Breakfast Briefing: PM will not rule out sugar tax, Sainsbury's counters HRG bid rumours, Samsung in profit hike

Sugary drinks: Prime Minister David Cameron has not ruled out sugar tax
Sugary drinks: Prime Minister David Cameron has not ruled out sugar tax

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos.

Cameron will not rule out sugar tax

Prime Minister David Cameron has not ruled out the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks - after previously ruling one out - as he was forced to admit that the UK is facing an "obesity crisis".

In a U-turn prompted by new medical evidence, Cameron said that, while he was not in favour of new taxes being introduced, the growing risks of diabetes, heart disease and cancer brought about by poor diets meant that the issue needed to be tackled.

"What matters is we do make progress," he told journalists at a press conference in Hungary, saying details of a "fully worked-up programme" would be announced later this year.

He added: "We shouldn't be in the business of ruling things out but obviously putting extra taxes on things is not something I aim to do, it's something I would rather avoid."

Cameron had previously said he "doesn't see a need for a tax on sugar".

Source: BBC

Sainsbury’s repudiates report that QIA unhappy with Home Retail bid

Sainsbury’s has publicly countered a report that its largest shareholder The Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) has expressed unease about the supermarket’s £1bn bid for the Home Retail Group (HRG).

The supermarket group denied that the QIA, which owns 25.1% of Sainsbury’s, was either the source of the story or had taken a position on its £1bn bid for Argos-owner HRG, countering the Guardian’s report.

Sainsbury’s issued a statement late yesterday in which it said: "We understand that the QIA is not the source of the Guardian story and has not taken any position on the proposed Home Retail Group transaction.

"Like any other shareholder, the QIA would consider any such proposal in detail before making a decision on its position."

After HRG rejected Sainsbury’s initial bid, the supermarket had said it would renegotiate.

Source: London Stock Exchange

Samsung’s 15% profit surge disappoints analysts

Samsung Electronics says its operating profit is likely to grow 15% year-on-year for October to December to Won6.1 trillion ($3.5bn), falling short of analyst expectations.

The consumer electronics group’s preliminary results showed that operating profit fell 7.5% compared with the previous quarter, with sales hit by weak demand in China and currency fluctuations.

However, analysts had expected the amount to be Won6.6 trillion and fear that a quarter-on-quarter fall in sales pointed to stagnating smartphone market.

Source: FT

In case you missed it...two longer reads

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If you watch one video today...

Rather than a video, this week we're pointing you towards our new podcast. Listen to the fourth episode below and find out more here.

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