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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Hyundai pulls suicide bid car advert

Category : Business

Carmaker Hyundai apologises and pulls an online advert that depicted a man attempting to kill himself with exhaust fumes in its new model.

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May Issue of the International Resource Journal Now Online

Category : World News

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwired – April 24, 2013) - George Media Inc. is pleased to announce that the May issue of The International Resource Journal is now available online at Click on the magazine cover to enter the publication.

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Online presence boosts companies, survey finds

Category : Business

Two-thirds of online businesses questioned said they were optimistic about their growth prospects for the coming year

Companies with a strong online presence are performing substantially better than the overall economy despite the current difficult consumer environment.

In a survey of more than 300 online businesses conducted for Barclays, the average business reported 11.4% compound annual growth over the past three years. During the same period the UK economy grew by just 0.2%, said the bank.

Given this strong growth, it is unsurprising that nearly two-thirds of the businesses questioned said they were optimistic about their growth prospects for the coming year. Perhaps not so obviously, 48% were positive about the UK economy in general.

Sean Duffy, managing director and head of technology, media and telecoms at Barclays, said: “Online businesses have bucked the trend over the last three years and experienced success in spite of the stagnant economic conditions. The next challenge for companies operating online is sustaining this level of growth and ensuring that they take advantage of new and rising trends. We are advising our online clients to become mobile-ready, as it’s a significant opportunity, particularly with the imminent roll out of 4G networks across the UK due to make mobile browsing easier for more and more consumers.”

But many companies do not yet appear to have a mobile strategy. The survey showed 89% of online businesses had not yet developed their website for mobile devices.

Meanwhile the continuing rise of internet shopping has helped John Lewis reach £1bn of online sales a year ahead of schedule, and the retailer has invested nearly £40m in designing a new website to help boost future growth.

Paul Coby, IT director at John Lewis, said: “With sales up over 40% for in 2012, we are seeing an unprecedented pace of online growth and customers are making more demands on our website, than ever before.”

The news comes as a report from marketing group Tradedoubler suggested that footfall – the number of people entering shops – was no longer a reliable measure of retail business. It said 60% of customers used smartphones while out shopping, with three-quarters looking up information on products in the store, 70% checking for a better price elsewhere and 60% going home to buy the product on line.

Customers are increasingly seeking out loyalty and reward schemes, as well as voucher codes and coupons, said Tradedoubler.

Betfair rejects takeover approach

Category : World News

Online betting exchange Betfair rejects a £912m takeover approach from CVC Capital Partners and other investors.

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Online betting boosts William Hill

Category : Business, World News

Bookmaker William Hill says online betting helped to boost first quarter operating profits, which rose by 8%.

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Tesco’s empire: expansion checked in UK and beyond

Category : Business

Tesco is struggling to find new avenues for growth on home turf and is scaling back some of its international plans, especially in a recession-scarred Europe

UK stores

As the UK’s biggest supermarket, Tesco is struggling to find new avenues for growth on home turf. Shoppers are no longer keen on the large hypermarkets that Tesco has done so much to develop, so it was forced to write off £804m of property assets and admit that nearly half of its long-famed pipeline of development land was now surplus to requirements. Profits slid 8.3% in the UK last year as Tesco focused on opening its local convenience stores and tried to tempt shoppers back to its biggest outlets with price cuts and investment in warmer, brighter interiors. This year it plans up to 160 new convenience stores and will continue to revamp bigger stores after years of under-investment, partly with the help of eateries such as recent acquisition Giraffe and coffee chain Harris + Hoole.


The internet is important to Tesco as one of the few areas of retail enjoying rapid growth. Online grocery sales rose 12.8% to £3.2bn last year and Philip Clarke was keen to stress how important a multi-channel presence is for the business. Tesco now has five “dark stores”, where employees assemble customers’ online orders, to serve its web business. A sixth opens later this year. However, the non-food website Tesco Direct suffered as sales of electrical products were squeezed by competition from the likes of Amazon, while Clarke admitted that Tesco’s in-store displays of electricals were not up to scratch.


Tesco began trialling banks in its stores in 2006 and said it hoped to offer current accounts from 2009. It has since expanded into mortgages, insurance and credit cards, but the current account is not set to arrive until 2014. Meanwhile, revenues at the bank slid 2.2% to £1bn and profits dived 15.1% last year as Tesco took a £115m hit from PPI mis-selling.

Tesco’s overseas ventures


Launched 2004

Number of stores: 131( incl 117 hypermarkets)

Revenues: £1.4bn

Three years ago Tesco said it wanted to open 80 shopping mall developments in China by 2016, amounting to 40m sq ft of floorspace- bigger than its UK estate. Today it has just over 10m sq ft and recently announced the closure of five under-performing hypermarkets.Its plan for shopping malls has not proved as popular as it hoped and it aims to “refocus on a more profitable approach” in the country. Still, China remains “strategically important” to Tesco. It opened 12 new hypermarkets last year and will launch online groceries in Shanghai later this year, with ambitions to go to up to 50 cities.


Launched 2008

Number of stores: 0

Revenues: £57m

Tesco set up a wholesale business and provides 70% of the products used in the Star Bazaar hypermarket chain owned by the Tata group. It had planned to be in the country when law changes allowed foreign retailers to open up – but a change in government strategy continues to face delays and the business is tiny. Total sales growth fell back to 25%, in local currency, from 40% last year. Tesco says it wants to “refocus on a more profitable approach to growth”


Launched 2002

Number of stores: 47

Revenues: £937m (up 6%)

Tesco is Malaysia’s biggest operator with 11% market share via a partnership with local group Sime Darby. It is one of only three countries where Tesco saw underlying sales growth last year (0.5%).

South Korea (Homeplus)

Launched 1999

Number of stores: 520 (inc 133 hypermarkets)

Revenues: £5.3bn (no growth)

Tesco is the second largest grocer in South Korea, its biggest and most successful overseas business. Its Homeplus chain, has proved a hotbed of innovation, developing ‘virtual’ stores which allow shoppers to buy items displayed on subway walls via their phones and cultural centres where locals can take classes in everything from the cello to French. Korea is one of three countries where Tesco plans to focus capital investment, but sales have taken a battering since the South Korean government restricted Sunday trading hours in a bid to protect small stores. Tesco said the new laws cost £100m of profits last year and expects a £30m-£40m hit this year as restrictions continue.

Thailand (Tesco Lotus)

Launched 1998

Number of stores: 1,433 (inc 149 hypermarkets)

Revenues: £3.7bn

Thailand was Tesco’s fastest growing market in 2012 with sales up 16% in total and 3.1% when the impact of new store openings is stripped out. The supermarket controls 15% of Thailand’s grocery market making it the country’s biggest player. Online groceries launched in Bangkok in February and the company says this is one of three international markets where it will focus international investment.


Launched 2003

Number of stores: was 121 – all now sold

One of chief executive Philip Clarke’s first major decisions on starting work was to pull out of Japan where the British grocer had struggled to compete in the notoriously tricky market. Tesco was forced to pay local group Aeon £40m to take its loss-making Japanese business off its hands last year and only managed to finally extract itself earlier this year.

Czech Republic

Launched 1996

Number of stores: 376

Revenues: £1.35bn

Tesco is focusing on the internet and almost halting new store openings. Last year it launched an online grocery service and snapped up the Zabka and Koruna chains three years ago. It has begun reducing the size of its largest stores by renting out space to retailers like C&A and Sports Direct. One of the markets worst affected by the economic crisis with four consecutive quarters of declining GDP. Sales fell back 2% last year or 7%. Still Tesco opened seven hypermarkets there last year, and 40 other shops.


Launched 1995

Number of stores: 216

Revenues: £1.8bn

Growth stalled completely last year and profits were held back after the government imposed a crisis spending tax three years ago. It was Tesco’s first international business . The supermarket is now market leader but opened just one new hypermarket last year and plans for more are on hold.


Launched 1996

Number of stores: 446

Revenues: £2.2bn

Tesco says it has no plans for more hypermarkets and is focusing on expanding its online business. Sales slipped back 4% once the impact of new store openings is stripped out. Poland as a whole saw consumer spending slip back in the fourth quarter.

Republic of Ireland

Launched 1997

Number of stores: 139

Revenues: £2.4bn

Tesco now claims to be Ireland’s leading grocer. No major new stores are planned as consumer spending has been hit by austerity measures. Tesco didn’t open any hypermarkets there last year and only five small stores. Underlying sales slipped back 1% as austerity measures continue to bite.


Launched 1996

Number of stores: 126

Revenues £1.1bn

Slovakia is now home to Tesco’s international clothing division, providing non-food stock to all the supermarket’s central European stores. Tesco says it sees Slovakia as one of its strongest positions. Sales rose 6% last year but underlying sales fell 1%. The country is facing serious economic difficulties and is a small market.

Turkey (Kipa)

Launched 2003

Number of stores: 191 (inc 56 hypermarkets)

Revenues £745m

After 10 years in Europe’s most eastern country, Tesco has been forced to scale back its ambitions dramatically. It has dropped plans to open large stores in the East of the country amid intense cost inflation and tough competition. Total sales rose 13% last year but underlying sales were flat and the business made a loss amid high cost price increases.

USA (Fresh & Easy)

Launched 2007

Number of stores: 199

Revenues: £700m

Tesco said it wanted 1,000 stores across the west coast of the US when it launched its Californian offshoot in November 2007. It booked a loss of £1.2bn on the business, including trading losses for the current year of £169m, as Tesco confirmed it was quitting the country. Early mistakes such as automatic tills and ready meals were a turn-off for American shoppers.

Lloyds online banking hits problems

Category : Business, World News

Customers of Lloyds Banking Group have been facing problems logging on to online banking, but the bank says the issue is now resolved.

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CVC considers Betfair takeover bid

Category : World News

Betfair shares jump after CVC Capital, the private equity firm that owns Formula One, says it has held talks about making a bid for the online betting exchange.

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HTC profit slump confirms Samsung and Apple as smartphone leaders – The Guardian

Category : Stocks

The Guardian
HTC profit slump confirms Samsung and Apple as smartphone leaders
The Guardian
The divergent fortunes within the $200bn (£130bn) global smartphone market were laid bare this week when Taiwan's HTC reported a 98% slump in profits, confirming Samsung and Apple's seemingly unassailable lead over their rivals. In 2010, HTC was the
Smartphone innovation: Where we're going next (Smartphones Unlocked)CNET
Taiwan's HTC: not so brilliant, but management is resilientFinancial Times (blog)
New HTC smartphone already getting good

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Google builds data-after-death tool

Category : Business, World News

Google becomes the first major company to allow users to decide what happens to their data after they die or become inactive online.

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