Marks & Spencer saw food sales increase by 5.3% in the 26 weeks to 28 September 2013.However, the retailer still faces problems in other parts of its business, mainly clothes, which saw its group like-for-like sales fall by 1.5% in the first half the year.The company said group sales had increased in the period to £4.9bn, up from £4.7bn the year before. However, its underlying profit before tax dropped to £251.6m, from £287.3m in 2012.Marc Bolland, chief executive, said: “Marks & Spencer made progress with a strong performance in Food, International and M&S.com.”In a statement, M&S added: “While consumer confidence appears to be improving, there is little evidence as yet of this translating to increased spending in the retail sector. Given continued pressure on disposable incomes, we remain cautious about the outlook for the remainder of the year.“However, we are well set up for the key Christmas trading period, with more innovation and choice than ever before. Our overall expectations for the full year remain unchanged.”
South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries booked an order from Copenhagen-based Celsius Tankers for two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, securing an option for further two vessels. The vessels will have the capacity to transport 180,000 cubic meters of the chilled fuel, and are priced at $187 million each, SHI said on Friday.The LNG carriers, first such vessels for Celsius Tankers, would be equipped with Mark-Ⅲ Flex type containment system with re-liquefaction capability to lower the boil-off rate.SHI further noted it will equip the vessels with environmental and fuel-saving technologies including an optimized hull design and propulsion.The Celsius LNG carriers will be the world’s first to be equipped with Samsung’s air lubrication system SAVER Air, the company said in its statement.It sprays air at the bottom of the ship to form air layer between the hull surface and sea water to reduce frictional force.SHI has previously applied the technology in 23,000 TEU mega containership order for MSC in 2017.According to Clarksons Research, gas carrier and containership newbuilding orders are set to increase. Strong LNG carrier spot rates and increasing usage of LNG as fuel as well as gas demands in power generation point at strong LNG carrier newbuilding market for years to come.Including 37 this year total of 194 LNG carriers are to be ordered within the next five years. A representative from Samsung Heavy said the company is looking to continue securing LNG carrier orders with more available slots.SHI’s new order total for 2018 now stands at 31 vessels and $3.3 billion, which include 7 LNG carriers, 8 containerships, 13 tankers, and 3 special purpose ships.
Greek ship owner and operator Euroseas has entered into agreements to acquire four secondhand 4,253 TEU containerships.As informed, the vessels will be bought from companies controlled by Synergy Holdings Limited for about USD 40 million.According to Euroseas, the acquisition will be financed by bank debt, existing funds of the company and USD 6 million raised in private placements. As a result of the private placements, the company will have issued approximately 8.45 million new common shares at a price of USD 0.71 per share representing about 19% of the Euroseas’ ownership after the acquisition.Built in South Korea, the ships in question are the 2009-built Synergy Busan, the 2008-built Synergy Antwerp, the 2009-built Synergy Oakland and the 2009-built Synergy Keelung. The company will also assume the charters the vessels are currently under.As part of the transaction, the company has agreed to acquire certain management services of Synergy Marine Limited for the next three years. Andreas Papathomas, Chairman of Synergy Holdings Limited, has joined the Board of Directors of Euroseas.Euroseas has also agreed to issue an additional USD 0.5 million in shares of its common stock to Synergy Holdings Limited if certain conditions are fulfilled in one year.One of the vessels was handed over to Euroseas on November 18 while the remaining three are expected to be delivered within a week subject to certain closing conditions being met.“Euroseas believes that the addition of the four vessels will add in excess of USD 5 million to the company’s EBITDA over the next twelve months and reduce the average age of its fleet by approximately 2 years,” the company said.Following the completion of the ship quartet acquisition, Euroseas’ fleet will reach 19 units which are all, except one, feeder and intermediate containerships. “We are very pleased to announce again today another transformative transaction for Euroseas following the four vessels we acquired in August 2019. This time, we have agreed to acquire four additional vessels of average age of about 11 years, not only expanding our fleet but also renewing it by reducing its average age by about 2 years,” Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, commented.“This is a significant transaction for the company as it takes a meaningful presence in the Panamax markets. The transaction validates our strategy to become the only publicly listed platform to consolidate feeder and intermediate containerships.”“We remain optimistic about the prospects of the feeder and intermediate containership markets due to favorable supply developments provided that trade demand growth does not falter because of current trade uncertainties related to the US-China trade tensions,” he added.In parallel with the vessel acquisition, Euroseas announced that its 5,600 TEU Akinada Bridge, which has been drydocked in connection with its special survey, faced delays in completing the needed work resulting in the loss of the previously secured charter. The company has replaced the charter with another charter of similar rate and duration of three to five months which is expected to commence in early December 2019 when the remaining work on the vessel is expected to be completed.
But further poor defending from QPR in stoppage time then allowed Walters to complete his treble with a header, leaving t he Londoners’ record on the road in the league this term showing 11 losses from 11 games. While they remain a point adrift of safety in 19th, Mark Hughes – Redknapp’s predecessor, who QPR sacked in late 2012 – has seen his team rise to ninth in the table following a fourth win in six league matches. QPR fans will be watching with interest to see if Redknapp makes any late moves in the transfer window before Monday’s deadline, with the manager having said he has been eyeing a couple of players on loan. Hughes, meanwhile, has appeared to play down the prospect of him trying to bring in new personnel, despite the loss this week of the influential Bojan Krkic to a season-ending knee injury. Stoke certainly did not appear to be suffering for Bojan’s absence in the opening half an hour or so here as Ireland – the man who had come into the team for the Spaniard, making his first start since early December – twice set up goals for the Potters’ top-scorer Walters. On both occasions, QPR inadvertently lent a helping hand. Firstly, some ponderous play saw ex-Stoke man Karl Henry let a Mauricio Isla pass run across him, and Ireland reacted sharply, nipping in with a tidy back-heel to tee up Walters, whose shot beat Robert Green. Victor Moses almost made it 2-0 soon after with a free-kick that curled just outside the top corner, and the ball subsequently broke to Ireland on the edge of box, the midfielder firing wide. There was then a sense of deja vu as Ireland and Walters again capitalised on the Rs losing possession. This time it was Eduardo Vargas giving it away in the Stoke half – once more Ireland intervened, launching a counter-attack that saw him eventually square to Walters, and the forward slotted past Green. QPR remain without an away point this season and second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League after Jonathan Walters’ hat-trick condemned them to a 3-1 defeat at Stoke. Press Association Another away defeat looked firmly on the cards for the visitors, but within two minutes they had pulled a goal back as the Potters had a defensive lapse of their own. Fer was able to prod the ball to Barton, his cut-back found Charlie Austin and the striker’s shot ricocheted off Phil Bardsley into the path of Kranjcar, who had an easy task to tap-in as Stoke appealed in vain for offside. There was a further setback for the home side moments later as their captain Ryan Shawcross was forced off injured, Marc Muniesa taking his place, but they finished the first half strongly as Moses played a one-two with Walters before lashing over. There were fierce attempts at either end as the second half got under way, Bardsley sending a free-kick swerving just too high and Vargas then having an acrobatic effort palmed away by Begovic. Moses, who has been caught up in diving controversy already this season, was then booked for simulation, before QPR went close to drawing level with two set-piece efforts. Barton sent his free-kick against the woodwork, possibly via a slight touch from Begovic, and the goalkeeper then smartly tipped Fer’s dead-ball delivery behind for a corner. It was proving a tense finale for Stoke until QPR again faltered at the back, with Barton’s attempted clearance with his head from a cross only finding Walters, who nodded in to take his tally for the season to 10 goals in all competitions. Sloppy play from Rangers was punished twice in the first half as Stephen Ireland teed up strikes for Walters in the 21st and 34th minutes. Harry Redknapp’s side quickly replied through Niko Kranjcar’s close-range finish, and, as they searched for an equaliser after the break, skipper Joey Barton struck the crossbar with one free-kick before Leroy Fer had another well saved by Asmir Begovic.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Though Bertrand R. Perdomo-Uclés didn’t win the April election to be named a California delegate for this year’s democratic convention, he didn’t stop trying.Politico · After studying public policy, management and planning at USC, Bertrand Perdomo-Uclés wanted to serve his city and party. – Eric Burse | Daily TrojanPerdomo-Uclés, a 2011 graduate of USC with a major in public policy, management and planning, worked full-time last spring on his campaign to be elected a delegate — making flyers, canvassing neighborhoods, meeting with his campaign team and raising money. He came up only a few votes short.“I wanted to be there to represent the community I grew up in,” Perdomo-Uclés said. “I’ve always loved to serve others.”Convention delegates vote for the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees and also vote on the party’s platform on behalf of their constituents.“The party platform issues delegates get to vote on, such as the economy, education, healthcare, housing and immigration, are critical for our nation’s and my own community’s health,” Perdomo-Uclés said.He admitted he was distraught after the loss. But through keeping in touch with the California Democratic Party after the election, Perdomo-Uclés received a call this summer letting him know room had opened up for him to become a delegate.“When I got that phone call, I knew this was a special time for me,” Perdomo-Uclés said. “It was a time for me to serve my party and my voters in Los Angeles.”He knew he had to attend the convention after receiving that information — even though he needed to raise $1,700 in just a few months.Perdomo-Uclés turned to GoFundMe.com and enlisted help from a cinema school friend to film a video for the campaign. He invited his professors, neighbors, fraternity brothers in Delta Omicron Zeta and colleagues to support him by donating.“Proud of you Hermano! ¡Sigue luchando por nosotros!” reads a message donor Charlie Arreola wrote on Perdomo-Uclés’ GoFundMe.com page with a donation of $100.“I’ve known Bertrand for years and he has continued to be such a great support for me,” wrote Karla Barajas, who donated $5. “I know he will represent us well. Fight On Bertrand!”“Your making all of your friends and family proud bro,” wrote Christain Rodriguez, who donated $30 online. “Represent the great state of California. I love you like a brother man, and proud to have you as a mentor.”Similar messages and donation amounts lined Perdomo-Uclés’ page. By Aug. 20, he had raised $1,660 from 49 donations, just $40 shy of his goal.“A lot of people went out of their way to give … they really believe in me,” Perdomo-Uclés said.Now that Perdomo-Uclés is at the convention sitting in prime seats with the California delegation, he says the convention experience is better than he ever imagined.“Not winning the election in April makes this all the much better. It’s making me appreciate the experience even more,” Perdomo-Uclés said.Perdomo-Uclés said that studying public policy, management and planning at USC was a great set-up for an experience like the DNC.“I want to make the world a better place through policy, but after attending the convention I now see that politics has to be in the mix too,” Perdomo-Uclés said.His flight out to Charlotte was an experience in itself. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, congressional staff and fellow California delegates were all on the same flight.“It was an awesome feeling knowing we were all headed to the same place where the party is going to be united,” said Perdomo-Uclés.Perdomo-Uclés shook Michelle Obama’s hand at an event Wednesday morning — something he said as though it wasn’t a big deal. He attended a presentation by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and said he has been networking with policymakers and politicians from around the nation.“What an experience already, and today’s only Wednesday,” Perdomo-Uclés said. “Being around so many elected officials was definitely a highlight for me.”