Archive for October, 2009

October 12, 2009

Co-op’s food sales beat supermarket rivals…

The Co-operative Group, Britain’s largest mutually-owned retailer and the country’s fifth-largest food retailer, today reported a 17 per cent rise in first-half profits to £229 million, buoyed by its acquisition of Somerfield and strong comparable sales growth at its convenience food stores.

Like-for-like food sales grew by a market-leading 7.3 per cent, excluding fuel and VAT. Tesco recently reported a rise in like-for-like sales over the same period of 3.7 per cent, with Sainsbury’s up 5.7 per cent.

Peter Marks, Co-op chief executive, said that the group’s concentration on “value and values” rather than on price alone had helped it win market share.

He said that sales of the value range, which was relaunched and extended under the “Co-operative Simply Value” label in March, were up almost 80 per cent year-on-year, while Fairtrade products experienced growth of 35 per cent

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October 9, 2009

(BBC News) Fear of steep energy bill rises…

Domestic UK energy bills could rise by 60% by 2016 in a worst-case scenario identified by the energy regulator. However, most other estimates outlined in the Ofgem report would see prices rise between 14% and 25% above inflation by 2020. The review also said that up to £200bn of investment was needed to secure supplies and to meet carbon targets.

The report said the cheapest scenario – with an increase in bills of 14% by 2020 – factored in a slow recovery from the recession, coupled with global green stimulus packages. In this option, high carbon prices and government policies would support investment in renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

October 8, 2009
Banks have agreed to make current account charges clearer, and make it easier for customers to switch – the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has suggested.

The changes, which include providing an annual summary of account charges, come after two scathing reports into “opaque” banking fees.
Banks should be putting the new measures in place by 2011.
In the meantime, they will also make it easier to shift direct debit payments from an old account to a new one.
At the height of the crisis, savers were desperate to ensure their deposits were safe.
Despite government guarantees that savings were secure, many moved their cash to NS&I and other government-backed institutions, such as Northern Rock which had suffered its own run by savers a year earlier.

October 5, 2009
The Conservatives say they would pay for their £600m plan to “get Britain working” by cutting the incapacity benefit bill…

People on employment support allowance who are deemed fit to work would be put on the jobseeker’s allowance, reducing their benefits by £25 a week.
All incapacity benefit claimants would be assessed to see if they could work.
Ministers have described the Tory plan to reduce the number of people on incapacity benefit as “callous”.

What are your views?

October 2, 2009

The end of the 2009 UK recession? (02/10/2009)

September 30 was the day of the official recession ended in the UK. However, there appears to be little effect on the economy in terms of the market and political factors.
Economic data this week is expected to show there has been growth between July 1 and September 30 – the third quarter of this year. However, according to the Head of Economic Analysis, Lai Wah at the Confederation of British Industry. ‘However, we think job losses will continue during this year and life will remain difficult for companies as growth remains fragile.