A big capital expenditure programme at its London store held back profits at Selfridges last year even as sales surged.
The luxury retailer said that sales had risen by 5% to £1.4bn last year, but operating profits dropped by 1.9% per cent to £152 million as a result of “unprecedented levels of investments aimed at building the business for sustainable growth”. Profits slipped as Selfridges continued to work on a £300 million refurbishment programme on its grade II listed store in Oxford Street. (The Times £)
Sales growth remained elusive over at Mondelez International during the third quarter. The snack maker behind Oreo cookies and Cadbury’s chocolate reported a 6.6% drop in net revenues to $6.4bn for the three months to end of September, as the strong dollar crimped the value of its overseas sales and demand struggles to recover in its key North American and European markets. (The Financial Times £)
Coca-Cola’s sales lost their pop in the third quarter as the strong dollar hit the top line and as it executes a plan to sell off the majority of its bottling operations. But the company kept its full-year earnings outlook unchanged. (The Financial Times £)
Third quarter GDP figures due out later are expected to show the UK has managed to avoid a major economic slowdown following the Brexit vote. Experts are predicting growth of 0.3% and possibly 0.4% for the three months from July to September. (Sky News)
The head of the World Trade Organisation has vowed to ensure Britain will not face a trade “vacuum or a disruption”, however tough its exit from the European Union. Roberto Azevedo said that he did not believe the Brexit vote was “anti-trade” and dismissed fears that Britain could suffer a sudden seizure of trade during or after its negotiations with the EU. (Sky News)
The European commission has dropped plans to legally limit a pervasive but naturally occurring chemical found in food, that is linked to cancer, just days after lobbying by industry, according to The Guardian.
Strong demand for Heineken’s beers in Asia helped the Dutch brewer report a small, but better than expected, rise in quarterly sales on Wednesday, although the group warned that the impact of currency movements would dent full-year profit. (The Financial Times £)
The Financial Times (£) also looks at the craft brewing phenomenon – “a bright spot in an otherwise stagnant sector” – and asks if we’ve “already reached peak craft as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors and Constellation Brands have all spent billions buying up smaller craft brewers in the US and Europe in recent years.
The government is considering extending the powers of the Pensions Regulator in the light of the BHS scandal, it has emerged. In a letter responding to a parliamentary report into the demise of the department store chain, the business minister Margot James said the government was determined the regulator had the power it needed to “deter and tackle misbehaviour”. (The Guardian)
An official probe into the collapse of BHS has grown so complex that it is consuming one-tenth of the investigative capacity of an agency charged with disciplining rogue directors, a minister has claimed. Investigators at the Insolvency Service began looking into BHS shortly after the company filed for protection from creditors in April. (The Financial Times £)
The boss of pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline unveiled an ‘expectation-busting’ set of results as he prepares to bow out of the top post. Sir Andrew Witty, who will be replaced by Emma Walmsley, the consumer healthcare chief, when he steps down in March, has been under pressure to improve the group’s fortunes following years of declining sales and profits. (The Daily Mail)