CHECKOUT COUNTER: Higher profits, buyout talks and savings
A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.
1. Higher profits on the books for House of Fraser
Pretax profits at department chain House of Fraser grew from £1.3m to £3.4m in the year to January 28. The company is owned by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group. Like-for-like sales rose 0.9% over the year, while revenue remained flat at £1.3bn. The group warned that the "volatility" it experienced last year had continued into the new financial year.
2. Puma buyout talk does the rounds, again
François-Henri Pinault has stepped down from Puma’s board of directors, reviving speculation that parent company Kering could be preparing to sell the German sporting goods firm. Earlier this month, Puma raised its 2017 earnings outlook. The Herzogenaurach-based company is in the fourth year of a turnaround.
3. Unilever seeks savings
Unilever will expand branded content arm U-Studio as the fast-moving consumer goods group seeks to save $2.1bn/year. Unilever announced that it will halve the number of agencies it works with, estimated at 3,000 worldwide, and cut its advertising by 30%. CFO Graeme Pitkethly said: "This has been a great process to challenge the status quo. We have identified better ways of doing things and now we are going to actually do them."
4. Walmart to buy Bonobos?
Walmart is reportedly in advanced talks to buy online men’s fashion retailer Bonobos Inc. According to news website Recode, both sides have agreed on a price and the deal is in its final stages. This comes two months after Walmart acquired online outdoor clothing and gear retailer Moosejaw for $51m.