(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 21 May 2018) London, Uk – –
The no frills carrier says it is more cautious about its current financial year as a surge in costs could push profits lower.
Ryanair has reported a 10% rise in annual profits despite the impact of its costly pilot rota failure last autumn that hit the travel plans of 700,000 customers.
The no frills carrier said profits after tax came in at €1.45bn (£1.27bn) in the 12 months to 31 March aided, it said, by a 9% rise in passenger numbers to 130.3 million and its planes being 95% full on average.
However, its results statement showed the airline had become more cautious on the current financial year, with Ryanair cutting its profit guidance to between €1.25bn and €1.35bn as it prepared to book a surge in costs.
It warned they included a potential €400m rise in fuel bills as oil prices continue to climb despite the cost being 90% hedged.
Ryanair also pointed to rising staffing costs.
It has been forced to offer revised terms since its decision to cancel thousands of flights over the last winter schedule – blamed on a blunder over pilot rotas – that brought to the surface simmering tensions over pay.
Ryanair revealed the disruption alone had cost it €25m in compensation and another €25m in flight vouchers for those affected.
Ryanair has since started work on union recognition for the first time in its history – agreeing deals with pilots’ unions in the UK and Italy – and has agreed new five-year pay deals with pilots and cabin crew.
It said of the current financial year: “We expect staff costs to rise by almost €200m, half of which is higher pay for our front line people and half is additional headcount for growth.”
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said of the pressures ahead: “Our outlook for FY19 (full-year 2019) is on the pessimistic side of cautious.
“We expect to grow traffic by 7% to 139 million, at flat load factors of 95%.
“Unit costs this year will rise 9% due to higher staff and oil prices which will, when adjusted for volume growth, add more than €400m to our fuel bill.
“Ex-fuel unit cost will rise by up to 6% as we annualise pilot and cabin crew pay increases, and invest in our business and our systems to facilitate a six year growth plan to 600 aircraft and 200m guests per annum.”
He added: “Forward bookings are strong but pricing remains soft. Since only half of Easter fell in April, we expect a 5% fare decline in Q1 (quarter one) but a 4% rise in Q2 fares.
“While still too early to accurately forecast close-in summer bookings or H2 fares, we are cautiously guiding broadly flat average fares for FY19.”
Mr O’Leary said he expected revenue from passenger surcharges to continue growing but not by enough to offset higher costs.
Ahead of the market open Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com, said of thge results: ” Despite the impact of rostering-related cancellations and the grounding of aircraft, revenues rose 7% to more than €7bn on 9% higher traffic.
“Fares fell by 3% but costs were 1% and net margins remained steady at 20%.
“Great results but a very cautious outlook could weigh on the stock this morning.
“Ryanair has a habit of setting the bar rather low and then far exceeding it, so we must take this ‘pessimistic side of cautious’ outlook with a grain of salt.”
Shares fell on opening but soon recovered – up 1% in morning trade
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 21 May 2018) London, Uk – –
More consumers will use apps on their smartphone than a computer to do their banking by as early as next year, according to forecasts.
Last year, 22 million people managed their current account on their phone, industry analyst CACI said.
It has predicted that 35 million people – or 72% of the UK adult population – will bank via a phone app by 2023.
By then, customers would typically visit a branch only twice a year, it said.
CACI added that rural areas and smaller coastal towns would see the biggest increase in mobile users between now and 2023, owing in part to frustration over broadband access pushing customers towards mobile networks.
Who do you trust after cash?
Mobile banking is saving us ‘billions’ in charges
“With so much more functionality, mobile is rapidly becoming the digital channel of choice, and replacing traditional online banking for many customers,” said report author Jamie Morawiec.
It would also mean banks might again review the location and number of branches.
Major UK banks have been closing hundreds of branches in recent years, with more plans announced recently.
Earlier this month, Royal Bank of Scotland announced it was to close 162 branches across England and Wales. Some 109 branches will close in late July and August 2018, while a further 53 branches will close in November 2018.
These branch closures follow existing plans to close 52 bank branches in Scotland that serve rural communities, and 197 NatWest branches.
Lloyds also announced recently that it was planning to close 49 branches.
With a few tricks, these restaurants still manage to turn a profit — despite offering endless food. All you can eat buffets, are often the ones that wins at the end and makes you feel defeated and bloated when leaving the restaurant.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sun, 20 May, 2018) London, Uk – –
From choosing the cake to the flowers and even the chair-covers, anyone who’s ever planned a wedding knows it can be eye-wateringly expensive.
But when it comes to royal weddings – with all the VIPs, security and extra extravagance – the bill runs into millions.
So what do we know about the expected cost of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and how much will the taxpayer be paying towards it?
The wedding will be held in Windsor. And crowds in excess of 100,000 people are expected to descend on the town.
Invitations have been sent to 600 guests, with a further 200 invited to the couple’s evening reception
On top of that, 1,200 members of the public will attend the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Managing these sorts of numbers requires substantial planning.
And security will almost certainly be the biggest single cost.
The Home Office wouldn’t comment when Reality Check contacted it, saying revealing policing costs could compromise “national security”.
Likewise, when we rang Thames Valley Police, it said: “We aren’t going to give you any data I’m afraid – even though we know you love numbers.”
However, we do know £6.35m was spent by the Metropolitan Police (ie the taxpayer) on security for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.
That’s based on a Freedom of Information request released to the Press Association.
But it’s difficult to draw a direct comparison with Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding – the location and guest numbers are different.
Kensington Palace hasn’t released any details of what it plans to spend on the wedding.
That’s not really a surprise given that the official cost of Prince William and Catherine’s wedding has never been revealed.
That leaves us with unofficial estimates and as such they need to be treated with some caution.
Bridebook.co.uk, a wedding planning service, says the total cost of the wedding could be £32m – including the cost of security.
It put the cost of the cake at £50,000, the florist at £110,000, the catering at £286,000, and so on and so on.
Reality Check contacted the company’s owner, Hamish Shephard, to ask about the methodology used to arrive at the estimate.
He said the £32m figure had been based on the assumption that the Royal Family had paid for everything at market rate.
But in the absence of any official data, this is still guesswork – however well informed.
For example, we don’t know if suppliers would offer a substantial discount for the privilege of providing their services for a royal wedding.
The cost of security for the wedding will be met by the taxpayer.
Initially, Thames Valley Police will have to absorb the cost itself.
But the force will be eligible to apply for special grant funding from the Home Office after the event in order to claim back some of the costs.
Special grant funding is a separate pool of money forces can apply for if they have to police events outside their usual remit.
As for the rest of the total, the Royal Family has said it will be paying for the private elements of the wedding.
Every year the Royal Family gets a chunk of money from the annual Sovereign Grant, paid directly by the Treasury.
The grant is calculated on a percentage of the profits from the Crown Estate portfolio, which includes much of London’s West End.
This year it’s worth £82m.
Some members of the Royal Family benefit from additional income.
For example, Prince Charles gets money from the Duchy of Cornwall estate, a portfolio of land, property and financial investments.
But it’s not clear which “pots” the palace will choose to fund the wedding from.
Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, and claims the overall cost of the monarchy is far higher than £82m, has submitted a petition against taxpayers’ money being spent on the wedding.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Sat, 19 May 2018) London, Uk – –
With LEDs widely regarded as the modern lighting solution of choice, one family-run company is looking to enlighten the masses
How is the Internet of Things changing the way we shop? We might expect inventory or the supply chain to be affected by changes in technology, but there is one aspect of the shopscape that is hiding in plain sight: lighting.
Modern lighting systems have undergone a transformation. Incandescent bulbs are hot, wasteful, don’t last long and many countries have restricted their sale. Fluorescent lighting is cheaper but harsh, difficult to control and less attractive. Both types of lighting have given way to LEDs, which offer more flexible lighting solutions, but not all retailers have caught up yet.
Shoplight, founded in 2014 by Mark and Melanie Shortland, puts the power of LEDs into the hands of stores. “Shops have always been about creating an experience for the customer,” says Ms Shortland, “and with the threat from online shopping, customer experience is only becoming more important.”
Thinking about the customer experience is what kickstarted the business in the first place, she notes: “Mark felt after 20 years of working with large manufacturers in the lighting business that there was a gap in the market. As the offer was getting more high-tech, old fashioned customer service was missing and that’s where we stepped in with Shoplight.”
Mr Shortland decided to differentiate the business by demonstrating to clients that the business understood the fast-paced nature of store opening programmes and the dynamic requirements of the retail sector that often drive down costs and force more nuanced competition through product and service.
“Early on, we secured an order from Skechers,” he says. “Although it was a small order it led to us supplying Skechers with their lighting solutions across the UK, Europe and in Africa and certainly allowed us to gain confidence and momentum with other clients.”
Today, their client list includes Moss Bros, Selfridges, T2, Waterstones, Jigsaw and Lush. Mr Shortland says: “Some of these clients have moved from long-established relationships with our larger competitors, which really reinforces our belief that great service matters now more than ever and that we are definitely doing many things right.”
Looking ahead, he predicts that flexible lighting will become more responsive to customers, with IoT-enabled luminaires allowing shopping environments to adapt to new moods and settings at the flick of a switch – or increasingly a tablet. “This will help retailers put the customer at the centre of retail experiences, encouraging people to visit, stay and buy,” he says, “and Shoplight are playing a leading part in this evolution.”
(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri ,18 May 2018) London, UK — –
LONDON (Reuters) – Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) has sold its Irish residential mortgage portfolio to Barclays (BARC.L) for around 4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) in cash, as part of a plan to focus on its core British market.
The deal was the last action Lloyds needed to take to complete its exit from the Irish market, following its closure of its retail banking operation there in 2010.
Lloyds is left only with around 4 billion pounds worth of additional Irish mortgages that it will allow to expire over time.
Lloyds will now be able to focus on tackling an increasing threat to its dominant position in the British markets from new entrants eager to cut prices to win business.
Of the assets sold on Friday, 300 million pounds worth are impaired — meaning borrowers are struggling to pay them. They generated a pretax loss of around 40 million pounds last year, Lloyds said in a statement.
A year to the day after its return to private ownership following the British government’s last sale of its stake in Lloyds, Britain’s biggest lender faces a battle to maintain its grip on the mortgage market.
Lloyds shares have fallen 7.6 percent in its first year free from government ownership after a bailout. That makes them the worst-performing stock among Britain’s four biggest banks with rivals RBS and HSBC climbing an average of 10 percent in the same period.
Investors fear that Lloyds as the biggest mortgage lender, with a market share of 20 percent, has most to fear from a low interest rate environment that makes finding profitable lending opportunities for banks difficult.
“We are concerned about the competition from the mortgage market from new entrants. We think Lloyds has the most to lose; it has the biggest share of the market,” said a U.S.-based hedge fund manager with about $1.2 billion in assets.
The fund manager is shorting Lloyds shares, meaning he will profit if the stock declines.
The threat to Lloyds’ position comes not just from so-called challenger mid-sized banks like Virgin Money (VM.L), CYBG (CYBGC.L) and Metro Bank (MTRO.L), but also from HSBC (HSBA.L) which has to grow its market share to meet profit goals in its newly separated UK banking unit.
The rules designed after the financial crisis to partition British banks’ core domestic deposit and savings franchises from their riskier and more internationally-focused investment banking units, have effectively created ‘new’ competitors in the market in the form of British-only lenders such as HSBC UK.
“I do think that Lloyds have some challenges. Competition is heating up. It’s not just an issue for Lloyds,” said Jerry Del Missier, founding partner and chief investment officer at Copper Street Capital, which has $162 million in assets.
“If you think about what’s happening to the UK banking market with ringfencing, you have a number of banks, including challenger banks chasing the same business,” he added.
By Lawrence White, Maiya Keidan
Additional reporting by Simon Jessop and Emma Rumney
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Thur, 17 May 2018) London, Uk – –
The maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be reduced to £2 under new rules unveiled by the government.
Currently, people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games such as roulette.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said reducing the stake to £2 “will reduce harm for the most vulnerable”.
But bookmakers have warned it could lead to thousands of outlets closing.
William Hill, which generates just over half its retail revenues from FOBTs, described the government’s decision as “unprecedented” and warned that 900 of its shops could become loss-making, potentially leading to job losses.
It said its full-year operating profit could fall by between £70m and £100m.
High stakes for fixed-odds betting machines
Racing ‘should not be funded on misery’
A good bet? The fixed-odds controversy
“I lost £5,000 in 48 hours”
GVC Holdings, which owns Ladbrokes, said it expected profit to be cut by about £160m in the first full year that the £2 limit is in force.
Shares in William Hill and GVC Holding both fell following the news.
Ms Crouch said: “We recognise the potential impact of this change for betting shops which depend on (FOBT) revenues, but also that this is an industry that is innovative and able to adapt to changes.”
Tom Watson, the shadow culture secretary, told the BBC: “The great tragedy of this is [that] for five years now pretty much everyone in Westminster, Whitehall and in the country has known that these machines have had a very detrimental effect in communities up and down the land.
“The bookmakers have chosen to take a defiant approach, trying to face down parliament, really, with a very aggressive campaign.”
The Church of England praised ministers for “admirable moral leadership” for reducing the maximum stake.
However, Betfred’s managing director Mark Stebbings claimed the government had “played politics with people’s jobs”. and the move was “clearly not evidence based but a political decision”.
“This decision will result in unintended consequences including direct and indirect job losses, empty shops on the High Street, and a massive funding hit for the horseracing industry.”
The government said the stake limit would come into effect some time next year, but would not set an exact timetable.
In taking the most drastic of the options available to them on FOBTs, the government has indicated that gambling is on a journey much like nicotine a generation ago.
Many addictive behaviours chart the same course. First, they are commonly accepted, then victims speak out and a campaign is launched. Finally, new laws catch up with a shift in public sentiment.
Industry figures argue that what is at stake is not only jobs and revenues for the Exchequer, but the principle that in a free society fully informed adults should be free to spend their money as they choose, so long as it doesn’t harm others.
Campaigners have successfully argued that the harm to communities and individuals is severe enough to warrant a major change.
It’s vital to remember that, while FOBTs understandably grab the headlines, this review also looks at the radical shift of the industry online.
There many addicts who find there is no respite, and children with smartphones are potentially exposed.
Tighter regulation of online gambling is the next battle campaigners intend to win.
The government’s consultation into gambling machines found consistently high rates of problem gamblers among players of FOBTs “and a high proportion of those seeking treatment for gambling addiction identify these machines as their main form of gambling”.
Anti-gambling campaigners have condemned the machines, saying they let players lose money too quickly, leading to addiction and social, mental and financial problems.
Ms Crouch said the £2 limit on FOBTs would “substantially” reduce harm and protect the most vulnerable players.
Matt Zarb-Cousin is now a spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling but was previously addicted to FOBTs.
“It’s no exaggeration to call FOBTs the crack cocaine of gambling,” he has told the BBC.
“If we had a gambling product classification, similar to that of drugs, FOBTs would be class A.”
William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock, said: “The government has handed us a tough challenge today and it will take some time for the full impact to be understood.”
Peter Jackson, chief executive at Paddy Power Betfair welcomed the government intervention, saying his company had been concerned that FOBTs were damaging the reputation of the gambling industry.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), which receives millions of pounds from bookmakers through a levy, said it would work closely with the government to respond the decision.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 17 May 2018) London, Uk – –
Ocado’s shares soared by almost a third to an all-time high after the online supermarket announced it will build as many as 20 robotic warehouses in the US as part of a landmark deal with American supermarket giant Kroger that will significantly accelerate its plans to become a global supplier of white-label online shopping technology.
Kroger, which is second only to Walmart in terms of US market share, with revenues last year of $122bn (£90bn), will also take a 5pc stake in the FTSE 250 firm at a value of £183m.
The two companies said they were already looking for sites for their first three warehouses and planned to identify up to 20 within the first three years of their deal. Ocado will also allow Kroger to use its online shopping and logistics technology.
Tim Steiner, Ocado’s chief executive, said the deal would be “transformational” and “reshape the food retailing industry in the US in the years to come.”
(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 16 May 2018) London, Uk – –
Select committees accuse directors of putting their own rewards ahead of all other concerns
Carillion collapsed as a result of “recklessness, hubris and greed” among directors who put their own financial rewards ahead of all other concerns, according to an excoriating report into the firm’s demise that spreads the blame between board members, the government, accountants and regulators.
The company, which managed huge construction projects and provided government services ranging from school meals to prison maintenance and NHS cleaning, slumped into insolvency in January. More than 2,000 people have since been made redundant.
A damning 100-page report compiled by two select committees, published today, found that directors prioritised senior executive bonus payouts and dividends for shareholders even as the firm neared collapse, while treating pension payments as a “waste of money”.
Frank Field, who chairs the work and pension committee, said: “Same old story. Same old greed. A board of directors too busy stuffing their mouths with gold to show any concern for the welfare of their workforce or their pensioners.”
In a joint statement with business committee chair Rachel Reeves, the pair called for a complete overhaul of Britain’s corporate governance regime, saying the government had “lacked the decisiveness or bravery” to do so.
“Government urgently needs to come to parliament with radical reforms to our creaking system of corporate accountability,” Field said. “British industry is too important to be left in the hands of the likes of the shysters at the top of Carillion.”
The report warned that without corporate governance reforms, “Carillion could happen again, and soon”. The committees also accused the so-called big four accounting firms – PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY – of operating as a “cosy club”.
It claimed that KPMG had been “complicit” in signing off Carillion’s “increasingly fantastical figures” and internal auditor Deloitte had failed to identify “terminal failings” in risk management and financial controls, or “too readily ignored them”.
Reeves said the big four, who took £72m in fees in the decade leading up to Carillion’s failure, enjoyed a “parasitical” relationship with companies whose books they were meant to scrutinise.
“They are guilty of failing to tackle the crisis at Carillion, failing to insist the company paint a true picture of its crippling financial problems,” she said. The report recommends that the competition regulator now considers whether the big four accountancy firms should be forcibly broken up to increase competition.
Labour’s shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable backed calls to break them up. Long-Bailey-said: “Millions racked up in debt, thousands of workers losing their jobs and pensions, and supply chain business at risk of collapse, because not only did the corporate auditors fail to hold Carillion’s misbehaving managers to account, but because the government looked on in ignorance at the same time, proceeding to award contract after contract to a firm which had issued numerous profit warnings.
“The breakup of the big four is only the first step. There needs to be a root-and-branch reform of the law in this area.”
Cable said it was time to “shatter this cosy club to create a more competitive, truly diverse market”.
A KPMG spokesperson said: “We believe we conducted our audit appropriately. However, it’s only right that following a corporate collapse of such size and significance, the necessary investigations are performed. Auditing large and complex businesses involves many judgments and we will continue to cooperate with the FRC’s ongoing investigation.
“We welcome any future review of our profession. If we consider how the profession has changed in the last decade […] it is clear there is a need for us to look closely at our business models.”
Deloitte said it was “disappointed with the conclusions of the committees in regard to our role as internal auditors” adding that it would take on board any lessons that could be learned from Carillion’s collapse.
More than 2,000 of Carillion’s 19,500 UK staff have lost their jobs since its demise, although the Insolvency Service has found new employment for 11,618 people.
The company’s failure also saddled the government’s Pension Protection Fund with an £800m liability, its largest ever, while 30,000 suppliers and subcontractors are waiting in vain for £2bn in bills owed by the company. Creditors have been told they are likely to get back less than 1p for every £1 they are owed.
Taxpayers face at least £150m in clean-up costs, while multimillion-pound hospital projects intended to alleviate pressure on NHS services – the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Birmingham – are on hold indefinitely.
The report by the two committees placed most of the blame on the company’s “myopic” board, and says the government’s Insolvency Service should consider recommending that they be banned from holding directorships in future. The committees singled out Carillion’s finance chief, Richard Adam, chief executive Richard Howson and chairman Philip Green for particular criticism.
The trio presented themselves as “self-pitying victims of a maelstrom of coincidental and unforeseeable mishaps” including contracts in the Middle East that went sour. In fact, the committees found, the company’s problems were far more deep-rooted.
Carillion’s rise and spectacular fall was a story of recklessness, hubris and greed,” the report said. “Its business model was a relentless dash for cash, driven by acquisitions, rising debt, expansion into new markets and exploitation of suppliers.
“It presented accounts that misrepresented the reality of the business, and increased its dividend every year, come what may,” the report said, adding that the company’s pension scheme was “treated with contempt”.
“Even as the company very publicly began to unravel, the board was concerned with increasing and protecting generous executive bonuses,” MPs on the committees added.
The report named Adam as the “architect of Carillion’s aggressive accounting policies”, which disguised the firm’s financial woes until July last year, when it admitted that £729m of revenues it had previously accounted for were unlikely to be obtainable.
MPs accused him of considering pension payments a “waste of money”, adding that pension trustees who sought increased contributions were “outgunned” by directors. They also criticised Adam’s sale of nearly £800,000 of shares shortly after retiring, a decision they described as “the actions of a man who knew where the company was heading”.
“Despite retiring over a year before Carillion went into insolvency, I am deeply saddened by the events that have since overtaken the company,” Adam said.
But he rejected the “unwarranted conclusions” of the committees regarding his role in the company, saying comments had been “misattributed to me”.
Green, a boardroom veteran and former adviser to David Cameron on corporate responsibility, said he and the board had “always strived to act in the interests of the company and all its stakeholders”. “Whilst much of the commentary in today’s report fails to understand and accurately reflect the true, more complex picture of events, the committee has highlighted lessons which can be learned by the board, the government and the wider industry.”
Howson declined to comment.
The government also came in for criticism for failing to address failures in corporate governance rules that allowed Carillion to become a “giant and unsustainable corporate timebomb”. The report called for an “ambitious and wide-ranging set of reforms” to overhaul the UK’s system of corporate accountability.
Theresa May promised to “change the way big business is governed” in 2016 during the first major speech of her campaign to lead the Conservative party and the country after Cameron’s resignation. She has since been accused of watering down planned reforms to corporate governance.
It emerged after Carillion’s collapse that the government continued to award large contracts to the firm even after it knew it was in financial trouble. The Guardian revealed earlier this year that the government knew in December last year of a plan that could have retrieved £364m from the company but did not push directors to adopt it.
A government spokesperson said: “Our priority has been the continued, safe running of public services and to minimise the impact of Carillion’s insolvency. The plans we put in place have ensured this. The government wants to see a strong and varied supplier base where companies of all sizes benefit from long-term and stable government contracts.
“That’s why we have recently announced a number of measures to support government suppliers – strengthening our commitment to prompt payment; protecting staff, businesses and small suppliers from irresponsible directors.
“We welcome the report from the joint select committee and will respond fully in due course.”
MPs also lashed out at regulators the Financial Reporting Council and the Pensions Regulator, branding them “chronically passive”. They said the two bodies were “too timid to make effective use of the powers they have” and should be given greater power, although they warned that this would require significant cultural change.
In the case of the Pensions Regulator, they said this might require new leadership. Chief executive Lesley Titcomb was criticised by MPs for an unconvincing showing during an evidence session with the two committees earlier this year.
The FRC said it was making “good progress” with an investigation into Carillion, one of the largest cases it has ever taken on.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Wed, 16 May 2018) London, UK —
LONDON (Reuters) – Employees at British food courier Deliveroo will become shareholders in the company and a share of equity totalling nearly 10 million pounds, the firm said, although the programme will not extend to its riders.
Deliveroo riders, who are self-employed, have become a familiar sight on British streets since the company began operating in 2013. It now has more than 15,000 riders in the UK.
Founder and Chief Executive Will Shu said on Wednesday he wanted to reward with share options the nearly 2,000 permanent staff at the firm, which is valued at around $2 billion.
“Our phenomenal growth and success has been made possible thanks to the hard work, commitment and passion of the people who make this company what it is, and that deserves recognition which is why I want all employees to be owners in Deliveroo and to have a real stake in the company’s future as we expand and grow,” he said.
Deliveroo is embroiled in legal action with some of its British riders who are seeking more rights such as the minimum wage, as tech firms, who cite the flexibility of their operating model, battle unions and regulators around the world, some of whom say their working practices are exploitative.
British media have reported that Deliveroo, which has subsequently expanded abroad and now operates in 12 countries, is considering a stock market flotation.
A company source told Reuters: “Talk of an IPO is speculation. It’s not what we are focused on right now.”
(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 15 May 2018) London, Uk – –
EasyJet is planning to beef up its loyalty scheme, package holidays business and services for business travellers in a bid to boost customer numbers.
The low-cost airline has appointed a new head of its holidays business, Garry Wilson, who will sit on the management board and report directly to chief executive Johan Lundgren as it attempts the increase the proportion of its customers who book a hotel through its website from its current level of just 2.5pc.
It also hopes to decrease the number of its customers who fly with it only once per year from 46pc by improving the “rewards and recognition” offered by its loyalty programme and bolster business passenger levels by making it easier for enterprise customers to book flights and generate invoices.
Mr Lundgren said: “All of these initiatives will provide higher profit per seat and higher returns for our shareholders.”
The news came alongside EasyJet’s half-year results, which revealed a 20pc surge in revenues to £2.2bn as passenger numbers grew 8.8pc and the airline’s load factor – an industry measure of how full its planes were – crept up 0.9 percentage points to 91.1pc.
That helped the company to narrow losses for the six months to March by 70pc to £68m.
Shares in EasyJet were up 2.6pc at £17.29 in early trade.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 15 May 2018) London, Uk – –
Chief executive announces decision to leave as Vodafone swings into profit.
Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down on October 1 after more than 10 years in charge of the world’s second-largest mobile phone company.
Nick Read, group chief financial officer, who will become chief executive designate from July 27, will replace Mr Colao.
Under Mr Colao’s tenure, Vodafone sold its joint venture with Verizon for $130bn and merged its business in India with Idea Cellular.
Last week, Vodafone agreed to buy Liberty Global’s cable operations in four European countries for £16.1bn as the mobile phone operator extends its reach to 110 million homes and businesses by offering fixed-line and TV services.
Vodafone group chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: “I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure.
“He has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications, ready for the Gigabit future.
Colao’s decision to step down from the top job came as the company reported a profit of 2.8bn euros (£2.5bn) for the year to March 31.
A year ago, it made a loss of 6.1bn euros (£5.4bn) after taking a 4.5 bn euro charge for merging its India operations with Idea.
Mr Colao said: “We have made good progress in securing approvals for the merger with Idea Cellular in India – which is expected to close imminently – and appointed the new management team, who will focus immediately on capturing the sizeable cost synergies.
“In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant cocontrolling stake in India’s largest listed tower company. ”
He added: “And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe’s leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents.”
Following the announcement, Vodafone’s stock fell 3.2% in early London trading.
“Standing down after a decade at the helm, Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao has struggled to do much for the share price under his leadership,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.
“For all the tributes from the mobile telecoms firm for his ‘outstanding tenure’ the share price is up just 23% over that time against a 45.2% advance for the FTSE 100.”
Mr. Mould added: “Of course, this ignores the significant sums returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks and the performance of the shares under Colao may not reflect any failings on his part.
“After all, Vodafone is an established player in a mature market and has few levers to pull for growth. This is reflected in the guidance alongside full-year results for low-to-mid single digit organic growth for the year ahead.
“Ultimately Colao’s successor, current chief financial officer Nick Read, could also be running to stand still.”
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 14 May 2018) London, Uk – –
Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle may have bells ringing but it won’t keep UK tills ringing, an economic forecasting group has found.
The overall benefits to the UK economy from the nuptials will be “limited”, says the EY ITEM Club.
It predicts tourism and retail businesses as the most likely to benefit from the occasion next weekend.
A Saturday ceremony means fewer workers may be distracted on the job, leaving productivity largely unchanged.
Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said it would be “wary of over-egging the potential impact or seeking to put a hard figure on the potential gains”.
“We suspect there will be a very limited, temporary boost to the economy focused on some sectors, notably retail, tourism and, possibly, catering and pubs.”
However, the economist also suggested that some celebrating the royal marriage will simply bring forward spending in shops, pubs and supermarkets or switch from spending on other items.
“The retail sector will benefit from people buying royal wedding souvenirs, such as plates, cups and magazines”.
Happy Brits holding festive street parties would also temporarily boost the retail and catering sectors, the economist suggested, as food and drink sales would rise.
“Pubs should also benefit as they have been given permission to stay open for longer. However, it should be kept in mind that some of the retail spending may just be switched from spending on other items,” Mr Archer said.
However the British Retail Consortium struck a more celebratory tone, predicting the day may bring a similar economic uplift as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
Rachel Lund, head of retail insight at the BRC, said the combination of the royal wedding alongside an FA Cup final was likely to be positive for UK retailers.
“Clothing and footwear was a big winner from the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, setting a record for growth that month, as people sought to replicate the style of the newest addition to the royal family,” she said.
“With the country in the mood to celebrate, food and drink sales were also exceptional. We expect to see a similar pattern around 19 May.”
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(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Sat, 12 May 2018) London, Uk – –
Producing a pair of hand-finished shoes every 20 seconds and boasting more than three million customers worldwide, this British footwear brand reveals the secrets to its success
Footwear brand Hotter continues to step up its global expansion, investing in product development, omni-channel retail infrastructure and international talent.
“The Hotter brand is a fantastic proposition, delivering stylish, comfortable and quality footwear to the 50-plus customer,” said Hotter CEO Sara Prowse. “This sector is growing globally and we are developing a strategy which will deliver an increased share across several key international markets.
“We have a unique business model. We manufacture our shoes in our own factory – in fact we are the UK’s biggest shoe maker – and we have omni-channel sales platforms in UK, US and Euro territories. Over the past few years we have launched our successful direct model into the US and in the past 12 months alone have introduced a website into the eurozone countries and brought in new wholesale partners in the US, Australia and Hong Kong. These global initiatives continue to deliver both results and learnings upon which we intend to capitalise.”
Hotter is a leading British footwear brand based in Lancashire. Founded in 1959 as a slipper manufacturer, Hotter now offers a collection of stylish women’s and men’s shoes with hidden features including super soft and breathable leathers, lightweight and flexible soles and underfoot cushioning.
The company employs more than 1,200 people and has over three million customers globally. Hotter’s multi-channel sales platforms enable customers to shop online and through mail-order catalogues in the UK and US, at more than 75 UK stores and in the eurozone. Its state-of-the-art factory produces a pair of hand-finished shoes every 20 seconds which, according to the British Footwear Association, makes it the UK’s largest shoe manufacturer.
Showcasing British business
The Great British Business campaign is giving the country’s most exciting growing businesses a share of the limelight. Here, we met Sara Prowse of Hotter.