Fortnum & Mason, the luxury store group that sells delicacies such as gulls’ eggs and alba truffles, has revealed a seventh consecutive year of increasing sales and profit (The Financial Times £). Sparkling tea and gluten-free beer have helped Fortnum & Mason, the luxury grocer, defy the retail gloom (The Times £). Fortnum & Mason celebrated a jump in sales and soaring profits as customers flocked to its stores for tea, biscuits, smoked salmon and champagne (The Telegraph).

Upmarket department store Fortnum & Mason has reported another year of bumper sales and profits but said its new Hong Kong store had been hit by the pro-democracy protests (The Guardian). Fortnum & Mason, the luxury grocer, has admitted a challenging opening for its first overseas store while revealing another year of record sales (Sky News).

Eager to show off its technological prowess, online supermarket Ocado is opening a ‘mini’ robotic warehouse in Bristol, which it claims could support over 800 jobs in the local area. (The Daily Mail)

The fallout from civil unrest in Hong Kong has spread to cognac sales. French spirits maker Rémy Cointreau said demand for the brandy took a hit in the territory following a drop in tourism linked to the street protests. (The Financial Times £)

The FT writes that the profits slowdown should be temporary thanks to demand from Chinese millennials and US rappers. “In China, where sales are strong, cognac has been marketed to millennials as a mark of sophistication. In the US, too, the thirst for cognac has not been slaked. Cognac makers benefit from high barriers to entry and the scarcity value of the drink.” (The Financial Times £)

British consumers are more likely than their European neighbours to count on credit to fund their lifestyles — in spite of being highly financially literate by comparison, research has found. (The Financial Times £)

Black Friday is a zero-sum game that won’t save a struggling high street, writes The Times (£). “Various estimates suggest that a record £2.5 billion or so will be spent today, but this is not a cause for celebration for shopkeepers. All they have done is shift money that would probably have been spent in December into November.” (The Times £)

Influential City investors have put pressure on 15 major companies, including Royal Mail and Just Eat, to improve workers’ pay. (The Daily Mail)

Japanese beer exports to South Korea hit zero last month amid boycotts sparked by a simmering trade row between the Asian neighbours. Official figures on Thursday showed Japan food exports were down 58.1% in October, according to broadcaster NHK. (The BBC)

Andrew Tinkler, the controversial former head of Stobart Group, claims that he has garnered support for a £70m takeover of Eddie Stobart, the stricken trucking group, which he also used to lead. (The Times £)