Clothing retailer Express, Inc. (EXPR) confirmed yesterday that it has received a letter from investment firm Sycamore Partners intimating the latter’s interest in acquiring it. Sycamore had revealed on Thursday that it has purchased a 9.9% stake in the fashion retailer. Express’s stock price surged 22% in extended trading yesterday following the confirmation.
William Hill saw their pre-tax profits fall to £78.7m in the first six months of this year, down 35 per cent from £121.8m which was reported last year.
The fall in profits can be blamed on a huge tax hit, as the group paid an additional £44m in gambling duties, after changes to the taxation of online betting and fixed-odds betting were introduced.
Point of Consumption Tax came into effect late last year, which applies to gambling profits generated from UK customers, and Machine Games Duty increased to 25 per cent in March.
BP reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profits on Tuesday partly due to weakness in its refining business, providing more evidence of difficult times across the “big oil” sector.
BP’s results, hit by tough conditions in U.S. refining and partly offset by strong contributions from its stake in Russia’s Rosneft, highlighted the industry’s struggle to increase profits in the face of rising costs.