The Sunday Telegraph
OCADO TO HIT PROFIT IN TWO YEARS
Ocado’s imminent plans for a £1bn stock market flotation have been given a boost after a detailed research note from an expert retail analyst firm said that the online retailer would be making pre-tax profits within “a two-year time frame”. The note said that growth at the company was “significant”, management control was “second to none” and that it was an ideal time for a major investment.
EMI DEAL WITH SONY IS CLOSE
EMI has moved closer to signing a deal to lease its North American catalogue to Sony Music Entertainment. the music group’s recorded music division is expected to breach a test of its banking covenants this week, raising expectations that it will need to find short-term financing to prevent US bank Citigroup taking it over.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
LINGERIE SELLER TO BUY 50 STORES
Agent Provocateur plans to double in size to almost 100 stores in the next three years under ambitious proposals drawn up by Kim Winser, the British fashion queen.
Winser, the new chairwoman of the lingerie retailer, said high-class underwear was due a surge in growth, after a boom in sales of handbags and shoes over the past five years.
FALKLANDS FEVER COOLS
Desire Petroleum is expected to announce the disappointing findings this week. The news could defuse the political row that erupted between London and Buenos Aires after a handful of British oil exploration groups announced plans to drill wells in the territorial waters of the islands, which are 300 miles off the coast of Argentina.
LCH OPENS PARIS CLEARING HOUSE
The French arm of LCH.Clearnet, Europe’s largest independent clearing house, will on Monday launch clearing of credit default swaps – a victory for French efforts to ensure the processing of such off-exchange derivatives instruments is done in Paris. The development will be seen by some as a blow to London, which has long dominated the markets for over-the-counter derivatives such as CDS.
TALKTALK SHARES GO ON SALE
The much anticipated demerger of Carphone warehouse happens today, when its retail and telecoms interests take on separate stock market listings. Shares in TalkTalk, the UK’s second largest broadband provider, will start trading this morning.
The Daily Telegraph
RBS HANDS MANAGERS 5PC BONUS
Royal Bank of Scotland has handed middle managers a bonus equivalent to five per cent of their salary – by backdating an increase in “benefits” to January 2009. Thousands of RBS staff have received the backdated addition to their “value account”, which is usually used to buy benefits such as health care or a company car. Unused sums are typically paid in cash to employees at the end of the tax year.
BARCLAYS RAIDS ITS PENSION POT
A raid by Barclays on the pension benefits of 17,000 branch and other frontline staff has been used to offset the bonus tax for its high-earning investment bankers. Details buried in the annual accounts show that the bank made a £371m profit last year from closing its UK final salary scheme to existing members.
BRITISH GAS TO CREATE 2500 JOBS
British Gas is to put smart meters in a million homes this year as part of an ambitious programme that will create 2,500 jobs and could cut household energy bills by at least £1 billion over the next ten years. At the end of last year, the Government backed the roll-out of the meters to every home in the country in a £9 billion programme.
SIEMENS TO BUILD GREEN FACTORY
Siemens will this week announce plans to build a wind turbine factory in the UK. The investment, which is likely to be between £50 million and £100 million, will seek to capitalise on Britain’s expanding market for offshore windmills and will put the German engineering giant in head-to-head competition with GE, its American rival, which last week announced a £110m investment.