Top stories in the papers this week 7 – 14 January 2010

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Tesco misses Christmas sales forecasts in UK; Greencore expects strong growth this year; Four freed in pork dioxin inquiry

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14 January 2011

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1. Tesco misses Christmas sales forecasts in UK

In an Irish Times report, Shore Capital analyst Clive Black described Tesco’s Christmas performance as disappointing and noted: "Over the 2010/11 festive period Tesco UK has underperformed its peers." Tesco, which makes about two thirds of its sales and profit in Britain, said Christmas sales at British stores open at least a year rose 0.6% excluding fuel but including VAT sales tax. This was below a forecast increase of about 1.7% in a Reuters poll, and the 3.6% rise posted by rival  J Sainsbury.

2. Greencore expects strong growth this year

Food group Greencore has said that provided the euro stays between 85 and 88 pence sterling, the company expects to deliver strong growth this year. RTE News reports Greencore achieved a good underlying performance in the first three months of its financial year had seen at its convenience foods division, with continued business revenue of €208.7m, up 7.6% on the same time the previous year. The group added it has a strong balance sheet, is well capitalised, and its two key categories – food to go and prepared meals – continue to see favourable trends.

3. Four freed in pork dioxin inquiry

Four men arrested on Wednesday in a cross-Border operation by gardaí and PSNI officers investigating the 2008 pork contamination that cost the Irish industry an estimated €100 million have been released without charge. The Irish Times outlines the details behind the contamination and states a report is currently being prepared for the public prosecution service in the North. Meanwhile a fifth man arrested in the Monaghan area on Wednesday morning by gardaí remains in custody.

4. Sainsbury’s Christmas sales beat expectations

Sainsbury’s has set the bar for supermarket trading over the Christmas period, reports The Evening Echo. The group, which has overtaken Asda to become the second-biggest supermarket in the UK, according to reports, delivered 3.6% like-for-like sales growth in the 14 weeks to January 8 after overcoming last month’s severe weather. The week running up to Christmas saw transactions hit an all-time high of 24.5 million.

5. Strong Magners performance despite cold snap

C&C has said the trading environment in Ireland remains challenging and unpredictable. RTE News reports that the group said it was confident of hitting its operating profits guidance – in the range of €102-106m – for the full year. Volumes of Bulmers in the three months to the end of November grew by 2.4%, while the group added both the Tennent’s and Gaymers businesses – bought last year – continued to build upon the good performances seen in the company’s first half results.

Also:

Over 1 ,500 firms ‘failed’ last year (Irish Times)

Retailers blast ‘greedy’ landlords as rent rises push firms closer to edge (Irish Independent)

Tesco’s Christmas relied on international sales (Business and Leadership)

One of country’s biggest pig farmers calls it quits (Irish Independent)

M&S shares in red despite sales hike (Evening Echo)

Commercial property market near bottom after three years (Irish Times)

Ocado delivers with strong Christmas profits (Belfast Telegraph)

Dire UK retail figures for December (Belfast Telegraph)

Cold spell heats up sales at Morrisons (Irish Independent)

High-end retailer nets record sales (Irish Independent)

Germany to probe dioxin contamination scandal (Belfast Telegraph)

 

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