City round-up

Woollen Mill eyes deals; Daily Mail; Metro Bank

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) has cancelled its dividend payout this year as it prepares to buy up rival retailers battered by tough conditions on the high street, says The Guardian.

The billionaire, who lives in Switzerland but has an office in Dubai and a castle in Cumbria, owns about 1,100 high street stores under brands including Peacocks, Jaeger and Austin Reed.

Daily Mail

Daily Mail owner Daily Mail & General Trust reported a 21% fall in pretax profit to £145 million for the year to end-September, though the figures were up 19% on an underlying basis.

It said it had opportunities to invest in content-led businesses following its acquisition of the “i” newspaper last Friday. 

Tom Stevenson investment director from Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service, said: “Daily Mail & General Trust is a great deal more than its flagship newspapers and its broad spread of media, information and event assets gives it stability in an unforgiving advertising marketplace.

“Today’s full-year figures provided no surprises, which is an impressive feat in a year of considerable change, that has included the distribution of DMGT’s 49% stake in Euromoney to shareholders and buying the i newspaper. There was no news on a mooted bid for the up-for-sale Telegraph.”

Metro Bank

Metro Bank’s chief executive Craig Donaldson is leaving after a tough year in which the firm became embroiled in an accounting scandal and had 90% wiped off its stock market value.

Metro said in October that founder and chairman Vernon Hill was leaving the company two months earlier than expected.

The bank is under investigation by UK authorities after saying it had under-reported its exposure to higher-risk loans by almost £1bn.

Clinton cards

Clintons, the greetings card retailer, has been sold to its existing owners, saving Clinton’s 334 stores and 2,500 jobs, at least in the short term.

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