Wilko employees on alert as cost cutting measures leaves 4000 jobs at risk

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Mon, 14 Aug, 2017) London, Uk – –

Wilko is consulting with 3,900 employees about a shake-up of shop staffing roles, the latest retailer over the past week to axe jobs amid rising costs and a tough trading environment.

The value retailer said that it was stripping out a level of supervision roles across its stores in the UK but would create 1,000 new senior roles as part of the changes and a significant amount of customer service roles.

Anthony Houghton, Wilko retail director, said that the move was necessary to ensure “all retail operations are fit for the future”. Mr Houghton added that despite growing customer numbers and efforts to reduce costs, the challenging landscape meant that it was dragging profits lower.

Wilko’s consultation with staff will run until October and will affect “thousands” of store staff, according to Retail Week, which first reported the staffing change.

Wilko’s most recent accounts reveal that its pre-tax profits crashed by 80pc in the year to January 28, after a £12.9m hit from a jump in costs associated with the sterling slump following the EU Referendum. Wilko also criticised the introduction of the National Living Wage, which it said “was well above expected levels” and had hurt discount retailers.

Mr Houghton said that the changes to staffing were the “legacy of retail structures that created complexity to manage which aren’t simple, fair or transparent for our team members. The simpler, newly defined store structure will give teams greater variety within their roles and result in more team hours on the shop floor, delivering a better customer experience”.

Wilko follows Asda earlier this week in announcing that hundreds of jobs could be at risk as the supermarket plans to make changes to 18 underperforming stores.

Sainsbury’s is also taking the axe to more than 1,000 jobs at its head office as part of a giant £500m cost-cutting drive, as revealed by the Sunday Telegraph.

By Ashley Armstrong,

The Drama School Creating a New Generation of Black British Actors

 

They’re young, British, and taking on Hollywood. A new generation of black actors, including John Boyega in the blockbuster Star Wars, have been trained at the Identity School of Acting, in London. Established in 2003, it now boasts a roster of talent, that’s doing well in America. The British Film Institute has identified a lack of diversity in film making, and Colleen Harris has been to meet some of the school’s stars, who’re breaking the industry’s glass ceiling.

Rolls-Royce interim results delivered a forecast-beating performance

Warren East Rolls-Royce chief executive

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 1 August 2017) London, Uk – –

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East has delivered a forecast-beating performance with the company’s interim results as he continues to deliver a turnaround of the blue-chip engineering group.

Half-year results for the six months to the end of June showed reported revenue of £7.57bn, up from £6.46bn a year ago. Pre-tax profit soared to £1.94bn, reversing last year’s loss of £2.15bn.

However, the company conceded that the improvement in profit was heavily influenced by currency movements. Rolls has a huge “hedge book” of foreign exchange deals aimed at protecting it from currency fluctuations and the strengthening of the pound since the start of the year meant these assets got a £1.4bn boost, compared with a £2.2bn charge last time round. Rolls noted that this was the “principal reason” for the strong results at a headline level.

On an underlying basis, Rolls’s preferred measure and which strips out currency movements, revenue was £6.87bn, up 6pc. Pre-tax profit was £287m, a gain of 148pc. The weaker pound has inflated Rolls’s figures, as the bulk of the aviation industry’s deals are done in US dollars.

The news was welcomed by traders, with shares in the company up more than 6pc in early dealing, rising 54p to 947.5p.

City forecasts were much more downbeat. Analysts had been expecting the FTSE 100 business would report underlying revenue of £6.58bn and underlying pre-tax profit of £193m.

Free cash flow – the measure of how much money the company generates after expenses and a key figure for Mr East – was negative £339m, meaning the company is spending more than it is making. However, this was still an improvement on the figure a year ago, which was negative £414m.

Mr East has repeatedly said that he wants Rolls to be generating £1bn of positive free cash flow by 2020.

Rolls has tried to rein back expectations, describing the £1bn figure as an “ambition ” rather than a clear target.

“Rolls-Royce delivered encouraging year-on-year operational progress in the first six months,” said Mr East, who was appointed two years ago to turn around the business after it issued a series of profit warnings that saw its share price halve.

The chief executive said Rolls’s plans to increase the number of jet engines it makes for airliners and at a lower cost were working, with deliveries up 27pc and “good further progress” improving the economics of making the engines.

Mr East added that cost savings from his “simplification” restructuring “were ahead of plan” and a better than expected boost from accounting measures meant the company had delivered “a good set of results, with financial performance ahead of our expectations for the first half”.

However, Mr East cautioned analysts and investors not to get ahead of themselves, holding guidance at previous levels and warning that “execution and delivery of a number of important milestones across our businesses will be key to achieving our full-year expectations”.

Analysts have said that as Mr East has deliberately been downbeat about the company’s performance to mange expectations.

“Warren is being smart by under-promising and over delivering,” said one.

The order book at the end of the six months stood at £82.7bn, up from £79.5bn at the same point a year ago.

The dividend was held at 4.6p.

By Alan Tovey

New Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

 

Originally built in 1922 as the former headquarters of the Port of London Authority, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is a luxurious landmark of sophistication reborn in the City’s historic heart. The Grade-II* listed building has been carefully restored to create a 100-room hotel along with 41 private residences and a private members club. Within steps of the Tower of London (home to the Crown Jewels), Tower Bridge and the River Thames, this is one of the capitals most remarkable central locations.

2018 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM

 

The New Phantom will be the first of a new generation of Rolls-Royces to benefit from the creation of the Architecture of Luxury. This new architecture serves as the foundation on which this eighth generation of Phantom reaffirms its position as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by taking the best fundamentals and making them better.

Inspirational Last Words Spoken by Steve Jobs

 

-Wise and Inspirational Words Of Steve Jobs Before He Died.
-Please listen all the way through and take what wisdom you can from these words.
-Take them in deeply and let them inspire you to live your life to the fullest!

-This video was put together to share with more people these inspirational and wise words of Steve Jobs just before he died so they may benefit from them in any way they can.

Floyd Mayweather could pocket up to $400 million in his upcoming fight, here how he spends his millions

 

Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming fight against Conor McGregor could pocket him up to $400 million, according to Forbes. His current net worth is upwards of $340 million. Here’s how he makes and spends that cash.

Sir Richard Branson sells 31pc stake of Virgin Atlantic airline for £220m

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 28 July 2017) London, Uk – –

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is to receive a major windfall by selling down part of its stake in Virgin Atlantic in a major joint venture deal set to include Air France-KLM and existing investor Delta Air Lines.

Air France-KLM is to buy a 31pc stake in Virgin Atlantic for £220m.

Virgin will hold on to a 20pc stake in the trans-Atlantic airline, and hold onto the chairmanship, as a result of the deal which will see a closer union between the four airlines.

Delta, which bought a 49pc stake in Virgin Atlantic from Singapore Airlines in 2013, will at the same time buy a 10pc stake in Air-France KLM for €375m, gaining a seat on the board of its European counterpart.

Alitalia’s involvement is through its existing partnerships with Air France-KLM and Delta, but the deal will not see the Italian carrier gain any equity interest in the joint venture or have a seat atop the entity.

Shai Weiss, chief commercial officer for Virgin Atlantic, said the deal was not linked to the UK’s impending exit from the EU.

“I can say really definitively this has nothing to do with Brexit,” he said, adding the rationale was entirely commercial. Mr Weiss said the airline did not fly intra-Europe and so the joint venture was not a way to secure such flying rights post-Brexit.

He said the success of its existing joint venture with Delta, which had helped provide so-called feed traffic – passengers who take a short haul flight to a hub airport before travelling on a long haul flight – could now be replicated with passengers from Europe.

If the UK endures a hard Brexit, rules which says airlines have to be majority domestic owned could be enforced. This deal means Virgin Atlantic is only 20pc British owned but Mr Weiss said it would overcome such problems if they transpired. If the Brexit deal is more amicable, the airline’s majority European ownership will mean it complies with similar rules on the Continent.

Sir Richard sent a letter to the airline’s staff outlining the details of the deal, in which he said he would remain the largest individual investor.

The billionaire entrepreneur said the airline industry had consolidated since he launched Atlantic in 1984, going on to say “it’s now our turn to put ourselves at the heart of an important alliance”.

“With these three partners in place and with me – and one day, the wider Branson family – still very much involved, we have the foundations to make sure this is so,” Sir Richard added.

The deal, set to last for at least 15 years once it gains regulatory approval, will, subject to regulatory approval, see the carriers combine their transatlantic routes.

The joint venture will offer more than 300 daily non-stop transatlantic flights from 12 hubs including from Amsterdam, Atlanta, Heathrow, New York’s JFK and Los Angeles.

Sir Richard said “one of the best moves” his company made was tying up with Delta Air Lines five years ago, partly to compete with the British Airways and American Airlines alliance.

By Bradley Gerrard

QLM Business News and Market Analyses Now Available Digitally

 

QLM Business News Digital Media Channel for offering the latest business news as well as market analyses. Thanks to the fast-paced life people lead, most busy business people prefer to browse the Net on the go in order to keep up with the latest business news.

www.qlmbusinessnews.com

How businesses can avoid bankruptcy and rebound from it

 

This week Business Planet visits Ghent, Belgium to learn about what’s being done to help businesses avoid bankruptcy and rebound from it. Green Jobs

* Every year in the EU, 200 000 companies go bankrupt, resulting in over 1.7 million people losing their jobs. This means 600 businesses a day.
* Even though bankruptcy is not uncommon, the stigma and practical difficulties faced by entrepreneurs who experience it often deter them from starting new ventures.

SMEs slammed with Late payments of more than £2 billion a year

Ken Teegardin/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via independent.co.uk – – Tue, 18 July 2017) London, Uk – –

The practice of late payments is slamming small and medium-sized businesses across the UK with a hefty bill of more than £2bn ever year, new research reveals.

According to figures released by Bacs Payment Schemes, small to medium sized enterprises, or SMEs, are owed a total of £14bn by customers. While that’s an overall improvement on the £30.3bn figure from five years ago, it’s still hobbling their performance.

Despite the drop in late payment debt, over a third of the 1.7 million SMEs across the country say payments are often prolonged way beyond agreed terms and The impact of late payments can often be devastating; one in five small businesses say that they face being driven into bankruptcy if they are owed between £20,000 and £50,000. Some 7 per cent of businesses say they are already in that danger zone.

Bank overdrafts are an increasingly common resource; almost a quarter of small businesses say they rely on borrowed cash to keep up with essential overheads.

The research done by Bacs also shows that 16 per cent of SMEs struggle to pay staff on time, that the majority of companies spend almost four hours a week chasing late payments, and that 12 per cent employ a specific role dedicated to pursuing outstanding payments.

Almost a third of companies face delays of at least a month beyond their terms and nearly 20 per cent are having to wait more than 60 days before being paid.

SMEs are already facing an uncertain future as a result of Brexit and what the UK’s split from the EU might mean for tariffs, regulation and their ability to employ staff from overseas.

Earlier this month, a survey of more than 1,000 investors, conducted by peer-to-peer trading platform Asset Match showed that 60 per cent were not confident the Government would help SMEs grow after Brexit.

A total of 62 per cent said they felt the Government was favouring “new-age sectors” like fintech, over traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing.

Figures published by The Federation of Small Businesses last month showed a drop in confidence among members for the first time since the aftermath of the referendum.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said at the time that small companies were “still reeling” from April’s business rates hike, and an accompanying note said that labour costs and the tax burden were common concerns.

Operating costs for small businesses are now at their highest in four years, according to the FSB.

By Shafi Musaddique

Elise Mitchell: Courage Is The Key To Entrepreneurship

 

Elise Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Communications Group talks about self-funding her business! She also talks about taking that courageous first step to starting her own business and how her employer at the time, ended up being her first client! Elise says, “the funny thing about entrepreneurship is you never know when that first opportunity is going to arise. You have to be willing to take a chance when it comes.”