Amazon and eBay warned over VAT fraudsters by MP

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 18 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

Amazon and eBay are profiting from sellers who defraud UK taxpayers by failing to charge VAT, according to a report by MPs.

The report estimates up to £1.5bn has been lost from third-party sellers on online marketplaces not charging the tax on sales they make in the UK.

MPs in the Public Accounts Committee criticised HMRC for being “too cautious” in pursuing the “fraudsters”.

Amazon and eBay said they were working with HMRC on the issue.

Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, called online VAT fraud “hugely damaging” for British businesses and taxpayers.

She added that “the response of HMRC and the marketplaces where fraudsters operate has been dismal”.

‘Bewildering’

The fraud has increased because foreign firms selling goods to UK shoppers – usually via online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay – are keeping some of their stock in UK warehouses to provide next day delivery.

If items are dispatched from UK soil, the sellers have to charge VAT at 20%.

But many have not been, so undercutting genuine UK suppliers and reducing tax revenue, the committee’s report found.

Brexit will make the issue more complicated because of uncertainty over trading and customs, it added.

Both Amazon and eBay told the committee they took action to remove “bad actors” from their sites.

But the report said it was “bewildering that these big companies have taken such little action to date”.

It added that Amazon and eBay, amongst other online marketplaces, “continue to profit from fraudulent activities taking place on their sites” by charging the sellers a commission.

In the hearings a pack of lightbulb socket converters and a hose for a Dyson vacuum cleaner were held up as examples of products sold without VAT.

‘Above and beyond’

The report’s conclusions include:

  • The UK’s tax agency, HMRC, should set up an agreement with online marketplaces by March next year to tackle the issue
  • The websites should require non-EU sellers – which dispatch goods already in the UK – to provide a valid VAT number
  • HMRC should “inject more urgency” by making more extensive use of its existing powers

HMRC said it had introduced new rules last year to hold online marketplaces liable for unpaid VAT by overseas sellers, leading to a ten-fold rise in the number of sellers registering for VAT.

“The new reforms will secure an extra £875m in tax to help pay for vital public services,” an HMRC spokesman said.

In a statement Amazon said it was reviewing the report and supported efforts to ensure sellers across all marketplaces were VAT compliant.

An eBay spokesperson said it was going “above and beyond” HMRC’s requirements to provide a “fair marketplace for all our buyers and sellers”.

FTSE edges down, Merlin Entertainments suffers collapse on poor summer trading

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 17 Oct, 2017) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – UK shares edged lower on Tuesday, with a flurry of trading updates animating early deals, such as tourist attractions operator Merlin Entertainments, which saw its shares collapse on disappointing summer sales.

The FTSE .FTSE had retreated 0.20 percent by 0839 GMT, barely moved by fresh data which showed British inflation rose to its highest level in more than five years and could make the Bank of England more likely to raise interest rates next month.

Shares in Merlin (MERL.L) plunged as much as 21 percent, its biggest fall ever, after the operator of Madame Tussauds waxworks blamed a series of attacks in Britain and unfavourable weather for a dip in trading in its key summer period.

“Given all this additional uncertainty we see less and less reasons to own the shares,” Liberum analysts said as the shares, trading at about 355p, touched three years low levels.

Mediclinic (MDCM.L) retreated 3.5 percent after a trading update and there was no bounce back for Convatec, still down 0.8 percent, after a profit warning triggered a sell-off on Monday and a 26.6 percent fall.

“While the market may be quiet, it is currently extremely intolerant of any company that dares to miss forecasts”, Chris Beauchamp, an IG market analyst, wrote about the slump of Convatec on Monday.

British education group Pearson (PSON.L) on the other hand was the FTSE 100 top performer, with a 5.2 percent rise, after it said it expected full-year operating profit to come in at the top half of its forecast range.

British challenger bank Virgin Money (VM.L) also shone after reporting gross mortgage lending of 6.5 billion pounds to the end of the third quarter and said it had seen robust customer demand due to low unemployment and a resilient housing market.

Investec analyst Ian Gordon said he expected the “stunning performance” to lead to new consensus upgrades on the stock.

Golba miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L) was up 0.3 percent after it said it lifted third quarter iron ore shipments by 6 percent after modernising its haulage railway in Australia’s outback.

British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L) which increased its outlook for sales growth in its 2018 financial year, saw its shares rise by 1 percent.

By Julien Ponthus

The Bubble Bros van tours the UK selling prosecco on tap

 

Bubble Bros bought a vintage Piaggio van and transformed it into a prosecco wagon, which serves bubbly on tap.

The three-wheeled vehicle tours the country together with the Bubble Bike, a motorbike with a sparkling wine bar in the sidecar. Stops include weddings, private partiers, and also festivals like Glastonbury.

Bubble Bros started catering in 2015 with 1 van. They now have 5 vans and 1 motorbike which are all road legal.

Their wine comes in barrels from the DOCG region of Italy, which stands for Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin– a quality assurance label for Italian wines.

Meet the company where luxury and philanthropy go hand in hand

(qlmbusinessnews.com via livingit.euronews.com – – Sat, 14 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

Want to spice up your next trip by making a contribution to the local population? You will return home with the best souvenir: the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference. An ever-growing group of socially engaged travelers has already changed thousands of people’s lives.

There is no better place to watch whales than the island where locals have strong cultural affinities with these beautiful marine creatures. In New Zeland, the indigenous Māori people have a long history with whales: local legend says that their ancestors arrived on the island on the back of a whale. The locals believe in a spiritual bond with the animals.

Today, this tribe happens to possess one of the most successful companies organizing whale watch tours, among other activities, in the local town of Kaikoura. In fact, the local community trust, founded in 1987 by four Maori families, has played a huge role in reviving the town’s declining economy. They have transformed Kaikoura into a leading eco-tourism destination and the Whale Watch Kaikoura became the largest employer of the season. The enterprise invests a huge part of their annual profit in supporting the community, education, employment, and protecting the environment.

The company offers up-close encounters with giant sperm whales and strives to minimise their impact on the environment. It also runs educational programmes on how to save the environment as well as eco-friendly activities for visitors, such as planting your own tree.

By Doloresz Katanich

 

The robot helping sick children explore the outside world

 

A rare genetic disorder often prevents 17-year-old Jade Gadd from leaving her house. Denied the normal life most teenagers enjoy, she is unable to go to school regularly and left feeling isolated. Recently, that has all begun to change with the help of a small robot, who takes her physical place in class, relays information and allows her to stay connected with her teachers and classmates.

Samsung chief exec resigns citing an “unprecedented crisis”

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 13 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

The chief executive of Samsung Electronics has resigned, citing an “unprecedented crisis” around the smartphone giant.

Kwon Oh-hyun, who has been with the company for 32 years, said he would step down as chief executive and vice chairman in March. His departure comes despite Samsung Electronics projecting record quarterly profits

The company’s sales are booming thanks to record demand at its microchip and display units and improving sales of its latest smartphones, but it has been hit by a corruption scandal at the highest level.

Jay Y Lee, the heir to the Samsung empire, was sentenced to five years in prison in August for bribery and perjury after he was accused of overseeing large payments to foundations run by South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye.

Mr Lee is vice-chairman of both Samsung Electronics and the wider Samsung conglomerate, which includes interests in property, financial services and healthcare. But the electronics company, best known as the world’s biggest smartphone seller, is its crown jewel.

“As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry,” Mr Kwon said in a letter to staff.

 “It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off.”

Samsung did not announce a successor. It technically has three chief executives but the other two, Jong-Kyun Shin and Yoon Boo Keun, have stepped back from the day-to-day running of the company.

“With Jay Y Lee also likely to be out of the picture for a few years, the way is open for new blood to take the helm of Samsung and clean-up these long-standing issues,” said Richard Windsor of Edison Investment Research.

It came as Samsung Electronics announced that it expected to report revenues around 62 trillion won (£41bn) in the third quarter, up from 47.8 trillion in the same period last year when the company was engulfed by the crisis of its faulty Galaxy Note 7.

It said operating profits would be around 14.5 trillion won, compared to 5.2 trillion won a year ago. While it has seen record demand for its latest Note 8 phone, the biggest driver of revenues have been its memory and display divisions.

By 

Tourism booming in the UK with nearly 40 million overseas visitors

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue,10 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

Tourism is booming in the UK with nearly 40 million overseas people expected to have visited the country during 2017 – a record figure.

Tourist promotion agency VisitBritain forecasts overseas trips to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7 million with spending up 14% to £25.7bn this year.

Britons are also holidaying at home in record numbers.

British Tourist Authority chairman Steve Ridgway said tourism was worth £127bn annually to the economy.

He called the sector an “economic powerhouse” and a “job creator right across Britain”.

“Two-and-a-half times bigger than the automotive industry, employing three million, tourism is one of our most successful exports and needs no trade deals to compete globally.”

The UK has become a cheaper place to visit for tourists from overseas following the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote last year.

But Mr Ridgway said: “Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and you cannot just build a strong, resilient industry on a weaker currency.

“We must continue to invest in developing world-class tourism products, getting Britain on the wish-list of international and domestic travellers and we must make it easy for visitors to make that trip.”

Tourism Minister John Glen said: “Tourism contributes billions to the UK economy and supports millions of jobs.”

He added that the record figures for overseas and domestic holidaymakers were “testament to our world-class attractions and the innovation of our tourism industry”.

During the first six months of the year there were a record 23.1 million overseas visits to the UK – up 8% on the same period in 2016 – and the figures for July topped four million for the first time, with only a slightly smaller number of visits made during August.

Britain’s beaches and attractions have also attracted more domestic users with “staycations” on the rise.

From January to June this year, domestic overnight holidays in England rose 7% to a record 20.4 million with visitors spending £4.6bn – a rise of 17% and another record.

On Monday, figures from trade body UK Finance showed UK tourists’ debit card spending when abroad was down sharply compared with last summer, providing more evidence of the trend towards holidaying at home.

Spending on UK debit cards overseas was down nearly 13% in August compared with the same month in 2016.

 

Airbnb paid less than £200,000 in UK corporation tax last year

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 9 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

Airbnb, the accommodation website, paid less than £200,000 in UK corporation tax last year despite collecting £657m of rental payments for property owners.

The commissions the company earns in the UK are booked by its Irish subsidiary, but it also has two UK subsidiaries.

One unit made a pre-tax profit, but the other did not incur UK corporation tax because deductions resulted in a loss.

Airbnb said in a statement: “We follow the rules and pay all the tax we owe.”

One of the British subsidiaries, Airbnb Payments UK, handles payments between landlords and travellers for countries other than the United States, China and India.

That unit made a pre-tax profit of £960,000 and paid £188,000 in UK corporation tax – £8,000 less than in 2015.

The other British subsidiary, Airbnb UK, markets the website and app to British consumers. It reported a £463,000 pre-tax profit last year but because it gave shares to staff, which are tax-deductable, there was no corporation tax bill.

Airbnb said: “Our UK office provides marketing services and pays all applicable taxes, including VAT. The Airbnb model is unique and boosted the UK economy by £3.46bn last year alone.”

The tax arrangements of other technology giants have come under under closer scrutiny in recent years.

One of the most vocal critics has been EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. She has taken aim at the likes of Apple, Amazon and others for where they book the revenues and profits of their European activities.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, has also asked why Airbnb paid tens of thousand of euros in French corporation tax despite a turnover in the millions.

The company, founded in San Francisco in 2008, has disrupted the hotel industry by linking travellers with landlords who generally want to rent out a spare room or an entire property for short-term stays.

It has become one of the most successful examples of the digital economy, with an estimated value of about $24bn.

However, Airbnb has faced a growing backlash in cities including Barcelona, Berlin and Paris, where politicians have taken steps to stop landlords renting properties to tourists rather than local residents.

While Airbnb has long been linked with a stock market listing, it remains privately owned.

It takes a 3% commission from landlords for each booking, and also charges fees to travellers.

In the UK last year Airbnb catered for 5.9m travellers and had 168,000 listings.

 

Bruce Lee’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

He was a martial artist, actor, teacher, and philosopher. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time. He is often credited with helping change the way Asians were presented in American films. He’s Bruce Lee and here are his Top 10 Rules for success.

Physicist Robert Lang incredible origami journey

 

Twenty five years ago, physicist Robert Lang worked at NASA, where he researched lasers. He has also garnered 46 patents on optoelectronics and even wrote a Ph.D. thesis called “Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries and Spectral Properties.” But in 2001, Lang left his job in order to pursue a passion he’s had since childhood: origami. In the origami world, Lang is now a legend, and it’s not just his eye-catching, intricate designs that have taken the craft by storm. Some of his work has helped pioneer new ways of applying origami principles to complex real-world engineering problems.

Blade Runner 2049 tracking to open domestically with between $45 million to $50 million

 

Blade Runner 2049 brought in $4 million last night at the North American box office. Variety reports over $800,000 came from IMAX screenings of the Denis Villeneuve-directed sequel, which stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. Blade Runner 2049 is tracking to open domestically this weekend with between $45 million to $50 million.

The interactive ping pong table with a digital twist to traditional table tennis

 

Wonderball is an interactive ping pong table which adds a digital twist to traditional table tennis.

The hi-tech table uses digital projectors and sensors which track the movements of the ball, allowing many different games to be played on it.

Wonderball can be played by up to 20 people at a time, allowing friends and spectators to join in and play together.

You can find the table in London bar Bounce Ping Pong.

Netflix streaming online giant to raise prices for subscribers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 6 Oct 2017) London, UK —

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc’s U.S. business announced the first rises in monthly fees in two years on Thursday, hiking costs for two of its three main subscription plans as it spends heavily on its own original content.

The company’s mid-range plan, which allows streaming on two devices at the same time, was increased to $10.99 per month from $9.99.

The top-tier plan, which allows streaming on four screens in high definition, was raised to $13.99 per month from $11.99. The basic plan fee remained at $7.99.

Shares in the global streaming pioneer rose as much as 4.5 percent to a record high of $192.80.

“Most investors believe that Netflix is priced well below its value to consumers and want to see the management continue to increase monetization,” Rob Sanderson analyst at MKM Partners said.

In 2011, Netflix raised prices for some customers by as much as $6, causing more than 800,000 U.S. subscribers to desert the service.

A more gradual move in 2014 did not provoke the same outrage.

Netflix is cheaper than many of its competitors despite the current price hike. HBO Now, the standalone streaming service of HBO that offers access to shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “Veep”, is priced at $14.99 a month, while Hulu prices its service without commercials at $11.99 per month.

“This price increase will likely be a revenue growth catalyst for the company,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a client note. “The content, not price, is the leading churn/churn-back factor amongst Netflix subs.”

The price hikes will only be in the United States and will start taking effect from mid-November, depending on users’ billing cycles.

Amazon to pay €250m (£221.5m) in back taxes to Luxembourg

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cityam.com – – Wed, 4 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

Brussels has ordered Amazon to pay €250m (£221.5m) in back taxes to Luxembourg in its latest crackdown on US tech giants.

The European Commission had already said a deal between Amazon and Luxembourg over how much tax it pays amounted to state aid in preliminary ruling in 2015.

Now the competition chief Margrethe Vestager has ordered the tech company to repay millions.

It’s the latest ruling from Brussels when it comes to the tax arrangements of tech companies. Last year it ordered Ireland to recoup a record €13bn from Apple as a so-called sweetheart deal was deemed to amount to state aid.

Both Apple and Ireland have challenged the ruling, but a legal tussle between the two could result in further action by the commission with the cash yet to be collected more than a year later.

EU member states last month signalled their intention for coordinated action on the taxes paid by tech companies. Led by French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, the plans are supported by eight other states, including Germany and Spain. The proposals are to tax the firms on turnover rather than profit.

The latest action is likely to inflame tensions between Europe and the US. Business groups and politicians across the pond have warned that such actions are detrimental to economic growth.

By Lynsey Barber

“Angry Birds” Finnish company’s shares got off to a flying start

qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 3 Oct 2017) London, UK —

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Rovio (ROVIO.HE), the maker of hit mobile game “Angry Birds,” will look to buy up other players in the gaming industry following its listing on Friday, its main owner Kaj Hed said.

The Finnish company’s shares got off to a flying start on their stock market debut, trading up as much as 7 percent from their initial public offering price (IPO) of 11.50 euros.

Hed, who cut his stake from 69 percent to 37 percent in the IPO, said Rovio now had more muscle to do deals in a gaming sector he believes is ripe for consolidation.

“We have a clear will to be a consolidator, and we are in a very good position to do that,” he told Reuters at Rovio’s headquarters by the Baltic Sea.

“Many good (gaming industry) players face the question of whether they should go public, or whether they should consolidate. Going public is expensive and requires hard work, so finding a partner could be easier.”

Analysts have long urged Rovio to do more to reduce its reliance on the “Angry Birds” franchise.

Hed, the uncle of Rovio’s co-founder Niklas Hed, said he remained strongly committed to the company.

“The reason that I sold shares was to give the company the liquidity, because that is very important. My intention is to remain as a long-term investor in the company.”

Rovio saw rapid growth after the 2009 launch of the original “Angry Birds” game, but it plunged to an operating loss and cut a third of its staff in 2015 due to a pick up in competition and a shift among consumers to freely available games.

But the 2016 release of 3D Hollywood movie “Angry Birds”, together with new games, have revived the brand and helped sales recover.

In the first half of this year, Rovio’s sales almost doubled from a year earlier to 153 million euros, while core profit increased to 42 million euros from 11 million.

Rovio’s market valuation of around 950 million euros ($1.12 billion), looks high based on Rovio’s historical profit, said Atte Riikola, an analyst at research firm Inderes.

“There seems to be initial demand for (the stock). But given that the IPO was multiple times oversubscribed, the share price reaction is not too dramatic,” he added.

“Profit growth is priced in, so they need to keep up the good performance which they had in the first half of the year.”

At 1135 GMT, Rovio shares were trading at 11.77 euros, off a high of 12.34 euros/

By Jussi Rosendahl

Additional reporting by Tuomas Forsell

Monarch Airlines goes into administration launching UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation operation

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Mon 2, Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

The UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation operation has been launched to bring home 110,000 holidaymakers after Monarch Airlines was placed into administration.

A total of 300,000 future bookings were cancelled as result of the firm’s collapse,  the largest to hit a UK airline, and Monarch passengers were told not to go to airports because there would be no more flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it was working with the government to secure a fleet of more than 30 aircraft, flying to more than 30 airports, to bring the stranded tourists back to the UK.

“We know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees,” Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the CAA, said.

“This is the biggest UK airline ever to cease trading, so the Government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the UK at the end of their holiday at no extra cost to them.”

The regulator said all Monarch customers who were overseas and due to return to the UK in the next fortnight would be flown home and they did not need to cut short their holiday.

He urged affected customer to check their dedicated website, monarch.caa.co.uk, for more advice.

“We are putting together, at very short notice and for a period of two weeks, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines to manage this task,” he added.

The Government warned passengers to expect disruption and delay as it works to ensure there are enough flights to return the “huge number” of passengers.

Commenting on the “extraordinary operation”, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad – and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK.

“That is why I have immediately ordered the country’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad.”

The airline’s Air Travel Organiser’s Licence expired at one minute to midnight on 30 September. It was given a 24-hour extension but it has not been renewed.

Roughly 110,000 Monarch customers are currently abroad, with many facing uncertainty about their journey back to the UK. Of these, thousands are thought to be British.

Before the news was announced, scores of worried Monarch customers took to social media in a search for clarity and advice over the situation

One man due to fly with Monarch this week, Paul Heburn, wrote: “What is happening with Monarch airlines this morning. Will the airline survive? I fly Wednesday.”

Another, Joanne Roberts, said: “Monarch, when will you let passengers know if flights are cancelled?”

Another, Lee Hammond, said: “Love Monarch, great airline but would like confirmation that our holiday will go ahead.” Monarch replied: “Hi Lee, any changes to the forward schedule will be communicated to all customers.”

As the extended deadline passed on Sunday night, there had been no update on Monarch’s status. However, the final two outbound flights of the evening were cancelled. Neither the ZB418 from Birmingham to Ibiza nor the ZB298 from Gatwick to Ibiza departed, leaving passengers stuck at the airport.

Those who have bought Monarch flights as part of a package with an ATOL certificate have financial protection. But the majority of passengers, around 95 per cent, have bought flight-only deals, for which consumer protection is much more complex and uncertain.

The airline reported a loss of £291m for the year to October 2016, compared with a profit of £27m for the previous 12 months. Monarch, founded in 1968, is made up of a scheduled airline, tour operator and an engineering division. In total it employs about 2,500 people.

These potentially fatal conditions for the company have come amid “bloodbath” trading for short-haul airlines, the source said, as terrorism attacks and security concerns in traditionally strong sales areas such as Tunisia and Turkey have hit consumer demand.

International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, has expressed an interest in acquiring some of Monarch’s take-off and landing slots, fleet and crew, according to Sky News.

It raises hopes that some jobs could be saved. IAG declined to comment.

Scheme which could have helped stranded Monarch customers was rejected in 2011

In 2011 the aviation industry resisted plans for a scheme to protect those who book their flights directly with an airline.

As things stand the Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL) scheme only provides security for those who bought package holidays.

In the case of Monarch this applies to only five per cent of their customers.

The rest would have had to fend for themselves, but the  Civil Aviation Authority has said those repatriated will not have to foot the bill.

David Cameron’s coalition government wanted to extend the protection to an estimated six million people who made their own travel arrangements online.

It proposed a £2.50 levy on all do-it-yourself internet holiday bookings to fund a scheme to get people home should any of the companies involved in a vacation went bust.

Independently the CAA had called for a £1 levy on all flights to to get people home when an airline collapsed. The move followed a wave of high-profile failures the depths of the recession which left thousands of people stranded abroad when carriers such as Zoom, Maxjet and XL ceased trading.

But leading carriers including British Airways and Ryanair opposed the initiative arguing that its passengers should not have to subsidise those who chose to fly on less well established airlines.

The scheme was never introduced.

By  Katie Morley

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Money

 

We love money! We work hard to get it, spend it fast, always on the chase for more. As the famous lyrics say: money makes the world go round! But for something we use so frequently we know very little about. Let’s see how many of these you already knew!

1. 90% of the US dollar bills contain traces of cocaine!

2. The first Credit Card was created because of the embarrassment of a man who had to pay for dinner but forgot his wallet.

3. US Debt is 10 times larger than the US dollars in circulation.

4. All US$ coins and bills in circulation today are worth US$1.2 trillion.

5. Two thirds of that money is held overseas.

6. Paper money originated in China 1400 years ago.

7. Changing the $1 bill into a $1 coin would save the US 4.4 Billion in the next 30 years.

The hologram invented to fill the romantic void in Japanese lives

 

Meet Hikari, an anime virtual wife, and Eisuke, a virtual boyfriend who plays to a masochist fantasy, these are products of a multi-million dollar industry that’s sprung up in response to Japan’s relationship crisis. In episode three of the Bloomberg video series Love Disrupted, we look at the characters invented to fill the romantic void in Japanese lives.

Reading University introduces the self-serve beer pump technology

In a move that could speed the decline of the humble bar tender, Reading University has introduced a self-serve 16-tap “beer wall” at its onsite student union, allowing students to pull their own pints and buy beverages with a single tap of their debit or credit card.

Screens above each tap will allow customers to choose which brand of draft beer they want, show how much it will cost, and display information about the beer, including the percentage of alcohol by volume.

With students able to pour themselves a beer and pay with their contactless plastic or mobile wallet, the bars will have increased capacity, speedier service and a reduced threat of theft, claims Drink Command, the company behind the self-serve beer technology, which is also being rolled out in other bars across the UK and Ireland, including in Hilton Hotels.

The self-serve beer pump technology, which is integrated with Verifone’s electronic payments system, is not the first to be launched in Britain. In 2012, The Thirsty Bear pub in Southwark, London, introduced pumps for customers to pull their own pint after placing their order from an iPad installed on each table.

Customers of the pub were also able to order food or change the songs on the jukebox via the iPad.

While the technology allows customers to easily and conveniently refill their glasses, potentially leading to a higher consumption of alcohol, Drink Command insists the system “makes it easier for bar staff to monitor users’ beer consumption to ensure compliance with local responsible drinking guidelines”.

The soaring popularity of contactless payment methods is prompting more retailers to look at ways they can introduce technology that enhances the customer experience with quicker service and less interaction with staff.

A new study from Worldpay revealed that two thirds of 21 to 34-year olds would happily make a payment without any human interaction.

Robbie Ward of Drink Command, said: “There is a change of mind-set happening in the beer dispense industry, similar to how self-serve technology has improved the way we buy petrol for our cars, or how supermarkets have improved queuing times with self-scan checkouts.”

Matt Tebbit, head of residential catering and bars at The University of Reading, said: “Our 16-tap self-serve beer wall has allowed us to increase our capacity to serve more customers and hold our existing staff levels by giving patrons the option to order from the bar, or serve themselves at their leisure.”

 

Boxing titan Mayweather’s networth explained

(qlmbusinessnews.com via independent.co.uk – – Sat, 30 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Mayweather has generated around 19.5m in PPV buys and $1.3bn in revenue throughout his career, with the McGregor fight likely to boost his career earnings over the $1bn mark

Floyd Mayweather is one of the biggest pay-per-view attractions of all time and one of a very elite group of athletes to see their career earnings nose above the $1bn mark.

A shrewd businessman and the greatest boxer of his generation — if not all time — Mayweather has been listed as the highest paid athlete in the world four times by the American business magazine Forbes.

Mayweather is so rich that he even changed his boxing identity to reflect his staggering wealth.

The American was known as “Pretty Boy” throughout his entire career, as a result of how little he got hit due to his superior defensive skills. But in 2007 before the biggest fight of his life against Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather unleashed a new name: “Money.”

He is also known as the ‘PPV King’ due to his phenomenal success at the box office. His fight against Canelo Alvarez attracted over 2m buys and $150m (£116m) in revenue — but these numbers were dwarfed by his fight against Manny Pacquiao, with 4.6m buys and $400m (£308m) in revenue.

In total, he has attracted 19.5 buys and around $1.3bn in revenue.

But what is his estimated net worth? Who are his sponsors? And exactly how much money does he stand to make by fighting McGregor?

Here everything you need to know about Mayweather’s extraordinary financial muscle.

What is Mayweather’s estimated net worth?

Floyd Mayweather is one of the very richest athletes in the world, topping the Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists of the 50 highest-paid athletes of 2012 and 2013 respectively, and the Forbes list again in both 2014 and 2015.

Mayweather has generated just under 20m PPV buys and over $1bn in revenue throughout his career, surpassing the likes of former top boxers such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao. His PPV buys and revenue dwarf that of McGregor.

In 2016, the American business magazine Forbes reported that Mayweather banked $32 million (£25m) from his ‘retirement’ fight against Andre Berto fight to bring his career earnings to around $700 million (£540m).

Given that Mayweather made roughly $250 million (£193m) for the Pacquiao fight, it can be safely assumed that his career earnings will surpass $1bn this summer.

According to Forbes: “Another massive purse awits the five-division world champion in August for his boxing match versus UFC star Conor McGregor. If Mayweather can secure a similar payday to his 2015 Manny Pacquiao bout, it will push his career earnings to $1 billion.”

How many other athletes have made over $1bn during their careers?

Not many. The only other athletes to earn such a large amount of money during their sporting careers are basketball player Michael Jordan ($1.5bn) and Tiger Woods ($1.4bn), who both enjoyed a number of lucrative sponsorships, principally with Nike.

There are three others if you adjust for inflation: golfers Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher.

Who sponsors Mayweather?

Perhaps surprisingly, Mayweather doesn’t have that many active sponsorships. In 2015, he told Fortune magazine that this was not because brands were not interested in working with him, but because his baseline for entry is too high for most. How much does he demand? $1m.

This may only partially be the reason. Mayweather also has a chequered past, and has previously been charged with domestic violence and misdemeanor battery, which means that some brands may have been reluctant to work with him.

For the Pacquiao fight, three brands did decide to sponsor him however. Burger King, daily fantasy sports site FanDuel, and Swiss watchmaker Hublot all dished out over $1m.

Why did he split with Top Rank?

In 2007 Mayweather founded his own boxing promotional firm, Mayweather Promotions, after defecting from Bob Arum’s Top Rank.

He broke ties with Top Rank after activating a $750k (£578k) break clause, believing that he could make more money promoting his own fights.

It proved to be a shrewd choice: he earned pay checks ranging between $25m-$40m (£19.3m-£31m) over the next six years, before he broke new records for his fight against Canelo Alvarez, which netted him over $70m (£54m).

What has his richest fight been?

Until now, it has been the contest with Pacquiao. Mayweather is believed to have made $220m (£175m) from the contest, with the fight generating an incredible $600m (£470m) in revenues.

For his last fight, a unanimous points decision win against Andre Berto, he secured far less: $32m (£25m).

And how much does Mayweather stand to earn from this fight?

If the PPV stays roughly in line with the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight, the Mayweather v McGregor fight purse is likely to be worth around $390m (£300m). Total revenues are meanwhile expected to exceed $500m (£390m).

Somewhat unfortunately, the two men signed a confidentiality agreement when they signed their contracts, meaning the exact split will not be revealed.

We know that Mayweather is getting more however, with estimates ranging in the 70-75% region

By Luke Brown