Latest business news:
Tesco has reduced its profit forecast following the discovery of an error in its accounts that overstated the group’s profits for the first six months of the year by £250m. Tesco has asked Deloitte to undertake an independent and comprehensive review of its accounts. Four of Tesco’s most senior employees have been suspended pending the result of the review.
GlaxoSmithKline has been fined £297m by the Chinese authorities for bribing doctors in the country. GlaxoSmithKline has published a statement of apology to the Chinese government and its people and says that it has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified in its operations. These steps include changing the incentive program for its salesforce, significantly reducing and changing engagement activities with healthcare professionals, and stepping up scrutiny of its invoicing and payments.
Administrators say that 362 Phones 4U shops are to close permanently and 1,697 staff employed at these locations will be made redundant. Another 720 people have been retained in the short term to assist with the closure programme. Dixons Carphone has agreed to offer roles to the 800 people working in Phones 4U concessions located in Dixons Carphone outlets. In addition Vodafone is to take on 140 Phones 4U stores and 887 employees, while EE has paid £2.5m to acquire 58 of the stores, preserving 359 jobs. Phones 4U was placed into administration following the decision of Vodafone, 02 and EE to stop supplying the retailer.
The snooker hall and sports bar operator Rileys has gone into administration. The administrators have closed 15 Rileys venues and made 124 people redundant. The company’s remaining 44 venues continue to trade as normal while the administrators work to stabilise the business.
Twitter is to add a ‘Buy Now’ button to tweets that will allow users to purchase products and services directly from suppliers without leaving the social network. In preparation for this Twitter has updated its terms and conditions with regard to suppliers’ relationships with users, including their responsibility for order fulfilment, shipping and returns.
Time Inc is rebranding its wholly-owned UK publishing arm IPC Media to Time Inc UK. Time Inc UK’s chief executive Marcus Rich said, “We are proud of what we have achieved at IPC over many years and we are excited to extend that success as a more integrated part of Time Inc. We firmly believe our business partners will benefit from the strategic clarity that comes from one company brand and we are looking forward to exploring new opportunities as Time Inc UK.” The company publishes more than 60 print and digital magazine titles including Horse & Hound, Wallpaper, Country Life, What’s on TV and Woman.
Co-operative Group’s members have voted overwhelmingly to radically reform the group’s governance structure. The new structure will see the business led by a group board of 11 people (reduced from 20) composed of a majority of independent directors. The board will be made up of an independent non-executive chair, five independent non-executive directors, two executive directors, (including the group chief executive) and three member-nominated directors. Earlier this year Co-operative Group’s chief executive resigned, calling the business ‘ungovernable’.
Ryanair has launched a business class service. The low cost airline says that its Ryanair Business Plus offers Europe’s business travellers ‘a tailored package, including flexible ticket changes, a 20kg bag allowance, fast-track at airports, priority boarding and premium seating’.
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