Electronics retailer apologises for breach involving 5.9m customers’ bank card detailsA branch of GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence and security service, is investigating one of the UK’s biggest data breaches at a single firm, involving unauthorised access …Read more
Even if the central bank wants to reverse the sell-off of Italian bonds, its hands are tiedThe last eurozone crisis was solved – or deferred – when the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, declared in July 2012 that the institution was…Read more
Retailer vows to take action to tackle changing consumer habits in mobile phone marketNearly 100 Carphone Warehouse stores are to close this year as the retailer’s new boss issued a profits warning and pledged to take action to adapt to a changing mobi…Read more
Retailer plays down prospect of store closures as full-year profits slide after tough first halfDixons Carphone has said that higher iPhone sales lifted its revenues over the Christmas period, as it confirmed a change in leadership and a steep drop in …Read more
Sebastian James, who has led Dixons Carphone for six years, resigned in a surprise move
The chief executive of Britain’s biggest specialist electrical goods and mobile phone retailer will step down to run high street chemist Boots.
Sebastian James, who has led Dixons Carphone for six years, has resigned in a surprise move days before it updates the City on its Christmas trading performance.Read more
Disappointing half-year profits have laid bare the different fortunes of the combined companies
The combination of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse was billed as “a genuine merger of equals” back in May 2014, in the sense that the two sets of shareholders each got 50% of the new company. In every other respect, however, the merger now looks completely lopsided.
The Dixons electricals side has enjoyed a great run, defying predictions it would be overtaken by Amazon or even AO World. Like-for-like sales in the half-year to the end of October improved 7%. At Carphone, however, the formula looks broken.Read more
Company looks to cut costs by reducing number of shops and switching to a simpler model of business after disappointing half-year results
Dixons Carphone has warned it will have to reinvent its mobile business as rising handset prices and a slowdown in technological development prompt shoppers to cling on to their phones for longer.
Pre-tax profit tumbled 60% to £61m for the 26 weeks to 28 October at the group, which owns Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse, while total sales nudged up 3% to £4.87bn.Read more
Shareholders are poised to vote on whether John Ashley, brother of Mike, will receive payments frozen over PR concerns
All the talk is about back pay in the Shirebrook offices of Sports Direct at the moment. This week, the independent shareholders of the Derbyshire-based company will vote on whether to pay the older brother of founder Mike Ashley £11m in back pay.Read more
Retailer says weak pound has made handsets more expensive, meaning that fewer people are getting upgradesDixons Carphone has warned of a steep fall in profits this year, as customers hold on to their phones for longer after the weak pound pushed up the…Read more
BBC reports that BT Europe chief will resign today, over ‘extremely serious’ improper behaviour at its Italian arm
- BT Europe chief expected to quit
- DETAILS: BT Italian accounting scandal much worse than thought.
- Bad news for BT shareholders
- £7bn wiped off BT’s value… Instant reaction
- Executives suspended over “improper accounting practices”
- UK public finances released
It’s been a day to forget for BT, its executives and of course its army of small shareholders. Around 700,000 people own less than 1,600 shares, a legacy of the telecoms group’s privatisation in 1984.
And they as much as anyone will be shocked by the 20% plunge in the company’s shares after it revealed a worse than expected hit to its figures from an accounting scandal in Italy, not to mention a warning of a slowdown in business elsewhere.
BT’s 20% drop today fairly rattled the City. It was one of the biggest ever single-day falls for a company of this sort. Blue chips like BT just don’t make those kinds of losses on one announcement about a part of the business that accounts for just 1% of earnings.
So is this a golden buying opportunity for investors, or does BT merit a fundamental recalibration of its stock price based on the news?
The downside, however, looks ominous. The Italian fiasco will gobble up a whopping £500m in free cash in 2016/2017 and a further £500m in 2017/18. Although BT has largely completed its investigation, there is a risk that this could blow up further and it’s wise to be cautious. The Financial Reporting Council could take this further.
Operating costs seem to be rising, as are debts. Acquisition of EE, while a strategic long-term play, has meant net debts have risen to nearly £10bn. That is also the figure for BT’s pension black hole, which it has to review this year.
There is a degree of caution around the markets, as investors await more decisions from US president Donald Trump after his protectionist rhetoric so far. And with the US reporting season underway, they are also looking to see whether companies can justify their hefty valuations with their results.
Overall, with Wall Street higher by the time Europe closed – with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 61 points or 0.3% – continental markets ended the day higher.
The [UK supreme] court ruling sent the British pound lower, though it finished well off its lows. There was an element of ‘buy the rumour, sell the fact’ in currency markets to the well-telegraphed decision. In all likelihood Article 50 will still be triggered in March irrespective of the supreme court. In many ways this is just one less roadblock out of the way before the UK leaves the EU. If anything, the net effect leans towards a harder Brexit in that Scotland and the devolved assemblies, which mostly voted to Remain in the EU, will have less say.Read more