Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Best Christmas Performance by Morrisons

Morrison’s, the UK’s fourth largest Supermarket group, unveiled the best Christmas performance in the sector. Morrison’s beat forecasts with a 9.5% rise in like-for-like sales excluding fuel in the six weeks to January 6th. A new advertising campaign launched in September boosted sales at Morrison’s, which has trailed larger rivals Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury since its merger with Safeway in 2004. Chief Executive Marc Bolland said in a statement “we welcomed significantly more customers to our stores, and they were well served with attractive offers and fresh food," He said “Morrison's full-year profits also would be helped by it holding over costs of around 30 million pounds ($58 million) relating to its Optimisation business plan to next year”. "We expect the market to remain competitive and we are cautious on the outlook for consumer spending. However, we believe that our strong value credentials will serve us well in these conditions," Bolland said.

Morrison's was forecast to report like-for-like growth of 6.5% excluding fuel. Predictions ranged widely from 5% to 8%. For the Christmas period, like-for-like sales excluding fuel rose 3.1% at Tesco, 3.7% at Sainsbury and 4.1% at Waitrose. (source: Reuters)

TAM airline, the Brazilian airliners, announced yesterday that it had signed a contract to buy 46 Airbus jets, including 22 extra-wide-body A350s. The European-made A350 is a competitor to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The order is worth $6.9 billion (£3.5 billion) at list prices, although most airlines obtain deep discounts from plane makers.

The new fleet is to help TAM to expand its overseas routes. The addition of the A350s to TAM's fleet marks the first time that the plane will be used in South America, and it will allow the carrier "to continue the successful expansion we have already had" with smaller Airbus jets, said TAM chief executive David Barioni Neto.

Airbus said in a statement that the TAM agreement raises the number of orders for A350s to 314 aircraft worldwide. TAM will also add 4 Airbus A330-200 planes and 20 A320s to its fleet under the order, the companies said.The order for the A320s was new, marking a significant increase in the number of TAM orders from Airbus. Using list prices, the order for the A320s alone amounts to about $1.5 billion (£750 million). TAM said the contract does not alter its forecast for its fleet size. The airline has 109 planes, expects to have 123 by the end of this year and 136 by the end of 2013. (source: Business Week)

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