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Sunday News Roundup

Tesco fights to refind its form, E-cigarette firm Gamucci expands, Tesco sales fall again as foreign divisions suffer drop in profits, Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon puts the boot into private equity, Leon ready for take-off at Heathrow, Guy Hands pulls plug on £1.25bn Odeon float, Tesco's hangover lingers on as Aldi breaks out champagne after thriving in the austerity years, In-the-black Pink still shirty at Victoria's Secret over use of name Pink, Upmarket shirt retailer Thomas Pink is flush with money after profits rose from £1.6million to £1.9million last year.But the company, owned by luxury goods group LVMH, is locked in a legal battle over the use of the name Pink with US lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret. Thomas Pink’s turnover for the year to December 31, 2012 was up slightly from £33.9million to £34.8million. Sales soar at JD Wetherspoon as pubs slash prices in VAT campaign, Marshmallow maker Harriot nets Sainsbury's deal after just 6 months, Yachtwear maker changes tack, Asos boss trousers £40m, Ladbrokes chief’s last chance, Sofa giant joins float race with £1bn offer, Big hires hit Hunter


Sunday News Roundup


Tesco, the retail giant is betting on technology as competitors gain. Philip Clarke was next to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, but far from thinking about history he was thinking about the future. the Tesco chief executive was in confident mood as he unveiled the "Hudl" tablet to the world in modern technology offices overlooking the London landmark last week. 

Gamucci, an electronic cigarette company created by two brothers in 2006, is set to appoint Canaccord Genuity to help it raise more than £20m for expansion. The company, whose products are sold in WH Smith and Waitrose, is one of a number of firms that have sprung up in Britain to take advantage of the surprise popularity of electronic cigarettes. Sales of “e-cigarettes” are expected to reach $3bn (£2bn) this year and analysts have suggested the technology will prove to be the “most significant development in the history of the organised tobacco industry”, which is around 200 years old. 

Tesco is expected to report another drop in like-for-like sales this week as its arch-rival Sainsbury's reveals that its sales are increasing. The City anticipates that Sainsburys will report a 1.8pc rise in like-for-like sales in a trading update for 16 weeks to September 28, while the consensus is that Tesco will suffer a drop in UK like-for-likes of between 0.4pc and 0.7pc for the 26 weeks to August 24. 

The Jimmy Choo co-founder wants to boot private equity out of fashion.The first fashion collection Tamara Mellon will produce under her own name includes an extraordinary garment called “Sweet Revenge” – a pair of tight-fitting leather leggings that end with high-heeled boots. The Jimmy Choo co-founder is counting on this
item to put her new venture on the map. The name is deliberate. 

Leon Restaurants, the healthy fast food chain, is to open its largest outlet at Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 2. The opening will take Leon to 14 sites and is part of the company's drive to step up its expansion plans. The company was founded in 2004 when Henry Dimbleby, John Vincent and Allegra McEvedy started a restaurant on

Carnaby Street in central London. It set out to offer an alternative to traditional fast food by selling banana smoothies, porridge, "hot boxes" and wraps.  Guy Hands has pulled a planned £1.25bn float of the Odeon cinema chain amid weak trading in its Spanish business. The private equity veteran, who controls Odeon & UCI
Cinemas Group through his Terra Firma funds, has decided to maintain control of the business until trading improves. It is the second time in three years Terra Firma has pulled a proposed sale of the Odeon business, having ended a process in May 2011 after a £475m refinancing. 

Mail on Sunday

Tesco boss Philip Clarke will this week claim to have steadied the group with profits rising in Britain for the first time in 18 months. But half-year figures due on Wednesday will show the store still struggling overseas. Sales are still falling in the UK, though more slowly than in 2012, the report is expected to show, with UK profits rising 0.9 per cent to £1.1billion or two-thirds of group profits.The sunny summer in Britain and early signs of economic recovery have boosted UK sales. 

Sales at JD Wetherspoon’s pubs rose by 20 per cent last Wednesday thanks to the group’s role in spearheading an anti-VAT campaign. Tax Parity Day saw about 15,000 outlets owned by a number of companies cut their prices by 7.5 per cent to show the effect of a halving of VAT in pubs and restaurants. JD Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim 

Martin said: ‘There’s been a huge amount of support from customers and staff and people are really beginning to understand what we’re calling for, particularly in the North and the Midlands where people see so many closed pubs.

Marshmallow maker Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie has clinched a deal with Sainsbury’s just six months after setting up her firm Mallow & Marsh. Harriot, 28, is one of four food start-ups to win a 12-month contract with the store through StartUp Britain, a campaign to boost enterprise. She experiments with flavours from fresh raspberry to organic vanilla bean.

Sunday Times

The entrepreneur behind Gill sailing gear has sold a majority stake in a deal thought to be worth up to £10m. Nick Gill, who started from his father’s lace factory in Nottingham, will be a non-executive director after selling to YFM Equity Partners. The terms of the deal, handled by Clearwater Corporate Finance, are not being made public but YFM typically invests up to £10m.

The co-founder of Asos, the online fashion emporium, will bag a £40m stock windfall this week from a lucrative bonus scheme. Nick Robertson will tomorrow receive 744,792 shares in Asos, which has been one of the best performers on the stock exchange over the past decade. After more than doubling since last year, Asos shares closed at £51.76, valuing Robertson’s latest stock award at £39m. Robertson, 45, a former advertising executive, already owns a £400m stake in Asos and is sitting on stock options worth a further £40m.

THE chairman of Ladbrokes has told investors he will remove the bookmaker’s embattled chief executive if performance does not improve by next summer. Peter Erskine gave the ultimatum after Ladbrokes was forced to issue its second profit warning this year, piling pressure on Richard Glynn, the chief executive. Glynn was hired from Sporting Index three years ago with a £12m bonus scheme. He shocked the stock market last Thursday when he said operating profits for Ladbrokes’ struggling digital division would be £13.5m to £17.5m lower than expected this year.

DFS backers look to exit as scramble to list on London market gathers pace, DFS is lining up a stock market flotation that would value the high street furniture chain at up to £1bn. Advent, the sofa retailer’s private equity backer, plans to cash in on the float fever that has gripped the City. A buoyant stock market and hopes of a sustained economic recovery have prompted a growing list of private firms to try to raise money on the stock exchange. Companies worth more than £40bn are expected to debut on the market over the next 12 months, bringing a fees windfall for the City.

The cost of hiring a stable of senior executives has contributed to a fall in profits at Hunter, the luxury bootmaker. The 157-year-old company has signed Alasdhair Willis, husband of Stella McCartney, who arrived this year as creative director, and Niall Sloan, from Burberry, to work under James Seuss, who became chief executive last December.

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