Updates from Morrisons, Pearson and Zamano

Morrisons to slash head office job count meanwhile Pearson shares come under more pressure

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Pearson, Zamano, MorrisonsThe FTSE 100 edged back 36.3 points to 7,060.4 on Thursday. Pearson shares fell 4% to 1370p following contract worries while drinks maker Diageo fell 3.6% to 1896p after reporting disappointing sales. No such worries for Unilever whose shares surged 2.6% on better quarterly numbers. BAESystems also came under pressure, down 3.1% to 516p. Further afield Germany warned Greece that its creditor list is getting tighter.

Little movement for US shares with the Dow Jones giving away just six points to 18,105.7 though Unitedhealth Group fired 3.6% forward. Oil prices also pushed higher.

We start with news from Morrisons - an extensive program of job cuts at head office. More than 700 jobs will go however Morrisons says it will hire 5,000 new floor staff for stores nationwide.

Some City watchers have welcomed the move on HQ operational cost control - the job count is around 2,300 currently; Morrisons is thought to be pushing ahead with a simplified management structure.

"We are focusing," Potts is reported as saying, "on the things that matter to our customers. That means having more of our staff in our stores, improving product availability and helping customers at our checkouts."

Problems for Pearson has seen its shares cut to Underperform from Jefferies Group not helped by Los Angeles Times claiming the Los Angeles Unified School District was pushing for digital curriculum refunds from Apple over an iPad order.

The school district is reluctant to settle up for any more Pearson content, according to the LA publication. There has been concern aired that Pearson may have received favourable treatment on the contract.

Pearson recently claimed it was entering 2015 leaner, more cash generative with preliminary guidance for adjusted earnings per share at 75p to 80p.

Lastly mobile payments marketing operator Zamano says it is now an approved direct carrier billing partner with Three Ireland; Three represents approximately 36% of the mobile market in Ireland, Zamano claims.

The AIM-listed company says it's in the throes of developing a platform infrastructure to allow merchants to sell goods directly by processing payments via direct carrier billing.

"Getting direct connections," says boss Ross Conlon, "to Mobile Networks Operators' carrier billing systems is a key objective for the group and becoming an approved direct carrier billing partner with Three Ireland has taken the Group a step closer to this goal."

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