Littlewoods pulls out of Russia and India
Friday 04 April 1997
The Liverpool-based group, which is being overhauled by the chief executive, James Ross, has already put its UK stores up for sale and last week resumed talks to buy the Freemans mail order business from Sears.
The international division includes four stores in St Petersburg and one in Bangalore which opened only a year ago. Littlewoods has a further 10 franchise outlets in Russia.
Mike Wynne, managing director of Littlewoods International, said: "Despite difficult trading conditions, the stores in Russia and India have produced encouraging sales. However, the businesses have reached a stage where further substantial investment was required to take the business forward."
Littlewoods started trading in Russia in 1991. The stores employ 320 in Russia and 120 in India. Littlewoods International, which includes the group's sourcing operations as well as the overseas stores, recorded a loss of pounds 7.2m last year compared with a loss of pounds 11.5m in 1995. Last year's sales were pounds 11m.
Littlewoods said it had spoken to "one or two" interested parties about the stores.
The company is still in discussions with Sears about the Freemans deal after initial talks collapsed. The company said it hoped to receive notification from the Office of Fair Trading before the election on whether or not the deal would be referred to the Monopolies & Mergers Commission.
Separately, Otto Versand, the German retail group which owns the Grattan mail order business, yesterday denied reports it was planning to launch a pounds 1.7bn break-up bid for Sears.
The company said it was not planning such as move, though it remained interested in acquiring the Freemans business under conditions offered last year. Reports had suggestedOtto Versand was planning a 110p per share bid for the whole of Sears as a way of gaining control of Freemans. Sears shares closed 1p higher at 74p.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...