Posts Tagged ‘Business’

77 stores to close in Currys.digital re-structure.

Friday, May 16th, 2008

DSG International, the owner of Currys and PC World brands, is to dramatically reduce the number of its Currys.digital stores and cut its dividend as part of an aggressive ‘revival plan’.

A spokesperson said 77 Currys.digital shops out of the 177 outlets would shut, reducing their high-street footprint by more than 40%.  This streamlining is happen as their leases expire over the next five years.

The closures are part of a large-scale cost reduction plan by DSG, which it forecasts will cut costs by up to £50m in 2008/09.

The announcement came as DSG reported a modest 1% rise in like-for-like sales for the year to 3 May.

DSG’s shares initially fell by almost 12% on the news, but later rebounded to close 7.5% lower at 65 pence.

28% of people welcome ‘fall in house prices’

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

More people want house prices to fall than to rise, the BBC claims its research has found.

That is the surprise finding of the first poll to test the assumption that house price falls are unpopular and therefore politically damaging.

Barely a fifth of people want house prices to rise - fewer than the number of people who want them to fall.

The poll of 1,005 people, commissioned by the BBC, found that only 22% said they wanted prices to go up while 28% said they wanted house prices to fall.

The poll, carried out by ICM, and published on BBC.co.uk, canvassed people over a three-day period from 25 to 27 April.

Crude oil takes another step towards $200

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Crude oil has hit yet another all-time high, speculating fears of $200 a barrel.

Driven by surging demand and continuing supply concerns, US light crude touched $124.70 a barrel in Asian exchanges, up $1.01 from Thursday’s close.

Meanwhile, London’s Brent crude was up 85 cents to $123.69 from Thursday’s record $122.84 close.

Earlier this week a report by Goldman Sachs said the price of crude oil could reach $200 a barrel in as little as six months, as supplies tighten.

Despite the continuing rises in oil prices, producers group Opec reiterated its view on Thursday that supplies were adequate for the time being.

However, it has also said that $200 a barrel was a possibility in the future.

Google snuggles up to Yahoo

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Is Yahoo on the rebound?

According to many sources, Google has expressed interest in extending an advertising partnership with fellow search engine Yahoo.

The comments from Google co-founder Sergey Brin and chief executive Eric Schmidt were made before the firm’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Google and Yahoo recently shared advertising for two weeks, but some analysts said the trial was more about stopping a Microsoft bid for Yahoo.

Microsoft ended its interest in buying Yahoo last weekend.

easyJet profits slide as oil prices soar

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Low cost airline easyJet has said that the increasing price of oil is continuing to dent its profits.

For the six months to 31 March the firm made a £57.5m loss, including £9.1m of costs from its purchase of GB Airways, against a £17.1m loss the previous year.

Fuel costs in the April to September are set to increase by at least £45m, the airline added.

The price of jet fuel has risen 35% over the last three months and is now 80% higher than last year, said the airline’s chief executive Andy Harrison.

easyJet said its fuel bill would also rise by an extra £2.5m for every $10 rise in the price of a barrel of oil.

Despite this, passenger numbers in the first half of the year rose by 15% to 18.9 million, whilst revenue grew 24% to £892.2m.

Yahoo share price tumbles after Microsoft u-turn

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

On Saturday, Microsoft withdrew its $33-a-share offer for Yahoo.

So, the question on everyone’s mind was how far Yahoo’s stock would drop.

On Monday, the markets gave an their initial answer …

Yahoo’s shares closed down 15 percent, or $4.30, at $24.37 after closing at $28.67 on Friday — a day when the companies were said to be escalating their talks on a merger. The shares recovered some ground after losing about 20 percent at the start of Monday’s trading.

Microsoft’s own shares edged down 16 cents to close at $29.08, from their Friday close of $29.24. And shares of Google — a rival of both companies but now a potential partner of Yahoo — were up $13.61, or 2.3 percent, at $594.90.

How long Yahoo’s stock will stay down will largely depend on the company’s next moves.

And its successful resistance to Microsoft’s pursuit set up a clear challenge for Yahoo’s chief executive, Jerry Yang: prove to investors that the company is worth $37 a share, the price he was willing to sell it for.

People close to Yahoo said that Yang and his team greeted Microsoft’s decision as a victory.

Time will tell, no doubt.

National Grid fined £41.6m for ‘restricting competition’

Monday, February 25th, 2008

National Grid has been fined £41.6m by energy regulator Ofgem for restricting the development of competition in the domestic gas meter market. Ofgem said the company had committed “a serious breach of competition law”.

It said National Grid’s actions had prevented gas suppliers from contracting with other firms for cheaper metering deals.

“National Grid has abused its dominance in the domestic gas metering market, restricting competition and harming consumers,” said Ofgem chairman Sir John Mogg.

The UK’s gas distribution system was formerly run by Transco.

National Grid’s turnover from its gas meter business is around £260m a year.

The company is also responsible for the UK’s long distance electricity transmission network.National Grid, which operates the UK’s main gas pipeline system, has said it will appeal against the decision.