Today’s news in brief-24/4/24

Bérangère Michel, the executive director of finance for the John Lewis Partnership, is resigning after 16 years with the company. She is leaving to explore new career opportunities, having played a vital role in enhancing the business’s financial performance. Her departure prompts a recruitment process for her replacement, expected to be finalised by autumn. Nish Kankiwala, CEO of John Lewis Partnership, and Sharon White, chairman, both expressed gratitude for Michel’s significant contributions.

Kering experienced an 11% decrease in revenues to €4.5bn in the first quarter of 2024. This decline was mainly attributed to underperformance in key brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta. Gucci saw a significant 21% drop in revenues, primarily due to decreased store traffic, especially in Asia-Pacific. Yves Saint Laurent’s revenue declined by 8%, while Bottega Veneta saw a 2% dip. Despite challenges, other houses within Kering showed resilience. François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, acknowledged the tough market conditions and strategic repositioning efforts, anticipating a substantial decline in operating income for the first half of 2024.

Pret a Manger announced the return of co-founder Sinclair Beecham in an advisory capacity amid changes to its board structure. Olivier Goudet will step down as chairman, succeeded by Konrad Meyer, who led Pret’s acquisition by JAB in 2018. Additionally, Larry Billett, a former chairman, will return as a non-executive director. The company aims to reduce debt and focus on its core values, emphasising customer satisfaction and employee well-being. CEO Pano Christou expressed gratitude to outgoing chairman Olivier Goudet for his leadership during challenging times and welcomed the incoming board changes.

Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, has named Robert Cook, a seasoned hospitality executive, as a board advisor to bolster its restaurant business. With Cook’s extensive experience in leading prominent UK hospitality brands, Dobbies aims to enhance customer experiences and drive growth in its restaurant segment. CEO David Robinson expressed confidence in Cook’s ability to leverage industry knowledge for the benefit of Dobbies’ restaurant offerings.


Gear4music reported that its revenues and EBITDA for the fiscal year ending March 31 were in line with market expectations. The company prioritised gross margin, profitability, and net debt reduction, resulting in a significant decrease in net debt to £7.3m. CEO Andrew Wass highlighted the successful implementation of cost reductions and ongoing investment in e-commerce infrastructure. The company also announced a board succession plan, with Wass transitioning to an executive chair role and Gareth Bevan assuming the CEO position.

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