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Redefine: From ugly duckling to swan

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FM Edition:

1. Squeeze at BMW

Munich-based car maker BMW’s profit margins on cars fell in the third quarter. This is thanks to more spending on engineering staff and investment in developing electric cars. Return on sales at BMW’s core automotive division fell to 8.5% in the quarter ending in September, from 9.1% a year earlier. While the company warned that margins would remain under pressure due to continued investment, it reiterated its full-year target of a slight increase in pretax profit.

2. Tesco in hacking attack

Around 40,000 Tesco banking customers had their accounts hacked this weekend, with around half this number losing money as a result. Tesco Bank has 7.8m customer accounts. It was opened in 1997 and has been wholly owned by Tesco Plc since 2008. The group took drastic measures on Monday, temporarily halting all online transactions for current account holders.

 

3. Reebok rejig

Adidas’s new boss, Kasper Rørsted, this week unveiled turnaround plans for its struggling unit, Reebok. The revamp includes cutting jobs, relocating its head office and closing stores. Excluding currency swings, Adidas brand sales jumped 20% in the third quarter, outpacing Reebok’s 7% growth. Group revenue rose 14% to €5.4bn in the three months ended September and operating profit increased 12% to €563m. Reebok was bought by Adidas in 2006 for €3bn.

4. Turning the page

After 22 years with Condé Nast Publications, Charles Townsend is stepping down as chairman. This ends his career at the publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ. It is undergoing a major restructuring to position itself as a digital-first media player.