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Company News

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 8

The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

* Marc Bolland is to step down as Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer as the retailer again reported a mixed Christmas trading performance with "disappointing" general merchandise sales. (thetim.es/1OQeP4o)

* UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will warn of "a cocktail of new threats" to the economy as he tells Britons to avoid complacency, weeks after he softened the scale of spending cuts over the parliament. (thetim.es/1OQeZss)

The Guardian

* The acting boss of the Financial Conduct Authority, Tracey McDermott, is to face a grilling from MPs later this month about whether the watchdog is softening its stance towards bankers even though it has emerged that she has withdrawn as a candidate to take over the helm of the regulator. (bit.ly/1OQfyT8)

* New car sales reached an all time high in Britain in 2015 as improving consumer confidence, wage growth and low interest finance deals from manufacturers boosted the market, according to figures provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. (bit.ly/1OQfJhg)

The Telegraph

* Atterley, the fashion website backed by Terry Leahy, has collapsed into administration despite being tipped to be one of the most successful British retail brands. (bit.ly/1S70Mrq)

* A bumper year for blockbusters drove cinema ticket sales in the UK and Ireland to an all-time high in 2015, according to Rentrak. (bit.ly/1PhUbo7)

Sky News

* Shares in Poundland slumped by more than 10 percent after the shift to online shopping hurt sales growth and earnings in the run up to Christmas. The discount retailer said it had seen "disappointing" festive sales as consumers deserted the high street in favour of the Internet. (bit.ly/1OQgabu)

* Saudi Arabia is mulling the sale of shares in Aramco, the country's deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman told The Economist. (bit.ly/1OQgE17)

The Independent

* UK's most cheerful employees are living in Norwich, Liverpool and Birmingham according to new research by business psychologists OPP. (ind.pn/1OQgS8z)

* Budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair have seen their passenger numbers grow despite the militant attacks in Paris. (ind.pn/1OQhnj5) (Compiled by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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