News@Nine WEDNESDAY 30TH JULY 2014
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Puma up to new Tricks - and it's starting to pay off

30 July | 02:40 AM | | Business

Puma, Europe's second-largest sporting-goods maker, reported a milder-than-anticipated drop in operating profit as the company debuted new products to stoke sales. Earnings before interest and taxes in the second quarter tumbled 60pc to €12.6m, Puma said in a statement, compared with analysts' €10.2m average estimate. Revenue for the period that ended in June rose 0.6pc. Chief executive Bjoern Gulden is repositioning Puma around sports-performance gear and seeing strong demand for the company's bright pink-and-blue EvoPower and EvoSpeed soccer cleats that some players wore during this summer's World Cup.

Puma logo silver

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Pets at Home like-for-like sales up 4.1% in first quarter

Pets at Home saw its like-for-like sales climb by 4.1% in its first quarter driven by the popularity of its 'Very Important Pets' loyalty club. In the 16 weeks to 17 July, total revenue grew by 10.4% to £210.8 million as the company opened 10 new stores, 16 veterinary practices and 19 Groom Rooms. Pets at Home said its VIP Club was one of the big drivers of like-for-like sales growth after it signed up 400,000 members in the period to take the total to 2.4 million.

Sporting Goods 305

Direct Golf drives ahead with Sports Direct tie-up

Yorkshire-based Direct Golf UK has announced a new partnership with global sports retailer Sports Direct to help grow and promote the game in the UK and Europe. The deal sees Sports Direct take an equity stake and provide funding to fulfil Direct Golf’s ambition to become Europe’s number one golf retail specialist with John Andrew, owner and founder, retaining majority ownership and day-to-day control of the business.

Greggs store

Greggs profits soar on improving sales

Bakery chain Greggs today said its profits jumped by almost 50 per cent during the first half of the year amid an “encouraging” response to its new sandwiches and coffee. The firm, which has almost 1,700 outlets across the UK, posted a pre-tax profit before one-off items of £16.9 million for the six months to 28 June, up from £11.4m a year earlier, on total sales 3.1 per cent higher at £373m.

My Tube: Microsoft One Experience Live - Family festival stunt
Microsoft One Experience Live - Family festival stunt
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The Range takes over Homebase stores

The Homebase stores in Watford, Kirkcaldy, Taunton, Huddersfield, Burnley, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Sunderland, Loughborough and Grimsby are closing down, with the premises all set to become The Range stores. B&M Stores is moving into the old Homebase in Clacton. In 2012, Homebase announced it would be closing 40 stores in the following five years. The retailer has 65 store leases coming up for renewal, and says it is planning to close all but 25 of them.

Social Media2

Twitter targets world #winning

Shares in Twitter rose a whopping 35 per cent in after-hours trading late last night, after the company ann­ounced its second quarter results in America. The social media giant, whose shares have been struggling in recent months, revealed a 24 per cent increase in monthly users, but a widening loss of $145m (£86m) during the three months to 30 June, more than triple the loss it made in the same quarter a year previously.

HR News 103

Shapland is named Poundland chair in retail merry-go-round

Poundland yesterday named Darren Shapland as its new chairman after losing its current boss to the troubled supermarket Morrisons in the latest round of retail musical chairs. Shapland joined the bargain chain’s board as a senior independent director ahead of its £750m float in March after a brief stint as chief executive of the flooring retailer Carpetright.

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