Four of Reckitt Benckiser’s top 10 executives are quitting the British household consumer group, which is battling the lowest sales growth in its history, writes The FT.
Reckitt confirmed the departures of the heads of IT, human resources, marketing, and developing markets from the 10-member executive committee, headed by chief executive Rakesh Kapoor, one of the UK’s highest-paid industry leaders. The management upheaval comes as Reckitt faces the challenge of absorbing its biggest acquisition yet — the $18bn purchase of Mead Johnson, the US baby milk group — and recovers from June’s crippling cyber attack that prompted a sales warning. (The Financial Times £)
The Sunday Times (£) follows up The Grocer’s exclusive story that London-based maker of healthy meals for toddlers Little Dish has secured a £17m investment from an American backer. The company, which uses natural ingredients to make fresh meals for children, will put the investment from Profile Capital into expanding at home and launching in the US. (The Times £)
Fresh food could be left rotting at the British border if strict customs controls for EU goods are put in place after Brexit, Sainsbury’s chief executive has warned. In a direct intervention into the Brexit debate, Mike Coupe said anything disrupting established food supply chains, currently governed by EU customs arrangements, would be “detrimental”. (Sky News)
The Sunday Times (£) looks at “The great corner shop clearout” and how Tesco’s purchase of Booker has sent tremors through the market. “Nisa is one of several cornershop operators in search of a white knight. Tesco’s proposed £3.7bn merger with the wholesaler Booker has shaken up what some insiders have branded a “cosy” and complacent sector.”
Online grocer Ocado has come under fresh scrutiny in the wake of rival Amazon’s $10.7bn swoop on Whole Foods. Analysts at Deutsche Bank have published a bearish 68-page note disparaging Ocado’s growth potential following renewed speculation about how the UK grocery market could be shaken-up by the Amazon’s move into physical food retailing. (The Telegraph)
Will Archie Norman be able to perform his retail magic on Marks & Spencer and reinvigorate the mainstay of the high street? This will be the first full week that the former Asda chief executive will be in his new role of chairman at the 113-year-old institution – at a time when the company is battling what Norman describes as “the considerable challenges … in a rapidly changing retail landscape”. (The Guardian)
Carlsberg UK chief Julian Momen’s favourite tipple is actually the esoterically-named Shed Head, a ‘dry-hopped American pale ale’, brewed in Sweden by Carlsberg and sold in the UK. It’s an appropriate choice. Carlsberg, known in this country for Special Brew, is trying to get in on the craze for craft ales, which are noted for their emphasis on flavour and quality ingredients, with a hefty price tag to match. (The Daily Mail)
M&S’s slump and Asos’s rise puts them neck and neck: But which one is a stock buy, askes The Mail on Sunday?
McDonald’s faces its first strike since it opened in the UK in 1974, as well as protests by unions and the public at several restaurants over pay and working conditions (The Guardian). Fast food chain McDonald’s is facing its first strike in the UK as workers at two sites walk out in a dispute over zero-hours contracts and conditions (The BBC). Staff at two branches are demanding secure working patterns and pay of at least £10 an hour, with a rally in Westminster planned (Sky News).
The appetite for deals in the pub sector has been rapacious of late but many believe there could still be a queue at the bar. (The Telegraph)
If western sanctions aimed to cripple Russian business, nobody told the country’s fish farmers. In the cold waters of the Barents Sea, Russian Aquaculture, the country’s largest salmon producer has increased production more than six-fold so far this year, as part of a boom in the country’s food and agriculture industry caused by restrictions on western imports. (The Financial Times £)