UK high street player Marks and Spencer said its profits fell by 3.9 percent to £623 million, but its CEO claims there’s light at the end of the retail tunnel.
The market in clothes is challenging, said CEO Mark Bolland, but he claimed that M&S had invested heavily over the last three years and group sales rose by nearly three percent to £10.3 billion for its last financial year, to the end of March.
Bolland said in a prepared statement: “We are focused on improving our performance in general merchandise and were pleased to see early signs of improvement. Our food business had a very strong year, consistently outperforming the market.” Clothing sales showed growth in the last quarter of its financial year.
He said M&S is making “solid progress” on its journey. In terms of gross margins, general merchandise fell to 50.7 percent, food gross marging was 32.5 percent while its total UK gross margin was 40.6 percent. UK operating costs rose by 3.5 percent compared to its previous financial year.
There will be a 30.9 percent rise on tablets shipped in the second quarter of 2014 compared to Q2 2013 – that’s 61.42 million units.
Digitimes Research said that Apple will continue to rule the roost as the biggest vendor but its share is falling.
Of the 61.42 million units shipped, 13.5 million will be iPads, 24.62 million non Apple tabs, and 23.3 million will be white box jobbies.
The research outfit said Apple will have 22 percent of shipments, closely followed by Samsung with 20 percent. Other vendors lag behind.
Android devices will account for 58.9 percent of shipments, Apple’s iOS 35.4 percent and Windows way back with only 5.7 percent.
It was very nice that Fujitsu Imaging Systems invited ChannelEye to attend its channel gig in Dubai on the 22nd May next.
We had to decline. We hadn’t realised FIS was short of a bob or three.
FIS tried to get ChannelEye on a flight that would go from Heathrow to Dubai overnight and a few hours on, us journalists would have to report on its channel event.
Er, no. That is cruel and unusual punishment for any channel guy, whatever her or his age.
Fujitsu said it could only afford to put us channel hacks up in the hotel – that’s the Jumeirah Towers Hotel flying Etihad for one night.
The lovely PR rep said that the “arrangements were less than ideal”. It would be “a case of arriving in the morning of the conference itself. However, the conference does not start until a bit later in the day, and given that you arrive quite early in the morning you would have some time to rest at the hotel before kicking off.”
He added that even PFU (Fujitsu) staff will be flying in on the morning of the conference, “from various European locations”.
We declined Fujitsu’s munificent offer. Hitachi is usually a lot kinder than Fujitsu. Even HP is merciful.
The tiny island of Taiwan accounts for 83.91 percent of global notebook shipments through original design manufacturers (ODMs).
And according to a report from Digitimes Research, all is not well on the notebook front. The report claimed that ODMs will ship 33,476 million notebooks in Q2 of this year.
But that’s down 8.4 percent compared to the equivalent period last year.
The usual suspects remain Quanta, Compal and Wistron – and, Digitimes Research said – of those three Compal is likely to see the most growth in the second quarter.
The next quarter is full of economic promise, according to a report released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The CBI’s latest growth indicator said output rose and the UK’s economic recovery is under way.
Manufacturing output stayed solid, while there was continuing growth in the retail and service sectors, said the CBI.
“The outlook for the next three months is exceptionally strong and broad based, with growth expectations the strongest since the data began in 2003,” said the CBI.
Katja Hall, the CBI policy director, said that even though “consumer” spending formed most of GDP growth in 2013, “there are firm indications of growth becoming more broad based. It’s good see that business investment has consistently contributed to quarterly growth since 2013”.
Productivity and earning will recover this year, while general growth is fuelled by rising business and consumer confidence as well as “supportive monetary conditions”, said Hall.