City morning headlines: Shell delays investment, McDonald’s British boss and Facebook beats forecasts

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The company also reported fourth quarter earnings of $4.2 billion, ocmpared with $2.2 billion for same quarter a year earlier, hitting City forecasts.

It’s keeping its dividend stable and plans to do the same in the first quarter of 2015.

McDonald’s hires Brit for top job

Fast food giant McDonald’s has named Brit Steve Easterbrook as its new chief executive, after current boss Don Thompson stepped down amid a period of poor performance at the group.

Easterbrook, who is currently chief brand officer, will take over on March 1.

What we know about him so far: He’s from Hertfordshire, he’s a Watford fan and he has run Pizza Express and Wagamama in Britain.

He is credited with turning around McDonald’s UK business and has also headed up its European operations.

He is facing a tough job – McDonald’s is facing tough competition as customers shop around for healthier and cheaper options.

House price growth slows

Annual house price growth has slowed again according to Nationwide, which said the reasons for the slowdown were unclear.

Monthly house prices ticked up 0.3% in January, however, putting the average house price at £188,446.

Facebook beats forecasts, but spending rises

Facebook beat earnings and sales expectations for its fourth quarter, though revenue grew at its slowest since early 2013 and spending rose faster than last year. Investors didn’t take kindly and shares fell as a result.

The bright spot was impressive mobile advertising revenue – something Facebook has managed to turn from an Achilles heel into a major strength and which the likes of Google and Yahoo are struggling to emulate.

Companies news highlights:

Diageo has reported flat sales, lower volumes and operating profit down 18%.

3i said it saw net asset value rise 5% in the last quarter. There were also plenty of realisations but not so many investment opportunities for the private equity firm.

Deutsche Bank’s fourth quarter was hit by consumer loan contract charges of €330m.

Carlsberg is to shut two of its ten Russian breweries – are Russians staying sober?

In constrast to rival Ericsson, Nokia’s last quarter was boosted by the US 4G roll out.

Korea’s Samsung and LG both report poor results, the former on slowing phone sales in China the latter on closing plasma TV business.

Donald Brydon is to step down as Royal Mail chair after the bruising privatisation process.

Ocado is planning to build a fourth warehouse in Erith.

Mecca and Grosvenor casinos drive Rank profits up 29%.

Grainger is pumping £33 million into a London buy-to-rent project, namely a 16-storey block Canning Town.

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January 29, 2015 |
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