ROOTS:You’d have to have been locked away in an Ivory Tower to miss that bakery is cool. Greggs is keen to tap into this resurgence and stress its bakery roots. For this reason, the company launched its Greggs the Bakery format in 2012. New chief executive Whiteside seemed pleased with the format when he spoke to analysts and the press. However, he was also keen to suggest the format would not work in every location. Concentrating on its artisanal heritage, the brand features additional ranges, including a £9.99 giant cupcake that has been a popular seller.PROFITS:Greggs might be delivering record sales, but in 2012 it saw its pre-tax profit slip by 2.2% to £51.9m. Should the City be concerned by this? Perhaps. But the City is also sure of one thing when it comes to Greggs – the bakery retailer is ruthless when it comes to finding efficiencies. It delivered on savings of £10m two years earlier than a self-imposed 2012 deadline, thanks to the introduction of new bakeries. Now the company has set another target of saving £15m by 2014. It has also added to its team with the addition of Gavin Kirk, who joined from Mars UK in May 2012, as operational supply chain director, who will also be able to locate savings and, with the stewardship of finance director Richard Hutton, the company is in good hands. So, the charismatic boss of Greggs, Ken McMeikan, has finally moved on. The kings is dead, long live the king.GONE: iconic chief executive Ken McMeikan has moved onAnd it was left to his replacement, former non-executive director of the bakery retailer, Roger Whiteside, to take up arms with reporters and City analysts at the launch of the company’s 2012 results.Unfortunately for him, they were regarded by some as not that good, with one City analyst labelling them as “unsurprisingly disappointing”.Fortunately for Greggs, however, Whiteside handled himself with aplomb, vastly experienced as he is in dealing with the press and the machinations of the City. He also pointed out he has been part of the team that has shaped the Greggs plan, so 2012 would definitely not be the “new normal” for the company.Here British Baker looks at the strategy of the retailer and its plans for 2013:STORES:One thing is for certain: Greggs will not open as many stores this year. The baker says it will revert to a more “normal” level of openings in the year ahead, planning, instead, between 50-60. This decision makes sense in the current economic climate. Too many retailers have ploughed ahead with new openings to their peril – Game and HMV, although not bakery, were guilty of this.SALES:2012 was actually a record year for sales at Greggs, increasing as they did by 4.8% to £735m. However, much of this growth was, by the company’s own admission, driven by newly opened shops and what it described as “the rapid expansion of our new wholesale business”.CHANNELS:While the majority of Greggs’ business is high street-based, the retailer has diversified of late. First was its foray into motorway service stations and, more recently, the introduction of its wholesale range. This has worked well for the company and it is set to invest £30m for a new bakery in the Midlands to cater for this business channel.REVAMPS:First it was the turn of Greggs Moment to impress, when it was launched in late 2011. With the bowler hat-shaped light shades and its muted tones, Moment marked a radical departure for Greggs. Since its launch, Greggs has employed Tony Rowson, formerly a senior executive at Costa Coffee, to look at the brand’s potential for a UK roll-out. The company has said it will open three more before deciding on its “potential”.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export project in Oregon. In addition, FERC will prepare an EIS for the accompanying 233-mile-long pipeline.The FERC is the lead federal agency for the preparation of the document. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Energy, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bonneville Power Administration are cooperating agencies and can adopt the EIS for their respective purposes and permitting actions.The commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the Jordan Cove LNG terminal is in the public interest and the Pacific Connector Pipeline is in the public convenience and necessity.With the notice, FERC opened the scoping period inviting comments on the proposed project. The scoping period ends on July 10.The LNG terminal would include five liquefaction trains and two full containment LNG storage tanks. It would be designed to liquefy about 1.04 billion cubic feet per day (7.8 mtpa) of LNG for export to markets across the Pacific Rim.Following the agreement under which Pembina Pipeline Corporation will acquire Veresen in a transaction valued at C$9.7 billion ($7.10 billion), the Jordan Cove LNG project will be 100 percent owned by Pembina.
KINGS XI Punjab trounced Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets yesterday despite AB de Villiers thumping 89 not out from 46 ballsAN extraordinary innings from the fit-again AB de Villiers proved in vain yesterday as Kings XI Punjab made it two wins from two in the Indian Premier League with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore.AN extraordinary innings from the fit-again AB de Villiers proved in vain yesterday as Kings XI Punjab made it two wins from two in the Indian Premier League with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore.de Villiers, who replaced Chris Gayle on his return from a back injury, moved into overdrive in the closing stages of RCB’s innings to finish unbeaten on 89 from 46 balls with nine sixes, his last 58 runs coming from just 18 deliveries.However, Bangalore were able to post only 148-4, having made painfully slow progress up until the 17th over, and that total was comfortably overhauled by the Kings XI.Hashim Amla underpinned a successful chase with 58 not out from 38 deliveries, while Glenn Maxwell’s 22-ball 43 ensured victory was secured with more than five overs unused.Both Amla and Maxwell were dropped, on 20 and 13 respectively, as the Royal Challengers delivered a disappointing display in the field.There was plenty to admire in the work of the Kings XI’s unbeaten batsmen, who each cleared the ropes on at least three occasions, while Manan Vohra also impressed at the top of the order with 34 from 21 balls.However, the standout performance of the match undoubtedly came in a losing cause as de Villiers demonstrated why he is viewed as one of the world’s leading limited-overs batsmen.The 33-year-old was initially forced to rein in his attacking instincts as Bangalore slumped to 22-3 amid fine bowling from Axar Patel (1-12), Sandeep Sharma (1-26) and Varun Aaron (2-21).Mandeep Singh hung around to make 28 before falling to a superb diving catch from wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, running back towards the boundary, off Aaron.de Villiers then launched a devastating assault in the company of Stuart Binny (18 not out), striking a series of enormous maximums over midwicket and long-off to ensure Bangalore took 68 from the last four overs, having made just 80 runs in the previous 16.
Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu , left, intercepts a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) and returns it for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Wright)GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers slogged through sloppy turf and braved a light, persistent snow in a down-to-the-wire game with playoff implications for both teams.In the end, the Steelers held on for a 38-31 win and both squads got a little help to keep their postseason aspirations alive.Troy Polamalu forced a fumble to set up Le’Veon Bell’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:28 left, then Pittsburgh withstood Green Bay’s throw into the end zone on the game’s last play. They’re a long shot, but the Steelers (7-8), after starting 0-4 this season, are mathematically in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot.It would be a near-miracle if they can get through another week. The Steelers need to beat the Browns in Week 17, and have the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers — all 8-7 — all lose.“There’s only one way to respond to the situation that we’re in,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “There’s either (win) or fold the tents up, and we’re not into that.”The Packers (7-7-1) had a two-game winning streak snapped, but still have shot at winning the NFC North after the Bears lost 54-11 to the Eagles on Sunday night.Chicago and Green Bay meet next week at Soldier Field for the division crown.Five things to know after the wild game in the wintry conditions at Lambeau Field:BIG PLAY TROY: Long hair flowing out from under of his helmet, Polamalu lunged through the air as Packers quarterback Matt Flynn tried to scramble for a first down. Polamalu knocked the ball loose, the Steelers recovered at the 17 and Bell ran in from 1 yard out five plays later to give the Steelers the go-ahead score.Sound familiar? Polamalu came up with his fifth forced fumble of the season.“I think you always think about trying to do something to secure the tackle,” he said. “Fortunately, sometimes it works and, unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t work and you end up missing tackles.”NOW BATTING: A rarely seen penalty nearly spoiled the Steelers’ night.Defensive lineman Ziggy Hood was called for illegal batting in the third quarter when he poked the ball out of bounds after it had been loose following a blocked field goal.Officials conferred a few minutes before calling the penalty and awarding the ball to Green Bay, ruling the Steelers never controlled it and that it never crossed the line of scrimmage at the Steelers 5.Referee Carl Cheffers described batting to a pool reporter as an intentional act of striking the ball in a loose-ball situation in the direction of a team’s own goal line.The Packers got a second chance and Eddie Lacy scored on the next play to give Green Bay a short-lived lead.ROOKIE RBS: Bell finished with 26 carries for 124 yards, while fellow rookie Lacy had 15 carries for 84 yards and two scores but later left after re-aggravating an ankle injury.Lacy vowed to return for the Bears game. He set a franchise rookie record with 1,112 yards rushing on the year.“Had we won it would feel a little better,” Lacy said.PICK SIX: The Packers seemed to be picking on Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen for spurts, and Jarrett Boykin’s 5-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter came after jumping and leaning forward around Allen for the grab.But Allen atoned for any mistakes by intercepting a screen and running untouched 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Allen finished with six tackles in his third straight start at left cornerback after replacing William Gay.MEDICAL REPORT: The injury list got longer for two battered teams.Besides Lacy, the Packers linebacker Clay Matthews left following a sack after re-aggravating a right thumb injury that kept him out of four games earlier this season. Matthews had surgery on the thumb and he appeared to be in considerable pain on the sideline.For the Steelers, rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was a late scratch because of the flu, while receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a 1-yard touchdown catch before leaving with a knee injury.__Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org___Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP