Sunday News Roundup
Rouble rout slashes Russians' retail spending in Britain, Terry Smith to share £10.6m windfall as Fundsmith quadruples profits, Ship Your Enemies Glitter founder sells company and begs people to stop buying this horrible product, Impresario nets £10m, Burgers beefed up, As shoppers gain from a price war, farmers' boss warns...'20p a litre - farmers are being milked dry', How craft beer has set struggling pubs free from the nachos
Tourists from Russia cut shopping bills by more than a quarter as Chinese visitors spend 20pc more in 2014. As visitors from other countries spent record sums on the UK high street, Russians dropped out of the top ten biggest spending nations in December. “The continual fall of the economy has left Russian tourists travelling abroad facing costs that, in rouble terms, have doubled in the course of the year,” said Global Blue, the shopping tax company that compiled the figures based on non-EU countries.
Fundsmith now has £3bn of assets under management and counts household names such as Domino's Pizza and Microsoft in its slim portfolio of 27 companies. Terry Smith, the fund manager famed for his “buy and hold” philosophy, is set to share a £10.6m windfall with seven members of his new firm Fundsmith after reporting a quadrupling in profits. Smith, who stepped down as chief executive of one of the City’s most well-known interdealer brokers, Tullett Prebon, last June, to focus on Fundsmith, managed a 23pc rise in performance, compared to a 11.5pc rise of global equities.
Mathew Carpenter, the 22-year-old Australian behind the popular website, Ship Your Enemies Glitter, says he's had enough. Just days after it was launched, the ‘Ship Your Enemies Glitter’ website is up for sale, as the founder says he was overwhelmed by the response. The service, launched by Mathew Carpenter in Australia earlier this week, lets people order an envelope filled with glitter to be sent anonymously to anyone in the world for $9.99 AUD (£5.40). “Please stop buying this horrible glitter product — I’m sick of dealing with it,” Carpenter wrote on ProductHunt, a website that features popular new products. Carpenter has now put the business up for sale on startup marketplace Flippa.
Impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh took a £10m dividend from his theatrical agency, producer of stage hits Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, after a surge in sales. It is the first time Mackintosh has received a payout from the business since 2010, when he collected dividends totalling £32m. Sales at the company, which shares his name, rose 36% to £75.4m in the year to March, thanks in part to a full year’s contribution from Music Theatre International (MTI), owner of the rights to many shows.
The private equity backer of Evans cycle shops and Leon cafes is taking a stake in Honest Burgers, a fast-growing chain of hamburger joints. Active Private Equity is thought to be investing about £7m in return for about 50% of the business, launched four years ago in Brixton, south London. The chain has since expanded to nine branches, and is expected to reach 14 in the next 12 months. Honest Burgers was founded by friends Tom Barton, Phil Eeles and Dorian Waite. Barton and Eeles had been providing outdoor catering at festivals before teaming up with Waite, who had restaurant experience.
Mail on Sunday
Britain's dairy farmers are facing a battle for survival, says Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers’ Union. Intensifying price wars between the major supermarkets coupled with a dramatic collapse in demand from overseas have brought the cost of milk crashing down to its lowest level since 2007. It is a boom for consumers. Milk now costs as little as 44p a litre, making it cheaper than bottled water. ‘I think that is a ridiculous situation,’ says Raymond.
Independent British brewers are buying up premises to release them from pubco ties – and give them new life. On a Tuesday lunchtime, Whitelock’s is doing healthy business. At Leeds’s oldest pub, a mixed clientele samples the 10 real ales and tucks in to hearty pub food. The pub that John Betjeman described as “the heart of Leeds” celebrates its third centenary this year, but a few years ago its place in the city’s firmament was less secure. Whitelock’s, like many other pubs, had fallen on hard times and had lacked investment from its owner, the pub company Spirit Group...
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