May 18, 2017 / 11:48 PM / in 9 months

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - May 19

May 19 (Reuters) - 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

- National Grid Plc reported a 3 percent drop in pretax profits to 2.9 billion pounds ($3.75 billion) as it counted the costs of demolishing old gas holders in the United Kingdom and remediation of old gas production sites in the United States.

- Shire Plc was boosted on Thursday by promising trial data for a drug to treat a rare and sometimes deadly hereditary disease. The pharmaceutical company, which has grown dramatically through acquisitions, was among the top performers in an otherwise downbeat blue-chip index.

The Guardian

- Transline, the controversial employment agency, has been bought out by rival Russell Taylor Group after falling into administration.

- Cineworld Group Plc has agreed to meet union representatives to try to resolve a long-running dispute over pay and conditions at its Picturehouse chain. Staff at the Ritzy in Brixton and five other Picturehouse cinemas have gone on strike in recent months.

The Telegraph

- British companies will be protected from foreign buyers who do not have their best interests at heart under proposals contained in the Conservative manifesto.

- Royal Mail Plc Chief Executive Moya Greene said the firm would continue to target overseas acquisitions to expand GLS, its international delivery arm. Revenue from GLS grew 9 percent in the year to March 26, while the UK business shrank 2 percent.

Sky News

- The luxury brand Burberry Group Plc has reported a 5 percent dip in annual pretax profits despite a boost to revenues from the weak pound in the wake of the Brexit vote.

- Facebook Inc has been fined 94.5 million pounds ($122.33 million) by EU competition regulators in relation to its takeover of WhatsApp.

The Independent

- Retail sales jumped by 2.3 percent in April, according to Office for National Statistics release, reflecting good weather but also suggesting the UK consumer might be more resilient than feared. ($1 = 0.7725 pounds) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom; Editing by Richard Chang)

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