Barclaycard plans to allow customers to make on-line inquiries about their accounts and the Profiles scheme in the near future. “We intend to travel to London and enlighten the company with our views,” said Suzanne Sunderland, a spokesperson for Earthfirst, one of the action groups involved.Sir John Quinton, formerly chairman of Barclays and of the Premier League, has the right experience for such a confrontation.Apart from hooliganism by football fans, he has faced protests over Barclays’ involvement in South Africa and a stink-bombing campaign by an irate customer.But poor old Joseph Dwyer, chief executive, is said to be bashful at best and to find the prospect of facing such an audience daunting.R On the very day Labour MEPs were voicing their belief that economic ownership should reside with the community “rather than in the hands of a few private individuals or multinationals”, representatives from those multinationals were flocking to Brussels for a discreet engagement with the enemy.Three hundred top businessmen paid £500 each for a briefing from the Labour Party’s European parliamentary party on “Labour working in Europe”.Companies represented included a dozen from the FT-SE 100 and some top Tory donors such as Hanson, Glaxo, Whitbread and Marks & Spencer.The afternoon briefing was followed by a networking opportunity with the electorally confident Tony Blair over dinner at the Conrad Hotel.At Boots, Martin Wakeling, director of corporate affairs, denied that the day was an exercise in political back-pedalling by companies “We are happy to meet with any party,” he said.. Lord Grade famously quipped afterwards that it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic.R R News arrives from the treehouses and hippy caravans of the self-declared nation of Pollok, Glasgow, that an army of travellers, crusties and other ecologically concerned protesters have ingeniously become shareholders in Wimpey and are preparing to invade the construction company’s annual meeting next April.The row centres on the building of the M77 between Glasgow and Ayr, through the residential district of Pollok. According to its PR company, the list of classics bought by PolyGram includes Thunderbirds, The Saint, Sophie’s Choice and The Eagle Has Landed. But where is Raise the Titanic – the hugely expensive movie starring Burt Lancaster?
The film’s £36m losses broke ITC’s financial back and led to the cigar-chomping mogul losing control of his prodigy.
Amidst the celebratory din and flowing champagne that accompanied the sale of International Television Corporation, the film company started by Lord Grade, to PolyGram, I notice a curious omission. In the half-year, earnings per share doubled to 9.6p and the interim dividend was raised by 50 per cent to 2.25p.. A new computer system is scheduled for completion by December.Borrowings, which stood at £2m two years ago, were also eliminated during the half-year.Robert Snaife of Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull has left his full-year forecast of £3.2m-£3.3m unchanged.”In difficult circumstances the performance is very satisfactory,” he said. Mr Green said the range was meeting its sales targets so far.The company said its other new range, JV by Jacques Vert, had also been well received and the overall order book was encouraging.Jacques Vert has spent £400,000 on new systems at its factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear, which will enable more flexible production. Its main target market is 35-to 55-year-old women.In the last year, Jacques Vert has added new labels to its existing ranges, including Gabriella Rossi, which makes clothes for shorter women.According to the company’s research, 54 per cent of women are under 5ft 4in tall and the Gabriella Rossi line is aimed at those tired of buying larger items and then having them altered.So far the new range has been targeted at independent wholesalers but it should be hitting the shops soon. Alan Green, chairman, said sales in the shops and concessions were up 14 per cent and 20 per cent respectively on last year and the early days of the sale had gone well.
Jacques Vert has manufacturing, wholesale and retail operations and specialises in what it describes as occasion-wear for weddings and trips to society events such as Ascot and Henley.
Group pre-tax profits rose by 63 per cent to £1.36m on sales up13 per cent to £24m. BY NIGEL COPE A strong performance in the retail division has helped the womenswear group Jacques Vert to improved profits at the half-year stage. Operating profits in the department store concessions and stand-alone shops nearly quadrupled in the six months to 29 October. .