Jan 30, 2023
Unilever and Shell Shake Up Executive Groups: The London Rush
(Bloomberg) -- All change at UK Plc — that’s the mood this Monday morning as Unilever finally gets a new CEO, Shell cuts two from its executive committee and 888’s CEO leaves in a cloud of uncertainty. Note also that Unilever is staying true to its Dutch roots, hiring the head of the Dutch dairy company Campina.
Here’s the key business news from London this morning:
In The City
Shell Plc: The energy company will cut the size of its executive committee from nine to seven members to help simplify its organization and improve performance.
- They will also combine their Integrated Gas and Upstream businesses, as well as their Downstream business and Renewables & Energy Solutions unit into two new directorates
Unilever Plc: The consumer goods company has appointed Hein Schumacher as their new CEO, replacing Alan Jope.
- Schumacher previously worked for H.J. Heinz and Royal FrieslandCampina, and started his career in finance at Unilever
Ryanair Holdings Plc: Europe’s largest discount carrier said it’s confident it can sustain its profitable run into next year and beyond as surging travel demand drives fares and as the company operates more high-capacity, fuel-efficient aircraft.
- “Based on current booking profiles, we think that fares will rise into Easter and the summer,” Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said in an interview
- The airline’s profit after tax in the fiscal third quarter through December reached €211 million, compared with a loss of €96 million a year earlier
888 Holdings Plc: The gambling company will suspend VIP activities after “certain best practices” were not followed in relation to know your client and anti-money laundering processes for customers in the Middle East.
- The company’s CEO, Itai Pazner, will leave his role, and the company estimates that those customers account for less than 3% of Group revenues
Constance Iron Limited: The Australian iron mining company is considering an IPO in London, a rare event these days for the UK market.
- The company holds stakes mining projects it says are an essential component for making 'green steel'
Rishi Sunak will attempt to get his UK premiership back on track today with a plan to overhaul the NHS, after dramatically firing his party chairman Nadhim Zahawi over his tax affairs.
Meanwhile, the gloom shrouding Britain’s economy is beginning to lift, despite more signs that activity declined at the start of 2023. Growing hopes of a brighter economic outlook and cooling price pressures boosted business confidence to a six-month high in January, according Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s monthly business barometer.
In Case You Missed It
UK-listed companies issued 305 profit warnings last year, 50% more than in the previous year, as an increasing number of businesses struggled with higher costs, according to a report by consulting firm EY-Parthenon.
Hedge funds and private equity firms including Winton and Blackstone Inc. helped shatter leasing records for the most expensive London offices last year. Leasing in the West End, home to the Mayfair and St. James’s districts favoured by hedge funds, was at its strongest since 2000, according to data compiled by broker CBRE Group Inc.
This week will see another batch of FTSE 100 bellwethers reporting results, including Shell Plc. Bloomberg last week reported the company was launching a strategic review of its European domestic energy unit — a significant pivot after the business proved a weak spot for the oil major during the energy crisis.
Other companies due to update the market are pharmaceutical giant GSK Plc, telecommunication firms Vodafone Group Plc and BT Group Plc as well as commodities trader Glencore Plc and miner Anglo American Plc.
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