Top stories in the papers this week 15 – 21 April 2011
Tesco Ireland’s sales up 5.1% to €2.98bn; Tesco falls short of UK expectations; Calls for better food labelling
21 April 2011
1. Tesco Ireland’s sales up 5.1% to €2.98bn
Tesco’s Irish operations reported one of the strongest like-for-like sales performances of any of the retailer’s operations in its last financial year. The Irish Independent reports total sales here rose 5.1% to €2.98bn in the year, while like-for-like sales – which excludes stores open less than a year – were 3.9% higher. Based on an estimated profit margin of 7.2%, Tesco likely posted profits here of about €214m.
2. Tesco falls short of UK expectations
Tesco didn’t perform as well as it anticipated in a tough British market, The Irish Times reports. Profit in Britain increased 3.8%, with sales at stores open at least a year falling 0.7% in the final quarter. "We can do better and we are taking action in key areas – for example, to drive a faster rate of product innovation and to improve the sharpness of our communication to customers," said new boss Phil Clarke.
3. Calls for better food labelling
New guidance will be issued to supermarkets and other shops in the UK to help cut the £680 worth of food thrown away unnecessarily by the average household each year. The Belfast Telegraph reports the initiative will help shoppers better understand the difference between legally required "best before" dates – after which many products are still ok to eat – and the "use by" dates indicating a definite shelf life.
4. £750 fine for south Belfast food safety lapses
A former supermarket operator has been fined a total of £750 for several food safety breaches, including selling out of date food. The Belfast Telegraph reports Convenience Stores (NI) Ltd of south Belfast was also ordered to pay court costs of £66 in relation to hygiene offences at the Mace store on the Lisburn Road. However the court also heard the premises had changed hands last October and that standards had improved significantly.
5. Limerick retailers criticise weekend city centre closures for duathlon
Retailers in Limerick are criticising the decision to close parts of the city centre at the weekend for the European Duathlon Championships. Local radio station Live 95 FM reported some businesses experienced their quietest Saturdays in months as a result of the disruption involved in accommodating the almost 1,000 athletes from 16 countries, who were running and cycling through the city.
Discounters take over UK malls (The Guardian, UK)
Humility comes more easily to Tesco’s new chief (The Irish Times)
Ennis boosted by hosting of An Comhdhail (Clare FM)
Commercial sector in limbo over lease laws (Irish Independent)
This little fishy went to market (The Irish Times)
-Interview: Catherine Cleary joins a sushi chef at the fish market as he selects his day’s catch
Kellogg’s takes bigger bite of cereal market (The Irish Times)
Customs seize 5 million cigarettes (The Irish Times)
Over €1m paid for Hughes & Hughes (The Irish Times)
Retail sales and public borrowing: does the good news from the ONS mean the worst is over for the UK economy? (The Guardian)
Pound plunges after Bank of England warns of fragile consumer spending (The Guardian)
Retailers welcome landlord law reform proposals (Evening Echo)
Tesco’s new boss promises openness all hours (The Guardian)
Tesco perseveres with Fresh & Easy (The Guardian)
Footsie rebounds with gains in mining outweighing drop in Tesco stock (The Irish Times)
Bin the best-before label, not the food (The Guardian)
Tesco overall profits up 12.3% despite weak UK sales (Irish Examiner)
Tesco – what the analysts say (The Guardian)