Ocado’s third quarter trading update was in focus in today’s papers. A fall in basket sizes and talk of an extra “couple of million” pounds needed to run its new distribution centres took the shine off a solid third quarter from Ocado, The Times. Shares in Ocado fell after it said it would spend more than anticipated on developing new robot warehouses, The Financial Times notes. The paper’s Lombard column adds the ‘Marmite’ stock remains an acquired taste as it interprets the online supermarket’s trading update for both types of reader. The Telegraph say the unexpected warning of further spending knocked investor sentiment as shareholders continue to wait for Ocado to justify its lofty share price by signing a long-promised lucrative deal with a major international player.
The latest market share data also generates plenty of coverage, with The Financial Times writing that the UK supermarkets have stretched out their longest growth run since May 2013 in the past 12 weeks thanks to a mix of inflation and resilient shoppers. Supermarkets are enjoying their most sustained growth in more than four years after sales increased by more than 3% for the sixth consecutive month, The Telegraph adds. Aldi and Lidl continued to experience double-digit growth with sales rising by 15.6% and 19.2% respectively. Both retailers have also gained market share again and together now hold more than 12% of the market, The Times notes. Aldi and Lidl account for £1 in every £8 spent in UK supermarkets, with two-thirds of British shoppers visiting the discounters over the past three months, The Guardian adds.
P&G has slammed Nelson Peltz’s record as an activist director as the consumer goods group turns the tables on the Trian CEO ahead of the crucial vote on the board seat (The Financial Times).
Reckitt Benckiser bowed to shareholder pressure by replacing Adrian Bellamy, who has chaired the company for 14 years, The Financial Times writes. Lombard in The Financial Times takes a look at what the appointment of the chairman of toymaker Mattel, Chris Sinclair, means for Reckitt Benckiser.
German dairy business Müller is defying worries about Brexit’s impact by revealing plans for £100m of investment in its UK business (The Telegraph).
Workers at three Cadbury sites have won an inflation-linked pay deal for the next two years, and will also get an increase in maternity pay, The Guardian reports.
The government has backed tighter rules on takeover of UK companies, with the Takeover Panel saying bidders should say what will happen to head office and R&D in wake of row over Kraft’s Unilever bid (The Guardian).
Post Holdings, owner of the British cereal Weetabix, has agreed to buy Bob Evans Farms, the US sausage maker, for $1.5bn, bringing another breakfast staple to its growing shelf of consumer brands (The Financial Times).
Yoko Ono Lennon has stepped in to rescue the name of her husband from fizzy pop reinvention, taking legal action to halt the sale of a lemonade called John Lemon, according to The Guardian. The Polish company that sells the beverage has agreed to change its name to On Lemon after legal letters were sent by Ono Lennon’s lawyers to the parent company and its distributors across Europe.
Wetherspoons will cut the price of food and drink in all 900 of its pubs today in a protest over Value Added Tax (The Telegraph).