PepsiCo has decided to sell up to all of its long-held 4.5% stake in its UK bottler Britvic. The US beverage and Frito Lay snacks group said the disposal would not affect what it described as its “longstanding and valued bottling relationship with Britvic.” PepsiCo, which is in the middle of a five-year $5bn cost-cutting programme, stands to raise £85m from the sale. (The Financial Times £)
Discount retailer B&M European Value Retail on Thursday reported an 18% rise in profit for 2016-17, and signalled it would intensify its focus on wooing more affluent customers as it ramps up a UK store expansion programme (The Financial Times £). Profits and sales are soaring at B&M and the discount retailer has increased its total UK store target by a further 100 outlets as consumers continue to hunt for bargains (The Times £). Discount chain B&M Retail has shrugged off concerns about consumer confidence by revealing plans to open even more stores on the back of surging sales and profits (The Telegraph). Discount chain B&M celebrates 18% profit boost as customers snap up cut-price pizza ovens and garden furniture (The Daily Mail).
Profits at ingredients giant Tate & Lyle soared by 85% as it was boosted by the weak pound following the vote to leave the European Union (The Telegraph). Tate & Lyle has reaped the fruits of its turnround with a leap in annual pre-tax profits. The group cautioned, however, that changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement by the US administration could have adverse effect on its business. (The Financial Times £)
Consumer confidence has slipped to its lowest level since the month after the UK voted for Brexit, according to a survey. It fell 0.2 points from the previous month to 107.9 - its lowest since July 2016. (Sky News)
The UK economy grew by even less than initially estimated in the first three months of this year as British shoppers began to pare back their spending in response to higher prices, while weak trade has dragged on growth. (The Times £)
Amazon opened its seventh US bookshop in New York on Thursday, drawing a steady stream of selfie-snapping gawkers, tourists and loyal shoppers who revelled in the novelty experience of shopping in person. (The BBC)