FACTBOX-British companies hurt by December's big freeze

LONDON Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:15am GMT

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LONDON Jan 21 (Reuters) - British businesses have revealed hundreds of millions of pounds worth of lost sales after the coldest December on record hit airlines, hauliers, shopkeepers, insurers and the building industry. [ID:nLDE7041G0]

Government statistics showed on Friday that December's sales were the worst for any December since annual records began in 1988. [ID:nAHLKCE7CG]

But the bad weather was positive for some. Blacks Leisure BSLA.L, the outdoor clothing retailer, reported improved Christmas sales. [ID:nLDE70306Y] Following is a summary of listed companies to detail how the winter weather hurt their businesses:

*STOBART GROUP

-- Freight company Stobart Group (STOB.L) said the impact of adverse weather on transport networks cost it 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million). [ID:nWLA3318]

*ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS

-- Associated British Foods (ABF.L) said the effect of severe weather on sugar beet still to be processed will cut into sugar profits for this year, with analysts putting the likely hit as high as 20 million pounds. [ID:nLDE70I1DV]

*RSA

-- Insurer RSA (RSA.L) said its 2010 profit would miss analyst expectations, weighed down by a 225 million pound spike in weather-related claims triggered by the snow. [ID:nLDE70J07B]

*EASYJET

-- Low-cost airline easyJet (EZJ.L) took an 18 million pound hit from the big freeze and lost 7 million pounds in revenues. [ID:nLDE70I1XM]

*ENTERPRISE INNS

-- Enterprise Inns (ETI.L), Britain's biggest pubs group, said snow kept drinkers at home in December wiping up to 2 million pounds ($3.2 million) off its first-quarter profit. [ID:nLDE70J072]

*GOALS SOCCER CENTRES

-- Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL.L), the operator of five-a-side soccer centres, warned that its full-year pretax profit would be 0.7 million pounds lower than its earlier expectations, hurt by heavy snowfall. [ID:nSGE6BF04C]

*FLYING BRANDS

-- Multi-channel retailer Flying Brands (FBD_u.L) forecast full-year profit sharply below market estimates, hurt by bad weather that disrupted the delivery of Christmas orders of flowers and gardening products. [ID:nSGE70D05N]

*TESCO

-- Tesco (TSCO.L), the world's third-biggest retailer, missed Christmas sales forecasts, estimating bad weather took 1 percent off underlying UK sales. [ID:nLDE70B1E4]

*HOME RETAIL

-- Britain's No.1 household goods retailer Home Retail (HOME.L) said Argos took a 20 to 30 million pound hit in sales from the snow in December. [ID:nWLA2650]

*HALFORDS

-- Halfords (HFD.L), the car parts to bicycle retailer, reported a 16 percent drop in like-for-like sales of bicycles in the run-up to Christmas after cold weather meant fewer children were given bikes as presents. [ID:nWLA2677]

*BAA

-- UK airport operator BAA expects to take a hit of around 24 million pounds from last month's big freeze, which closed many of its runways and dented passenger numbers in the week before Christmas. The company, owned by Spain's Ferrovial (FER.MC), also faces possible legal action from Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL] which said it is withholding fees owed to BAA until a probe into the snow disruption is complete. [ID:nLDE70B087] [ID:nLDE7090JM]

*FLYBE

-- Regional airline Flybe (FLYB.L) said weather disruption in December including cancelled flights and expenditure on de-icing would cost it an estimated 6 million pounds. [ID:nWLA2541]

*MARKS & SPENCER

-- Retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) estimated the bad weather cut sales of general merchandise by 3 percent and food by 1 percent. [ID:nLDE70A0GK]

*DEBENHAMS

-- Debenhams (DEB.L), Britain's number two department store group, said December's snow impacted like-for-like sales by 2.5-3.0 percent, or about 30 million pounds over the key Christmas trading period. [ID:nLDE7060ZM]

*MARSHALLS

-- Building materials company Marshalls (MSLH.L) said bad weather at the end of the year hurt its operating profit by an estimated 0.8 million pounds. [ID:nLDE706083]

*BRITISH AIRWAYS

-- British Airways BAY.L said the weather-related disruption cost it 50 million pounds. Total passenger traffic for December was down 8.3 percent on the year, BA said, while cargo traffic fell 10.2 percent. [ID:nLDE70518U]

*MOTHERCARE

-- Mother and baby products retailer Mothercare (MTC.L) said it would miss market expectations blaming severe weather for a 4 percent fall in UK like-for-like sales, with toy sales particularly affected. [ID:nLDE70506D]

*NEXT

-- Britain's No.2 fashion retailer Next (NXT.L) estimated it lost 22 million pounds of full-price sales as a result of the snow that gripped the country throughout much of December. [ID:nLDE7030PA]

*HMV

-- Music, books, DVDs and games retailer HMV HMV.L said sales at British and Irish stores open at least a year fell 13.6 percent in the five weeks to Jan. 1, with snow taking 20 million pounds off sales. [ID:nLDE70409D]

*CLINTON CARDS

-- Greeting card retailer Clinton Cards CLCA.L said bad weather led to a drop in Christmas sales and a profit warning. [ID:nLDE70506M]

*THEO FENNELL

-- Theo Fennell TFL.L, the upmarket jeweller, said severe weather meant shoppers were unable to get to London for their Christmas shopping, shrinking its sales by 7 percent in December. [ID:nWLA2217]

(Compiled by Sarah Young and Rhys Jones. Editing by Jane Merriman)

($1=.6309 Pound)

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