop 20.4p to 208p in market trading this week, its lowest since 2008.
Morrisons braced for reality-check trading update Monday, 30th April 2012
Photo credit: Wm Morrisons plc
Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain is now expected to report a dip in underlying sales growth for its first quarter, as it faces tougher competition from discounting rivals.
With the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel showing a drop to 11.9 per cent in market share, Morrisons first quarter update on Thursday is likely to bring something of a reality check to the supermarket giant.
Experts are now forecasting negative underlying sales growth for the retailer of -1 per cent for the 12 weeks to 15 April. The supermarket is forecasted to see a marginal rise in like-for-like sales, but these will be driven by the higher cost of food.
Morrisons is likely to attribute the figures to tough comparables of last year’s royal wedding and numerous bank holidays. But analysts are now suggesting the Bradford-based retailer is also suffering from exposure to the north of the UK, and a lack of promotional activity favoured by the more competitive supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Majestic Wine carries on celebrating as shares climb 15% Wednesday, 11th January 2012
The New Year celebrations may be over for most of us, but it seems Majestic Wine have another toast to make, after shares in the retailer climbed 15 per cent on the back of an impressive Christmas trading update.
Majestic Wine reported a 4 per cent rise in like-for-like sales over the festive period, with the average bottle price up more than 7 per cent to £7.13. Chief executive Steve Lewis said consumers had treated themselves to pricier wine over the holidays, favouring sparkling wine and prosecco for their celebrations.
Such was the demand, the wine specialist hired an extra 70 staff members to handle the last minute rush as consumers left their spending until later than a year ago.