PRESS DIGEST – British business – June 10

The Times

JD’S WORLD CUP HOPE

JD Sports Fashion (JD.L: ) is confident that its clothing
lines will benefit from the World Cup, regardless of the success
or failure of the England team. The second biggest chain of
sports shops in the UK is relying on the fact that its clothing
is less sport-specific than its main rivals JJB Sports (JJB.L: )
and Sports Direct (SPD.L: ). Chairman Peter Cowgill hopes that by
focusing on the trendier end of the market, the business will be
less exposed to England’s success. In the eight weeks to June 5,
like-for-like sales at JD Sports climbed by 4.1 percent, with
performance at its sports chain outweighing a 1.2 percent drop
in like-for-like sales in its Bank and Scotts fashion shops.

BT SLAMS CWU LEADERS

British Telecom (BT.L: ) has criticised senior figures at the
Communication Workers’ Union, which represents workers at the
firm, after they rejected a pay deal offering staff a 5.1
percent pay rise over 21 months. The CWU said it now intended to
hold a ballot for industrial action. The telecoms giant
expressed its “surprise and disappointment” over the failure of
the pay negotiations.

DEAL OF THE DAY

Energy storage and clean fuels group ITM Power (ITM.L: ) has
announced that logistics provider DHL and London Stansted
Airport have both agreed to take part in hydrogen-on-site trials
of the firm’s transportable high-pressure refuelling unit. The
trials will begin in 2011. The hydrogen produced during the
trials will be used to fuel specially adapted Ford Transit
vehicles. Shares in ITM Power rose 3.5 pence to 28.5 pence on
the news.

NEED TO KNOW: AUTONOMY

Enterprise software company Autonomy (AUTN.L: ), the largest
technology company in Britain, has acquired the information
governance arm of CA Technologies, the software firm formerly
known as Computer Associates. The deal is understood to be
valued at under 13.7 million pounds and will enable Autonomy to
add 500 large customers to its base.

TEMPUS

IG Group (IGG.L: ) (hold)

Imperial Innovations (IVO.L: ) (tuck away)

The Daily Telegraph

ANGER AT PRU’S MCKINSEY BILL

McKinsey, the management consultant, has been revealed as a
beneficiary of Prudential’s (PRU.L: ) failed 35.5 billion dollar
acquisition for AIA. The company, which has twice employed Pru
chief executive Tidjane Thiam, was paid three million pounds for
work on integrating the two companies. Robin Geffen, managing
director of shareholder Neptune Asset Management, said: “Why
bring in McKinsey and run up three million pounds of bills
before you even have shareholder approval?”

MOTHERCARE CHIEF RECEIVES 6.5 MILLION POUNDS

Ben Gordon, chief executive of Mothercare (MTC.L: ), the
maternity and babywear retailer, received a total remuneration
of 6.5 million pounds in 2009, up from 1.4 million pounds on the
previous year. The executive has been praised for turning the
company around since he joined in 2002. Gordon received a basic
salary of 600,000 pounds, as well as 5.6 million pounds after
his Executive Incentive Plan finished its cycle and a
performance bonus of 224,000 pounds.

BOLLAND PROMISES TO KEEP M&S GREEN

Marc Bolland, the new chief executive of retailer Marks &
Spencer (MKS.L: ), has pledged to commit to M&S’s “Plan A” ethical
policy. The pledge came as the British retailer announced it had
generated 50 million pounds in additional profits against its
expectation that the plan would cost it 200 million pounds over
five years. To date, the plan has helped M&S cut the amount of
waste it is sending to landfill by a third as well as cutting
non-glass food packaging by a fifth. The retailer’s latest
update on the progress of Plan A said the policy was “an
excellent way to stay close to customers and their concerns” and
reflected “where society is heading in the future”.

SHELL TO RELOCATE HALF OF HQ STAFF TO OFFICES IN CANARY
WHARF

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ), the global energy group, has
agreed a deal to move from its current UK headquarters on
London’s South Bank to Canary Wharf. James Smith, chairman of
Shell UK, said the Shell Centre was the firm’s “home in London”
and “an exceptional location in one of the world’s great cities”
but added that the South Bank site would now be redeveloped “to
its full, modern potential”. Shell will pay 37.50 pounds per
square foot for the Canary Wharf site, with the first four years
rent free, after signing a 15-year deal that will see it occupy
ten floors with the option of a further two.

QUESTOR

RSA Insurance (RSA.L: ) (buy)

IG Group (IGG.L: ) (hold)

The Independent

BA STAFF FACE FRESH BALLOT

Len McCluskey, the assistant general secretary of the trade
union Unite, has told a rally of British Airways (BAY.L: ) cabin
crew at Heathrow that plans for a fresh ballot on industrial
action at the airline are at an “advanced stage”. Members of
Unite continued their industrial action into a 22nd day on
Wednesday, meaning the dispute has now cost BA over 150 million
pounds. McCluskey blamed a “tough guy” attitude on the part of
BA’s management for the continued action, saying that BA’s
handling of the strike “should cause despair among BA board and
shareholders”.

INVESTMENT COLUMN

Barratt Developments (BDEV.L: ) (sell)

Autonomy (AUTN.L: ) (buy)

Dewhurst (DWHT.L: ) (buy on weakness)

The Guardian

1,000 JOBS AT RISK IN DUNDEE AND TEESSIDE

Unite, the trade union, has criticised proposals being made
by Barclaycard and DC Thompson for their potentially devastating
effect on the job market in northeast England and Scotland.
Credit card provider Barclaycard is in negotiations with
Firstsource Solutions, the Indian outsourcing specialist, over
the possibility of moving its customer services call centre,
currently based in Teesside and employing 700 people, to India.
DC Thompson, which prints the Sunday Post as well as a
collection of children’s comics, is considering shutting its
Dundee printing centre, which could cost 350 jobs. Unite’s
national officer Rob McGregor, speaking about the Barclaycard
proposals, said that it was vital that jobs remained on
Teesside.

Stock Analysis

Prepared for Reuters by Durrants

PRESS DIGEST – British business – June 10