Lloyd’s of London initiate search for staff as new Brussels EU subsidiary takes shape

Cheddarcheez/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cityam.com – – Tue, 24 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

Lloyd’s of London today kicked off a search for new staff in Brussels as it prepares for Britain’s exit from the EU.

The iconic London insurance market rolled out plans last year to established a new European headquarters in Belgium to mitigate the fall-out from Brexit.

Lloyd’s is advertising vacancies for frontline underwriters as well as support staff across compliance, finance and operations.

Vincent Vandendael, Lloyd’s chief commercial officer, said the corporation had been “working hard” since the 2016 Brexit vote.

“[Work will] ensure that whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, our partners across the European Economic Area will continue to have access to our specialist, innovative policies, and benefit from the security of the Lloyd’s market,” he said.

Read more: Lloyd’s of London reports £2bn loss after year of natural catastrophes

Lloyd’s was one of the first City institutions to unveil its plans for Brexit – just a day after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 at the end of March 2017. Having a base in the EU will allow insurers to continue to write business across the union. Around 11 per cent of Lloyd’s policies are for EU clients; last year, the market said half of these would continue to be written from the UK.

While Lloyd’s remains tight-lipped on the precise number of new hires it was looking for, it has previously guided the Brussels office will be “in the tens”. Last June, Lloyd’s cut around 10 per cent of its London workforce amid tough market conditions.

Brussels pipped the likes of Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris in an intense bidding process by some of Europe’s biggest financial centres.

Vandendael said:

Being at the heart of Europe will deliver many different advantages for our customers and provide an opportunity for us to continue to grow our business in the continent.

By Oliver Gill

 

 

Anglo American mining group expect £287m profit hit from Brazilian cracked pipeline

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 24 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

Mining group Anglo American expects its profits for the year to be $300m to $400m (£215m to £287m) lower after being forced to suspend operations at an iron ore mine in Brazil due to a cracked pipe.

Production at Anglo’s Minas Rio mine has been halted for 90 days to allow the company to make a thorough inspection of the oil slurry pipeline that had sprung what it called two “minor” leaks.

Staff have been put on leave and production is now not expected to resume until the end of the year.

Last year Minas Rio produced 16.8m tonnes of iron ore, used to make steel. Its output was already expected to be lower this year because of delays to its expansion plans.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) at Minas Rio were $435m in 2017, only slightly higher than the amount Anglo expects to lose on the unit this year.

Mark Cutifani, chief executive, said Anglo’s priorities were to “ensure the integrity of the pipeline and the protection of the natural environment, while providing as much clarity as we can for our employees, customers and other business stakeholders”.

Anglo’s earnings hit $8.8bn last year as the mining group, which also mines diamonds, copper, coal and platinum, enjoyed a rise in commodity prices.

The mine has been much delayed by permitting problems and spiralling costs. Anglo has taken $11bn of writedowns on the project, on top of the $13bn cost of buying it and building it.

Anglo shares fell 1pc in morning trade to £17.59.

By Jon Yeomans

 

 

 

TSB apologises to customers after online banking ‘data breach’

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 23 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

The bank says it is “working as hard and as fast” as it can to fix “issues” after an upgrade hit mobile and online services.

TSB has apologised after a string of customers complained of problems with their mobile and online accounts, including claims some had “access” to other people’s bank details.

One customer said he could see other people’s accounts totalling more than £20,000, while another reportedly discovered he had been wrongly credited with £13,000 after logging back in.

It came several hours after the bank had warned its account holders that some of its services, including online banking, making payments or transferring money, would not be possible over the weekend because of a system upgrade.

The upgrade window was scheduled between Friday at 4pm and Sunday at 6pm.

However, a message on the TSB website on Monday morning said there were still “intermittent issues” with its services, while a number of customers reported they were still unable to access their money.

One Twitter user, Tracy Hannah, wrote: @TSB as soon as I can get access to my own money I’m closing my accounts down. Not been able to get money since Friday but you can still access payments, tsb is the worst bank I’ve ever dealt with. #tsb.”

Others used more colourful language to describe their frustration.

The bank said it was “working as hard and as fast as we can to get these up and running”.

Among those customers contacting TSB’s social media included several who said they could see other people’s accounts after logging back in.

Craig Malcom tweeted: “@TSB I currently have access to #20k+ of other peoples money.

“I suggest somebody answers the phones as iv been on hold for 45 minuets!

“This is a MASSIVE breach of data protection! If i have access to their account they could have to mine as well!”

Another Twitter user called Bex said: “@TSB so go to my app and have someone else’s accounts there!!!! Serious dpa (Data Protection Act) breach! Want to speak to someone now and a half an hour wait!! What would the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) say about this!!! Might just inform them a bank is giving away other people’s account numbers”.

Sky News was attempting to contact TSB for more information as social media remained flooded with complaints despite the bank suggesting services were returning to normal.

 

 

Capita reports £513.1m annual pre-tax loss

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 23 Apr, 2018) London, Uk – –

Capita has reported a £513.1m annual loss as the outsourcing firm set out plans to revive its indebted business.

Capita’s profit was wiped out by £850.7m of one-off costs, mainly from writing down the value of acquisitions made under its previous management.

The company said it would raise £701m through a rights issue to fund a reorganisation of the business.

Capita operates the London congestion charge and runs an electronic tagging service for the Ministry of Justice,

The loss compares with a £89.8m deficit in 2016, while revenues last year fell by 4% to £4.2bn

However, new chief executive Jonathan Lewis dismissed any comparison to Carillion, the services and outsourcing group that went bust earlier this year.

“I get frustrated with that comparison – we are a completely different business,” Mr Lewis told the Press Association.

He said: “We have £1bn in liquidity, strong cash flow and a new strategy with investor support. We are not in PFI contracts and have nothing like the risk profile.”

Mr Lewis has announced a major overhaul of the company which currently has £1.7bn in debt. The rights issue will reduce borrowings as well as funding investment in the business.

‘Fundamentally strong’
Under its new strategy, Capita plans to raise around £300m disposals this year and is targeting cost savings of £175m by the end of 2020.

Capita’s share price jumped by 12.7% to 180.1p in early trade.

The company collects the licence fee on behalf of the BBC and recently won a five-year extension to provide audience services to the broadcaster.

Commenting on Capita’s future, Mr Lewis said the business was “fundamentally strong”.

“However, the business needs to evolve,” he said.

“We need to simplify Capita by focusing on growth markets and to improve our cost competitiveness. We need to strengthen Capita and plan to invest up to £500m in our infrastructure, technology and people over the next three years.”

 

 

New Orleans all-female motorcycle club empowering women everywhere

 

They’re bold, chic, and they can shred the streets of New Orleans in a pair of stilettos. Meet the Caramel Curves, an all-female motorcycle club focused on empowering and uplifting women. After feeling removed from the culture of all-male bike clubs, co-founders Tru and Coco got together to start their own movement. Now, every time they ride, the Caramel Curves demand respect, standing as a role model for girls everywhere.

 

Enterprising SMEs garnering the power of social media to become local hotspots


Jorge Quinteros/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Sun, 22 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

How small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to become local hotspots.

‘We reach people who don’t know we exist’
Paula Milner, founder, The Crafty Lass

For every workshop that we hold, we set up a Facebook event and post that link to local Northamptonshire Facebook groups.

It means that we can keep track of people interested in our events
(they can click the “interested” button) and reach locals who may not even know that we exist, but are only a few clicks away from purchasing a ticket.

Facebook reviews are also key, because people check these when they visit your profile page, the star rating of which is visible when your page appears in Google search, so a poor score can put someone
off before they have even clicked through.

Encourage customers who have a good experience with you to give
a high-star rating and leave some positive words, which are vital if you want to improve word-of-mouth recommendations.

‘I use hashtags to stand out’
Pragya Agarwal, founder, The Art Tiffin

Across all my craft company’s social media, I use location-specific hashtags, such as #lancashirehour and #liverpoolhour, which are used by locals during specific time periods to find out what’s going on in their area.

I do this on a regular basis and during specific times; for example, #liverpoolhour takes place every Thursday from 8-9pm.

The local hashtags create a real sense of community. This especially works with social enterprises like ours, because people are particularly keen to chat with and retweet businesses that are engaging with the community and have a sense of social responsibility.

I also use location tags in Instagram’s live “Stories” feature,
which is good for attracting followers and messages. I recently posted an Easter-themed short video of my kids painting eggs, which was viewed more than 500 times – and thanks to the local hashtag, half the views were from Formby, Merseyside.

I have also made quite a few sales to locals who have seen my Instagram or Twitter posts.

I once posted images of a red squirrel linocut that I made on Twitter, so tagged the local Formby National Trust Red Squirrel reserve and the location hashtag. It resulted in quite a few sales of the linocut print.

As a small firm operating primarily online, it’s difficult to be found in Google keyword searches, but with customers more conscious about supporting their local businesses, social media offers an opportunity to be seen in a crowded marketplace.

It’s also good for offering attractive discounts such as free delivery, because local people will likely be able to pick the goods up in person.

‘It’s powerful marketing on a budget’
Russell Jenkins, managing director, Thomson’s Coffee Roasters

We make sure that our social media posts are tailored to our local Glasgow customers. We will also use hashtags such as #glasgowcentral and #glasgowcafe to reach local people who want to find out what’s going on in their area.

Don’t forget to use your local knowledge and include directions for those who don’t know how to find you.

Social media also means that we can engage directly with the locals.
For example, a post about our policy of welcoming dogs, which featured pictures of canines sitting in the café, was our most successful to date; we got 50 shares and 568 likes within 24 hours. People commented about how excited they were to come to visit with their pups.

Across the three main social media websites, we have built up a community of more than 5,500 followers, which is increasing daily.

If you think of social media as a digital version of word of mouth – and local social media followers as a community group who make recommendations to each other about where to go – then it’s a really powerful tool, especially on a
budget.

We make sure to target messages to the most relevant consumers by location, demographic and interest – and we respond to reviews
and feedback, whether they’re positive or negative. It shows customers that we’re actually listening.

‘We tap into people’s interest in buying local’
Charlotte Mitchell, co-founder, Charlotte’s Butchery

People are more interested in buying local meat and social media enables us to tap into that.

We use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to encourage people to
place orders for big events and we share little bits of information about the meat to garner interest. We recently started “did you know” Mondays, where we write about different cuts and share recipe ideas.

It shows that we provide a service, rather than just sell meat.

Customers have also become accustomed to using the messenger service on Facebook and Instagram. When they watch cooking shows that feature unusual cuts of meat that the supermarkets don’t
provide, such as lamb neck fillet or marrow, they send us messages straight away to order the ingredients.

It means that we can do business 24/7, even when the physical shop is shut.

By The Telegraph Small Business Connect community

 

 

Billionaire: Richard Branson work life balance in a day on Necker Island

 

People often ask how I spend my time on Necker Island – here’s a film that gives you a glimpse into a day on Necker. From playing tennis to working from home, seeing the lemurs to kitesurfing , join us for a taste of island life.

I’ve never had a desk in an office since I was a teenager. I prefer to work in a hammock, on a sofa or even in a bath. Now that’s flexible working!

It’s critical to get the balance between work and play right. Find time for yourself; work hard but also play hard. I think people work more effectively when they are given the freedom to make their own decisions — that is definitely something we practice on Necker.

I’ve embraced the social media revolution, and do a lot of posting from Necker Island (including this video!) You can be instantly connected to fascinating people everywhere — even if you’re in a remote corner of the world.

From The Elders to The Carbon War Room, Virgin Galactic to The B Team, Necker is a great place to think and a great place to conceive ideas. Take a look at where we get our inspiration. Where do you find yours?

 

The Øresund A Unique Modern Roadway Connecting Denmark And Sweden

 

This unique roadway connects the Danish capital of Copenhagen to the Swedish city of Malmö. The Øresund, designed by the Danish architect George K.S. Rotne, was opened on July 1, 2000. The bridge stretches about 8km before transitioning through an artificial island into a 4km tunnel under the Flint Channel.

 

 

Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley facing financial penalty over whistleblower fiasco

Barclays bank/Wikimedia

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 20 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

City watchdogs say he broke rules of conduct in his attempts to identify 2016 whistleblower

Barclays’ chief executive, Jes Staley, is facing a financial penalty for an alleged breach of conduct after City watchdogs completed an investigation into the banking boss’s attempts to identify a whistleblower in 2016.

Barclays said the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) are alleging that Staley’s actions were a breach of an individual conduct rule that relates to a “requirement to act with due skill, care and diligence”. The size of the penalty has not been disclosed.

The bank stressed, however, that regulators are not alleging that he acted with a lack of integrity or that he lacks fitness and propriety to continue in his role as chief executive.

Barclays said its board “continues to have unanimous confidence in Mr Staley” and is still recommending that shareholders back his re-election at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 1 May.

Staley now has 28 days to respond to warning notices issued by the two regulators.

Barclays Bank, which was also the subject of an inquiry following Staley’s attempts to identify a whistleblower, is not facing any enforcement action by the FCA or PRA.

“However, they have proposed that each of Barclays Bank PLC and Barclays Bank UK PLC will be subject to requirements to report to the FCA and PRA on certain aspects of their whistleblowing programmes,” the lender said.

“Barclays continues to provide information to, and cooperate with, authorities in the US with respect to this matter,” it added.

It is extremely rare for financial regulators to investigate and censure chief executives in the City.

This week, before the outcome of the regulators’ investigations became public, an influential advisory group – Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) – called for a vote in favour of Staley at next month’s AGM “even though it is not without concern for shareholders”.

Its support was based on views that the company and chief executive were cooperating with authorities and that the bank had strengthened its whistleblowing programme.

Commenting on the regulators’ notices on Friday, Barclays highlighted that in May 2017, “the Barclays board voluntarily commissioned independent reviews of Barclays’ whistleblowing policies, processes and controls, in line with which certain enhancements have subsequently been made”.

Staley twice attempted to use Barclays’ internal security team to track down the author of two anonymous letters sent to the board and a senior executive at the bank in June 2016.

Barclays announced to the stock market in April last year that Staley and the bank were under investigation by the FCA and the PRA for the affair. New York’s Department of Financial Services was also looking into Staley’s behaviour.

In an internal email to Barclays staff, Staley tried to justify attempting to find the author of the letters, accusing the whistleblower of harassment and trying to “maliciously smear” Tim Main, who is chair of Barclays’ financial institutions group in New York. Main had previously worked with Staley at the US investment bank JP Morgan.

Staley wrote: “The allegations related to personal issues from many years ago, and the intent of the correspondents in airing all of this was, in my view, to maliciously smear this person.

“In my desire to protect our colleague, however, I got too personally involved in this matter … This was a mistake on my part and I apologise for it.”

 

 

 

Moya Greene to step down as boss of Royal Mail

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Fri 20 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

Greene led the company through its controversial £3.3.bn privatisation.

Royal Mail’s chief executive Moya Greene is to step down after more than eight years in charge with almost £1m in pay and bonus.

Rico Back, the head of Royal Mail’s parcels delivery arm GLS, will take over as the new chief executive, as was reported by Sky News last week.

Ms Greene, who had run the Canadian postal service for several years, steered the former state monology through its controversial £3.3bn privatization.

“When Moya joined in the summer of 2010, the Company was balance sheet insolvent,” Peter Long, chairman of Royal Mail, said.

“Since then, Royal Mail has been transformed, including our privatisation in 2013 and two significant, ground-breaking agreements with the CWU (Communication Workers Union).

“Alongside the strong financial position Moya has secured for the Company, we have invested over £1.5bn in our UK operation in recent years. We are one of the most favourably viewed brands in the UK”.

Ms Greene will receive a cash payment equivalent to 12 months’ base salary, or £547,000, and a cash bonus of £367,000 when she leaves in September, Royal Mail said.

Royal Mail is legally required to make this payment to Ms Greene as part of her employment contract, which was approved by Government in 2010 when the company was in state ownership.

The company floated on the London Stock Exchange at a price of 330p. Shares are currently worth 563p, valuing Royal Mail at almost £5.7bn.

Ms Greene, who is a non-executive director of easyJet and trustee of Tate, will take on the role of non-executive director of miner Rio Tinto in the second half of 2008.

When Ms Greene steps down the number of female CEOs of FTSE 100 company will fall to five.

The appointment of German national Mr Back underlines the importance of the parcel business to Royal Mail’s future growth. Mr Back is the founder of German Parcel, which was bought by the Royal Mail in 1999.

 

 

 

Debenhams pre-tax profits dive 84% after hit by Beast from the East

Debenhams /Wikimedia Commons

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thur, 19 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

Debenhams has reported an 84.6pc drop in pre-tax profits to £13.5m for the 26 weeks to March 3.

It comes as the retailer saw like-for-like sales drop 2.2pc “against a challenging UK market background”.

The company added that the final trading week of the period was disrupted by extreme weather conditions, forcing it to temporarily close nearly 100 stores.

The retailer also blamed a “disappointing Christmas season” for increasing competitor discounting and ultimately hitting underlying earnings for the UK, which fell 39.3pc over the half year.

Debenhams is now forecasting that its pre-tax profits for full year 2018 will be at the lower end of the current range of forecasts for between £50m to £61m.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher said: “It has not been an easy first half and the extreme weather in the final week of the half had a material impact on our results.

“But I am hugely encouraged by the progress we are making to transform Debenhams for our customers.

He added: “We are holding share in a difficult fashion market, and in other categories such as furniture, exciting new partnerships have the potential to transform our offer.

“We approach the remainder of the year mindful of the very challenging market conditions, but with confidence that we have a strong team and the right plan to navigate them and return Debenhams to profitable growth.”

Debenhams has also announced that its chief financial officer Matt Smith is leaving to take up a post as finance director at Selfridges. A search for his replacement is currently under way.

By Press Association

 

 

Plastic straws and cotton bud ban proposed for England next year

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Thur, 19 Apr, 2018) London, Uk – –

Plastic straws and cotton buds could be banned in England as part of the government’s bid to cut plastic waste.

Announcing a consultation on a possible ban ministers said 8.5bn plastic straws were thrown away in the UK every year.

The prime minister said plastic waste was “one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world”.

And Theresa May will urge leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which began earlier, to follow the UK’s lead in tackling the problem.

The Queen has formally opened the summit at an event at Buckingham Palace attended by prime ministers and presidents from the 53 states that make up the organisation.

Mrs May claimed the UK was a “world leader” on tackling plastic waste, highlighting the charges that have been introduced for plastic bags, the ban on microbeads and the announcement in March of a consultation on introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in England.

“Alongside our domestic action, this week we are rallying Commonwealth countries to join us in the fight against marine plastics,” she said.

“The Commonwealth is a unique organisation, with a huge diversity of wildlife, environments and coastlines.

“Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.”

The environment secretary Michael Gove describes plastic waste as a worldwide emergency, which naturally raises questions about the speed of the government’s response.

The headlines talk of a ban on plastic straws – but the announcement is about a consultation to do that. A similar exercise is under way about a deposit scheme for plastic drinks bottles, and MPs were not impressed on Wednesday when they learned that the system itself will not come into effect until 2020.

When ministers talk of the UK leading the world on this hot topic it’s worth casting an eye over the actions of other countries. Dozens have actually banned plastic bags – Britain has a system of retailers having to charge for them.

And since last year Kenya has adopted the most draconian measures of all: there are fines if you use a plastic bag and if business people are caught making or importing them, they actually face up to four years in jail.

Amid many claims about fighting a war on plastic, the Kenyans are leading the charge.

It comes as 60 UK music festivals, including Bestival in Dorset and Boomtown in Hampshire, have said they will ban plastic straws at their events this summer.

Bestival’s co-founder Rob Da Bank said they were “leading the global charge against unnecessary plastic”, as the group of festivals also pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2021.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who trailed the idea of banning plastic straws in February, will launch the consultation later this year.

“We’re going to consult on what the best way is in order to get rid of straws, get rid of stirrers and also get rid of plastic stemmed cotton buds that we use so many of,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“It’s a worldwide emergency – that’s why we’re choosing to act. It’s also why we’re working with other Commonwealth countries.”

He said a consultation was necessary, particularly in relation to straws, because there were some disabled people who need to use plastic straws.

Mr Gove said a number of retailers, bars and restaurants were already cutting plastic use, with the plastic bag ban set to be extended from major retailers to all retailers.

Scotland’s Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham announced earlier this year a plan to ban plastic straws, following a similar move aimed at banning the sale and manufacture of plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth have welcomed the announcement as a “step forward” but both also warned more action would be needed.

Greenpeace’s Louise Edge said other non-recyclable “problem plastics” should also be banned at the earliest opportunity and retailers must take responsibility to phase out single-use plastics in their own products.

Friends of the Earth’s Julian Kirby said the “only long-term solution is a complete phase-out of all but the most essential plastics”.

The news was welcomed by the Green Party, but co-leader Jonathan Bartley said the government “must see these plans through to action, and bring forward the utterly un-ambitious target of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042”.

Earlier this week, Mrs May announced the new Clean Oceans Alliance – an agreement between the UK, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana, which pledged to ban microbeads cosmetics and cut plastic bag use by 2021.

To fund it, she also assigned £61.4m for global research and to improve waste management in developing countries.

The Queen will be joined by other members of the Royal family at the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on Thursday morning.

BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said it would be “emotional” for some, because it could be the last CHOGM the Queen opens – she has stopped travelling long distances and the event is unlikely to return to London for some time.

“The Commonwealth has been nurtured by the Queen over the decades and it holds a special place in her affections,” he said.

“That affection is reflected among the heads of government, who often send a more junior representative to the meeting – this time around it is prime ministers and presidents.”

A number of events have already taken place ahead of the first official day of the CHOGM, including a Commonwealth Youth Forum, attended by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Mrs May also met Caribbean leaders on Tuesday to apologise for the fiasco around threats of deportation to the Windrush generation, who legally settled in the UK 70 years ago.

 

 

De La Rue to withdraw challenge over British passport bid

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Wed, 18 Apr 2018) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – De La Rue (DLAR.L) abandoned its challenge to Britain’s decision to award the contract for new blue post-Brexit passports to a foreign firm and issued a profit warning on Wednesday.

Its shares fell 9 percent to a year low of 446 pence in early trading and were down 4 percent at 0851 GMT after De La Rue said it would write-off about 4 million pounds of costs associated with the failed bid.

Together with delays in some contracts in the last week of its financial year, this would result in it missing profit expectations, De La Rue said in a statement.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the decision to change British passports from the burgundy shade used by most European Union countries to the traditional dark blue was an expression of British independence and sovereignty.

But reports that Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto (GTO.AS) had won the tender to produce the new passport was criticised by some politicians and newspapers as unpatriotic, and De La Rue had said it would challenge the decision.

De La Rue, which prints 7 billion banknotes and 15 million passports a year, said that having considered all options it would not appeal the decision, which the British government said followed a “rigorous, fair and open competition”.

SURPRISED AND DISAPPOINTED
The existing contract to make British passports is worth 400 million pounds and the new contract starts in October 2019, after Britain leaves the EU in March that year.

De La Rue’s Chief Executive Martin Sutherland told BBC radio that he remained “surprised and disappointed”, but he had taken a pragmatic business decision not to appeal.

Underlying operating profit for the year to end-March would be in the low to mid 60s million pound range, it said.

Analysts at Investec, who were predicting 71 million pounds, said it was a “disappointing outcome”.

Revenue for the year had increased by about 6 percent, with growth across all product lines, it said, although it added that it was “cautious” about its current financial year.

It said it would assist with the transition to the new supplier, and was expecting no impact on its performance in the next 18 months.

Trade union Unite said news that De La Rue was abandoning its appeal would come as a bitter blow to workers in Gateshead, north east England, who now faced an uncertain future.

“Workers will feel let down that the company is not prepared to fight the government’s decision to ship the production of the new blue passport overseas,” Unite national officer Louisa Bull said.

By Paul Sandle

 

 

Marks & Spencer Warrington distribution centre to close putting 450 jobs at risk

Wikimedia

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 18 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

Marks & Spencer is to close its distribution centre near Warrington, putting 450 jobs at risk.

The decision brings the total number of job losses at M&S this year to more than 1,300.

In January, M&S said it was closing 14 stores, affecting nearly 500 jobs. The retailer also ditched its Neasden distribution site in London, putting a further 380 jobs at risk.

M&S said on Tuesday that it will close its Hardwick distribution centre, which is operated by XPO Logistics and DHL, in September. The staff members affected have entered a consultation period.

The Hardwick site has become surplus to requirements, in part due to M&S’s decision to automate operations at its factory in Bradford, which can handle more capacity.

Gordon Mowat, logistics director at M&S, said: “Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain.

“However, it was not a decision we took lightly and it is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and dedication provided by the teams on site.”

M&S is seeking to save costs as part of a five-year turnaround plan spearheaded by chief executive Steve Rowe and chairman Archie Norman, who joined the retailer in September last year.

Several large retailers have been shedding staff as they try to save costs in an increasingly tough trading environment, with both Sainsbury’s and Tesco axing thousands of middle-managers earlier this year.

 

 

UK wage growth outpaces inflation for the first time in a Year

Tim Tabor/flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 17 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

The year-long squeeze on wages is nearing an end, official figures for the three months to February suggest.

Using the consumer prices index (CPI). average wages went up by 2.8%, still below the 2.9% inflation rate.

But the Office for National Statistics said when wages are compared with their new measure of inflation, including housing costs (CPIH), average weekly earnings rose by 0.2% year-on-year.

Inflation started to overtake wages in February last year, squeezing incomes.

Meanwhile, unemployment in the period fell by 16,000 to 1.42 million – the rate of 4.2% is the lowest since the three months to May 1975.

The Bank of England has said it expects the fall in unemployment to start pushing up pay more quickly, which is the main reason why it has said it is likely to raise interest rates more quickly than it previously thought.

The number of people in work has reached a record high of 32.2 million.

 

 

China’s economy beats expected growth in the first quarter

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 17 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

China’s economy grew more than expected in the first quarter as it withstood headwinds from Beijing’s fight against financial risk and pollution, and trade tensions with the United States.

While acknowledging the potential negative impact of a US trade war officials on Tuesday warned the country faced greater risk at home, citing the need for reforms.

The world’s number two economy expanded 6.8pc in January-March, better than the 6.7pc tipped in an AFP survey of economists and the same as the previous three months.

It is also much better than the annual rate of around 6.5pc targeted by the government.

hina’s economy grew more than expected in the first quarter as it withstood headwinds from Beijing’s fight against financial risk and pollution, and trade tensions with the United States.

While acknowledging the potential negative impact of a US trade war officials on Tuesday warned the country faced greater risk at home, citing the need for reforms.

The world’s number two economy expanded 6.8pc in January-March, better than the 6.7pc tipped in an AFP survey of economists and the same as the previous three months.

It is also much better than the annual rate of around 6.5pc targeted by the government.

“The national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development,” said Xing Zhihong, a spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau. “The economic performance continued to improve and the economy was off to a good start.”

Fears of a China-US trade war have been simmering in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging threats of tit-for-tat levies on hundred of billions of dollars worth of goods.

US President Donald Trump has issued the warnings as part of his “America First” protectionist agenda that has focused on what he calls unfair practices by China that are killing American jobs.

Last week his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping sounded a conciliatory note, promising to reduce tariffs on cars and open up the economy further.

For the past decade, about 20pc of China’s exports have been ferried to the US, according to Moody’s Investors Services, which forecasts a material macroeconomic impact if Trump makes good on his threats with the consequences vibrating beyond China’s end exporters and deep into the economy.

Daunting tasks

While a tariffs spat with President Trump has yet to make a significant impact, Commerzbank economist Hao Zhou warned “the overall growth is still under pressure”.

“The trade tensions are likely to persist over the foreseeable future, clouding the trade and growth outlook.”

Mr Xing at the statistics bureau acknowledged the cloud of “international economic uncertainties” but said “China-US trade frictions do not pose a problem for China’s economy”.

Instead, he pointed to domestic risks to growth.

“The problems of unbalanced and inadequate development in China are acute and the tasks for reform and development are daunting,” he said.

After years of breakneck growth driven by exports and debt-fuelled investment, authorities are increasingly worried about a possible credit crisis and are stepping up their battle against financial risk.

And the forecast-beating growth will give policymakers room to push through measures to battle those hazards and also address pollution.

Last week, the central bank released data showing total financing grew at 10.5pc in March, the slowest pace on record, according to China-focused economist Andrew Polk.

“We think a further (economic) slowdown is on the cards before the end of the year,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics, pointing to the drags “from tighter fiscal policy and slower credit creation” that will weigh on activity.

But China is counting on its 1.4 billion consumers to pick up the slack.

Retail sales grew 9.8pc in the first quarter on-year, beating forecasts of 9.7pc in a Bloomberg News survey.

Output at China’s factories and workshops expanded 6.8pc for the first quarter, matching the expansion seen during the same period last year, but below the 6.9pc forecast by Bloomberg News. Industrial production grew 6pc in March.

By Agence France-Presse

 

 

Shares in advertising giant WPP fall as Sir Martin Sorrell announce decision to leave


(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 16 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

The chief executive of the world’s biggest advertising company is leaving the company he built up over three decades.

Shares in advertising giant WPP have fallen after chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell resigned following allegations of personal misconduct.

The stock was as much as 5% lower in early trading on Monday after the businessman’s decision was announced over the weekend, confirming a decision first revealed by Sky News.

Sir Martin, who has built up the company over 32 years, resigned over the weekend following claims related to the alleged misuse of company assets.

The 73-year-old will be treated as having retired from the company, meaning he will be entitled to a maximum 1.65 million shares under long-term award plans dependent on WPP’s performance.

At the share price at the start of trading on Monday, they were worth just under £20m.

Sir Martin already owns shares in WPP worth more than £200m‎, while his annual remuneration packages – he earned £70m two years ago – have made him a target for critics of lavish boardroom pay.

Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said the chief executive was the “glue that bound much of WPP together”, meaning the company may now look to sell its market research and PR divisions.

Roddy Davidson, analyst at Shore Capital, said: “This is a disappointing end to Sir Martin’s illustrious career at WPP which saw him build the world’s largest marketing services group and deliver substantial value to shareholders over three decades.

“It also highlights the apparent lack of detailed succession planning that has troubled us and many other observers for some time.”

In a statement released on Saturday, Sir Martin told staff he was stepping aside following an internal investigation by the company.

“As I look ahead, I see that the current disruption we are experiencing is simply putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business,” he said.

“That is why I have decided that in your interest, in the interest of our clients, in the interest of all share owners, both big and small, and in the interest of all our other stakeholders, it is best for me to step aside.

“As a founder, I can say that WPP is not just a matter of life or death, it was, is and will be more important than that. Good fortune and Godspeed to all of you … now Back to the Future.”

In a statement, WPP said: “The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded. The allegation did not involve amounts that are material.”

Sir Martin, who acquired the small Kent-based firm in 1985 and turned it into the world’s largest marketing services group, will be treated as having retired, the company confirmed.

Chairman Roberto Quarta will become executive chairman until a new chief executive has been appointed.

Sir Martin denied any wrongdoing after the allegations surfaced earlier this month, but said he understood the company had to investigate it.

He previously worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, and was knighted in the Queen’s New Year honours list in 2000.

Sir Martin has established himself as one of relatively few British business leaders who are recognised around the world.

He has cultivated a global reputation as a commentator on economic and political matters, forging relationships with government ministers, financiers and corporate bosses around the world.

However, his departure will leave the company he built virtually from ‎scratch facing profound questions about its future direction.

The marketing services industries are being buffeted by accelerating trends such as zero-based budgeting, which has led to many consumer-facing companies abandoning increases in marketing spending.

WPP has seen its ‎shares fall by nearly a third during the last 12 months, although it still has a market capitalisation of more than £15bn.

 

 

JD Wetherspoon drops social media accounts

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Mon, 16 Apr 2018) London, UK —

British pubs group JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) closed all its social media accounts on Monday, saying it was taking a stand against an industry accused of mis-using personal data and allowing bullying to run rife.

Despite a global furore over the harvesting of personal information from Facebook (FB.O) accounts, few companies have cut themselves off from an industry that many view as vital to reaching customers.

Wetherspoon, whose chairman and founder Tim Martin is also a vocal champion of Britain leaving the European Union, said it was closing Twitter (TWTR.N), Facebook and Instagram accounts for its head office and almost 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion,” Martin said in a statement .

“I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers,” he added.

Social media platforms have come under mounting criticism following news that millions of users’ personal information was gathered from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign among its clients.

The industry has also come under fire for not doing enough to curb hate speech or take down malicious content.

Last year, Wetherspoon was forced to issue a denial after a spoof Twitter account falsely claimed the company was not allowing staff to wear poppies at work to commemorate fallen service men and women.

By Rahul B

 

 

Huntsman: The Art of Commissioning a Bespoke Suit

 

“Commissioning a bespoke suit is an act of faith,” says Huntsman chairman Pierre Lagrange. Get to the heart of the creative process with a look at the many stages that go into making garments that will last for decades – an extraordinary process that, according to Lagrange, is not dissimilar to the act of commissioning a work of art.