Retail round up the Sunday papers
The "best before" dates on food packaging are set to be scrapped in a drive by ministers to stop millions of tonnes of perfectly edible produce being thrown away each year. New guidelines are expected to be unveiled which will provide better information for shoppers and make them far more reluctant to chuck out food before it is even opened, potentially saving households hundreds of pounds a year. The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the coalition wants an end to the confusing proliferation of instructions on food labelling which have greatly expanded over the past decade. Instead of marking food "best before" a certain date, retailers will in future have to produce labels which give details of the health risks associated with individual foods that remain on shelves or in the fridge for a lengthy period before being consumed.
Burberry, the luxury goods brand, is planning to “aggressively reinvest” in London by reconfiguring its store portfolio and opening new retail space, according to chief executive Angela Ahrendts. The company, which is based in London but makes only a third of its sales in the European market, aims to make the city its “greatest flagship market”, she said. Next year’s Olympics have also spurred Burberry’s decision to boost its London presence. The company has recently acquired the Habitat store on London’s Regent Street and last week opened its first Burberry Brit store in Covent Garden. However, the company is thought to be planning an even bigger move to boost its profile in the capital. If successful, the result will be “the greatest thing that has happened to London for a long time”, said Ms Ahrendts.
Profits at Duncan Bannatyne's leisure empire rose last year as he continued to add new sites. The Scottish entrepreneur, perhaps best known as one of the five investors on the BBC's Dragons' Den, generated pre-tax profits of £12.6m at his Bannatyne Group of companies in the year to December 2010, up 38pc on the year before. The profits were generated despite only a minimal increase in headline sales of £2.6m to £96m. Detailed accounts for the whole group were not readily available, but accounts for his Bannatyne Fitness gym business show that it contributed the bulk of the the profit – some £11m, up 26pc. At Bannatyne Fitness, which now has 60 gyms, the profit rise stemmed from reduced interest charges, down to £6.6m from £11m as it continued to repay bank loans.
Tesco is like a fruit machine that pays out whatever the retail climate, but when new boss Phil Clarke steps up this week to deliver record profits of £3.75bn he will face the supermarket's toughest audience in a generation. The retail juggernaut will have racked up profits of £10m a day last year but that eye-popping figure will do little to lift the clouds hanging over both the UK high street and Tesco's utilitarian head office in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. After one of the grimmest quarters in recent memory, retail investors are looking for a shard of optimism in what is being billed as Clarke's "state of the union" address on Tuesday. They also want details on what is being done to revitalise the chain.
Burberry, which is due to update the market this week, is planning a global roll-out of its three separate fashion lines. The programme is part of a plan to distinguish its upmarket catwalk collections from its more casual lines. It unveiled its first UK Burberry Brit store in Covent Garden last week. The label which is worn by celebrities such as the Kings of Leon band members and David Beckham, is its casual fashion line. Burberry, run by Angela Ahrendts, is to distinguish this from its catwalk collection Burberry Prosum. Burberry London is its tailoring collection – what it calls its "sartorial" line.
Analysts predict Tesco’s full-year results on Tuesday, the first for its new chief executive, Philip Clarke, will show an annual pre-tax profit of £3.8bn, against £3.4bn the year before, with UK like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, barely up at 0.7 per cent. The retailer’s Asian profits are expected to be up 24 per cent, but its US operation is forecast to report an operating loss of £165m. Tesco said at the half-year that the American unit would not reach profitability for two years.
Europe's largest online beauty products retailer, Feelunique, will reveal a 50 per cent rise in 2010-11 turnover this week. Feelunique, which is based in Jersey and sells branded beauty products online, saw turnover rise from £11m to £16.1m, while its earnings grew from £600,000 to £985,000 – a 64 per cent increase for the year to the end of March. It is the latest online retailer to report stellar results in the face of poor high-street trading. The company, which sells 13,000 products, predicts its turnover will rise to about £25m over the next 12 months.
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