Marks and Spencer (M&S) food business has reported like-for-like sales are up 1%. The retailer said its “specialist position” in the food market meant it continued to be set apart from other competition. Food H1 sales overall were up 3.6% for the 26 weeks ended 27 September 2014. It also said it expected its food business to continue to outperform the market with 50 more new Simply Food stores planned over the next three years, up to a total of 200 from 150 as previously indicated.The company said: “We launched over 1,000 new lines in the first half of the year including our new ‘Taste’ range of prepared meals as well as new categories such as frozen meals. At the same time, we continue to highlight the great value we offer on everyday essentials in our ‘Simply M&S’ range of c.700 lines, all of which are competitively priced but with added M&S quality.”It also said it will focus on developing “top-quality” ranges with competitive prices that were also fair to farmers.It admitted that market conditions will continue to be challenging, but was confident it would be ready for the key Christmas trading period.Marc Bolland, chief executive, outlined his plans to focus on the continued growth of M&S food. He said: “M&S delivered sales growth and increased profit in the first half despite a tough market, particularly in September. We are pleased with the progress we have made against our key priorities for the year: GM gross margin, improving womenswear, driving food growth and cash generation.”Overall, the retailer showed strong cash generation, with EBITDA at £578.8m, up £37.7m.
USC announced Wednesday that members of the school’s men’s and women’s tennis teams will represent the United States in the 27th World University Games in Kazan, Russia, from July 6-17.For country · USC junior Ray Sarmiento of the men’s tennis team will lead a coalition of members from both the men’s and women’s tennis teams as they compete for America at the World University Games. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan USC men’s tennis head coach Peter Smith, men’s assistant coach Krzysztof Kwinta and women’s associate coach West Nott will helm the national team, which is composed entirely of USC players.The USC men’s and women’s tennis teams are two of the best collegiate tennis teams in the nation. The men’s side is the four-time defending NCAA champion and is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Women of Troy are also a highly regarded tennis program, currently ranked No. 5 in the nation by the ITA.The men’s side will send junior co-captains Ray Sarmiento and Michael Grant, as well as sophomores Eric Johnson and Jonny Wang. Each member of the men’s side is ranked by the ITA, with Sarmiento ranked No. 14 in the nation, Johnson ranked No. 65, Wang ranked No. 96 and Grant ranked No. 101.Sarmiento, who was also recently named Pac-12 player of the week for his efforts in a sweep of Washington and Oregon on the weekend, was initially planning to participate in professional events this summer but put those plans on hold for the World University Games.“When coach asked me about playing in Russia, I could not turn down competing in Russia and representing USC and my country,” Sarmiento said. “It will be awesome.”For other players, going to Russia is a chance to broaden horizons on a personal level.“It’s a real privilege to represent both USC and the United States,” Wang said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the wide variety of different people and cultures in Kazan.”The women’s side will send junior Kaitlyn Christian, sophomores Sabrina Santamaria and Gabriella DeSimone, and freshman Ellie Yates. Santamaria is ranked No. 2 in the nation in the ITA women’s singles rankings, while teammate DeSimone is ranked No. 75.Both the men’s and women’s teams wrap up their regular seasons against crosstown rival UCLA. The women play today at Marks Stadium, while the men play on Friday in Westwood, Calif.Following the conclusion of the regular season, the Pac-12 men’s and women’s championship tournament will take place in Ojai, Calif. The men’s Pac-12 championship will begin on April 23, with the women’s championship starting on April 25.Following the conference tournaments, the NCAA team championships will be held in Urbana, Ill. The men’s tournament is slated to begin May 16, and the Trojans will be gunning for their fifth consecutive national championship. The women’s team championships will start on May 17. Both the men’s and women’s NCAA individual championships will begin on May 22.The World University Games (termed “Universiades,” a portmanteau of the words “university” and “Olympiad”) have existed in various forms since 1923, when the inaugural international collegiate event was held in Paris, France.The United States leads in gold medals and total medals at the event, with 443 and 1155, respectively. In the 2011 Universiades, South Korea took home the gold medal, while USA was not among competitors in the tournament field.
Fianna Fail Councillor Seamus O´Domhnaill was officially installed as the new Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council today.The Glenties area councillor was voted in as the Mayor of Donegal this afternoon at the County Council AGM, taking over in the office from Sinn Fein Cllr Gerry McMonagle.O’Domhnaill, from Killult in Falcarragh, has been a member of Donegal County Council since 2009. In accepting his new role, he said he aspired to achieve the same standard of representation as councillors who held the honour before him.Cllr O´Domhnaill said his priorities of the year will be ensuring that council motions are delivered upon, that continued success will be achieved in tourism, that housing issues will be solved and that rural development can continue.He said: “My prime objective as Mayor is to ensure that the business within this room is delivered upon.“We see fabulous motions delivered with passion come up in this chamber, by all councillors making representations on behalf of the constituents that they represent. “The motions that are brought forward in this room are not done so for fanfare or glory of the various political representatives. They are done because they are issues that are pertinent and important to the constituents.”O’Domhnaill said he is looking forward to working with councillors and the council executive in empowering councillors to gain progress on their motions.Cllr O’Domhnaill said he will be seeking more focus on Municipal District members’ needs and aspirations.“I will also be seeking that the Municipal Districts are given more powers to ensure the things that are important at MD level are delivered upon.”Cllr Seamus Ó Domhnaill takes his seat as Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council 2018/19He outlined his endeavours to further exploit the marketing of Donegal as a tourism entity and part of the Wild Atlantic Way, saying: “We need to build on the fabulous work that is being done by this council and other organisations to ensure we get the amount of tourists and business north of Galway that can sustain and build on employment.”Cllr O’Domhnaill said the biggest national and local issue is the demand for housing.“Donegal, quite frankly, is in a state of crisis, as is the nation. I will be looking for focus on the housing department to try to fasttrack and get houses developed for the people who are on waiting lists.”On his home electoral area, O’Domhnaill said he hopes to bring projects to fruition on tourism, history, employment, car parking, roads and other issues. Cllr O’Domhnaill was inspired by outgoing mayor Gerry McMonagle’s positively to say: “When we look at Donegal, what we have to offer, from a tourism point of view, from quality of life, from natural resources, the Gaeltacht, cultural, social, historical aspects of this county, it is absolutely unequalled the country over.“We have to show the people outside the county, the graduates, that there is a way to come back to Donegal and make a life here,” he said.“We need to be more positive in attracting investment and people into our county and ensuring that a pathway is made, where if somebody wants to come back, that it is as easy and flawless as possible.”Cllr O’Domhnaill said he looks forward to working on the good work that has been done on rural repopulation by previous Chairpersons, the elected Council and by the executive.He paid tribute to his brother, Senator Brian O’Domhnaill, his mother Kathleen and his late father Hughie. Above all, he expressed gratitude to his wife Maura, who was in the council offices with their children Meabh (aged 5 months) and Hugh (aged two).Cllr Noel Jordan congratulates new Leas Cathaoirleach Martin Harley at the Donegal County Council AGM, 14th June 2018The title of Leas Cathaoirleach was passed on from Cllr Noel Jordan to Fine Gael Cllr Martin Harley of the Stranorlar MD. Both elections were by unanimous vote.Our new ‘First Citizen’ – Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill named Donegal Cathaoirleach was last modified: June 17th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CathaoirleachCllr Seamus O DomhnaillDonegal County Council