Mobile app banking ‘to overtake online by 2019’ according to forecasts

( via – – 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.

“Whilst the number of internet log-ons is decreasing, so are the numbers of users. In fact, CACI predicts that 2019 will be the year in which mobile banking overtakes internet banking in terms of users.”

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.

By Kevin Peachey



Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao Steps down as company swings into profit

( via– 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.”



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discusses what’s next for the future of windows


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sits down with Dieter Bohn to discuss the future of Windows and what’s next for his company. Just because Microsoft isn’t making a phone doesn’t mean it’s not relevant, but it does mean that the company is focusing on new things like AI, cloud computing, and the enterprise.


Zoopla snapped up by US private equity firm in £2.2bn deal

( via – – Fri, 11 May 2018) London, Uk – –

US private equity firm is to snap up the company behind property portal Zoopla in a £2.2bn deal.

Silver Lake Management – through its Zephyr Bidco subsidiary – is offering 490p in cash per share, representing a 31pc premium on ZPG’s closing share price on May 10.

The deal has received the backing of ZPG’s largest shareholder, the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which held a 55pc stake in the business after its own online property business merged with Zoopla in 2012. It now has a 29.8pc stae after the company floated on the London market in 2014, putting it in line for a potential windfall of around £650m.

ZPG shares surged nearly 30pc to 111p on news of the offer at the start of trading.

The deal, which is still subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Simon Patterson, managing director of Silver Lake, said: “ZPG is a great growth technology company. It has established strong positions in property classifieds, home and financial services markets by innovating in product and marketing.

“We are delighted to partner with (ZPG founder and chief executive) Alex Chesterman, one of Europe’s leading and most accomplished technology entrepreneurs, to invest in ZPG’s continued growth.”

ZPG, which was founded in 2007, is also behind property portal PrimeLocation, as well as cloud-based estate agency and property management software systems including Alto, Jupix and ExpertAgent.

The company is also involved in consumer comparison sites uSwitch and Money.

By Press Association


Apple ditched plans to build $1billion data centre in Ireland due delays


( via — Thur, 10 May 2018) London, UK —

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) ditched plans to build an 850 million euro ($1 billion) data centre in Ireland because of delays in the approval process that have stalled the project for more than three years, the iPhone maker said on Thursday.

Apple announced plans in February 2015 to build the facility in the rural western town of Athenry to take advantage of green energy sources nearby, but a series of planning appeals, chiefly from two individuals, delayed its approval.

Ireland’s High Court ruled in October that the data centre could proceed, dismissing the appellants who then took their case to the country’s Supreme Court.

“Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre,” Apple said in a statement ahead of the Supreme Court heading on Thursday.

“While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” the company said, citing plans to expand its European headquarters in County Cork where it employs over 6,000 people.

Ireland relies on foreign multinational companies like Apple for the creation of one in every 10 jobs across the economy and sees major investments such as data centres as a means of securing their presence in the country.

The government is in the process of amending its planning laws to include data centres as strategic infrastructure, thus allowing them to get through the planning process much more quickly.

A similar Apple centre announced at the same time in Denmark was due to begin operations last year and Apple announced in July that it would build its second EU data centre there.

“There is no disputing that Apple’s decision is very disappointing, particularly for Athenry and the West of Ireland,” Ireland’s Minister for Business and Enterprise Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

“The Government did everything it could to support this investment… These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the State’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”

By Padraic Halpin and Estelle Shirbon



Vodafone to pay €18.4bn in Liberty Global cable networks deal

( via – – Wed, 9 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Vodafone will pay €18.4bn (£16.1bn) for cable networks in Germany and eastern Europe owned by US firm Liberty Global.

The deal will allow Vodafone to expand its mobile, TV and broadband services in Hungary, Romania and Czech Republic.

It will also create a stronger “quad play” competitor for Deutsche Telekom in Germany.

The long-expected deal with Liberty Global, which also owns Virgin Media, is Vodafone’s biggest since its £112bn takeover of Mannesmann in 2000.

Vodafone said the transaction, which includes Unitymedia in Germany, would create a “converged national challenger” in the country.

Deutsche Telekom, which is Europe’s biggest telecoms operator by revenue and owns T-Mobile, has voiced strong objections to the move.

Its chief executive, Timotheus Höttges, said it would distort competition: “I personally will fight for fair competition for our customers, to ensure that we do not face a disadvantage.”

He has also questioned whether regulators would approve the tie-up.

However, Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said that deal “creates a strong competitor to Deutsche”.

Vodafone already owns the largest cable business in Germany after it acquired Kabel Deutschland for €7.7bn five years ago.

Unitymedia is the second-largest cable network, operating in the three of Germany’s 16 states that Vodafone does not already cover.

Mr Colao said that there was “no geographical overlap” between the two businesses.

Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global, said: “Even together, Liberty Global and Vodafone, whose cable networks don’t compete or overlap, will be half the size of the incumbent operator. It’s time to alter market dynamics by unleashing greater investment and competition.”

Vodafone offers only mobile services in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, but buying Liberty’s cable business will allow to expand into TV and broadband in those markets.

As part of the deal, the company will pay Liberty Global €10.6bn in cash, which the US business said would “provide significant additional flexibility to optimise growth and shareholder returns”.

Vodafone has also agreed to a €250m break fee if the acquisition does not complete.

Shares in Vodafone rose 1.2% to 210.1p in morning trading in London.



TSB chief executive to face questioning from MPs as bank enters second week of disarray

( via – – Tue, 01 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Treasury committee to question Paul Pester and Richard Meddings on Wednesday

The embattled TSB chief executive is to face intense questioning from MPs as the bank stumbled into its second week of chaos following its catastrophic IT failure.

Paul Pester, along with the bank’s chair Richard Meddings and a representative from Spanish parent group Sabadell, will be hauled in front of the Treasury committee on Wednesday to explain how TSB’s IT systems collapsed more than a week ago, and how they will compensate affected customers.

Committee chair and Conservative MP Nicky Morgan said: “We will take evidence from TSB and Sabadell representatives to find out how they got into this mess, who is responsible, and how they are putting it right.”

The botched IT transfer from TSB’s former owner Lloyds to Banco de Sabadell was designed to reap cost savings of £100m a year but Pester admitted last week that the bank was “on our knees”.

TSB said on Monday its online banking services were “available again but some customers may still have difficulties accessing and using these services”.

A week after problems first emerged, TSB’s online services continued running significantly below capacity, with some customers reporting they were still blocked from their accounts. All TSB mortgage customers have been prevented from viewing any details of their account online for more than a week.

The committee hearing is likely to focus on what TSB will do to compensate customers and if Pester will still receive a bonus.

Morgan said: “The Treasury committee is extremely concerned by the problems at TSB, and by the apparent miscommunication to customers about the extent and nature of these problems.”

Pester has until now refused to answer questions about his £1.6m bonus, which was due to be paid once the IT migration is complete, along with bonuses for 30 other senior managers.

In a letter to Morgan released ahead of the hearing, Pester admitted that on the first day of the IT chaos on Monday last week: “We were only able to serve c.200,000 sessions via our website versus an expected level of c.450,000.”

Pester also admitted that as customers tried to ring the bank instead, “average wait times were close to one hour; by Thursday this had remained high at approximately 30 minutes”.

TSB admitted that only six in 10 of its branches had technology that was fully functioning even by the end of the week.

Pester’s letter said the “issues started to occur after TSB’s migration onto a new platform built for TSB by our parent company, Sabadell, and operated by Sabadell’s technology subsidiary, Sabis”.

But the banking software at the heart of TSB’s troubles was doomed to failure from the start, an insider with extensive knowledge of the systems involved told the Guardian last week.

TSB has promised to repay customers left out of pocket. “I want to reassure the committee that we are working around the clock to put things right for our customers,” Pester wrote in his letter to Morgan. “As I have said publicly, no customer will be out of pocket as a consequence of these problems.”

Tuesday will be another crucial test for the bank’s IT, with the first day of the month a popular time for monthly salary payments, direct debits and standing orders.

TSB insisted that “fundamental record keeping and account management functions within the platform are working as designed. This means that the fundamental components of the bank, such as regular payments, debit cards, credit cards, and ATMs, are all working as normal”.

However, Twitter users continued to post images of their accounts which show payment instructions dated 2099.

Fraudsters have also tried to cash in on the IT meltdown, prompting the bank to warn customers to be wary of emails and tweets claiming to be from TSB.

By Patrick Collinson and Graeme Wearden



Just Eat revenue jumps 49% after Hungryhouse acquisition

( via– Tue, 1 May 2018) London, Uk – –

The FTSE 100 company is investing £50m to increase deliveries for branded chains, a market estimated to be worth £18bn.

Online takeaway delivery firm Just Eat announced a big rise in its first-quarter revenue as it delivered its 400 millionth order in the UK.

Revenue rose 49% to £177.4m in the three months to March 31, compared with £118.9 million in the same period of 2017.

The London-based company, which has operations in Australia, Canada, Europe and the UK, said orders jumped 32% to 51.6 million.

UK orders climbed 24% to 29.7 million, helped by to the acquisition of Hungryhouse, and increased orders over Easter, which added an estimated 1% to UK order growth.

Just Eat reiterated full-year guidance of revenue of between £660m and £700m and expects underlying earnings of £165m to £185m in 2018.

Just Eat’s chief executive Peter Plumb said: “We delivered our 400 millionth order in the UK, grew well in Italy and Spain, whilst powering continued momentum in our Canadian delivery service SkipTheDishes.”

While international orders rose 46% to 21.9 million, Just Eat warned of “softness” in Australia, where it faces stiff competition.

The company was forced to take a £189m charge for the acquisition of Menulog, its Australian and New Zealand business, which led to a pre-tax loss of £76m in 2017.

“The big questions surrounding the group remain unanswered though; in Australia, where a revamp of Menulog was mishandled last year, progress is still below par, whilst the profitability of the group’s delivery services is yet to be proven, Steve Clayton, manager of Hargreaves Lansdown Select UK Growth Shares, said.

The FTSE 100 company is investing £50m to increase deliveries for branded chains, a market estimated to be worth £18bn.

The company’s stock rose more than 5% in early trading on Tuesday.



Could Bird Ride-share Electric Scooters be The Future of Urban Transport?


Bird Electric Scooters in Santa Monica
( via – – Sat, 28 Apr, 2018) London, Uk – –

Scooters have taken over Santa Monica, caused fury in San Francisco and are spreading to other US cities and likely Britain. Are they fun and environmentally friendly – or a dangerous nuisance?

Electric share scooters have taken over Santa Monica, an affluent beachside city on the edge of Los Angeles, but as they swiftly spread across other cities in California and the US a backlash is already gathering force.

Download an app, scan a scooter’s barcode and away you go, zipping at up to 15mph to your destination. You leave the scooter on the pavement for the next rider.

Bird, a startup run by former Uber executives, launched the scooters in Santa Monica last September. Hundreds were deposited around the city overnight, the devices so ubiquitous people literally tripped over them.

They have thrilled, bemused and aggravated – feelings San Francisco, San Jose, Austin and Washington DC are now experiencing as scooters from Bird and two other startups, LimeBike and Spin, hit their streets, with dozens more cities due to receive them this year.

A full-scale backlash is under way in San Francisco, where some scooters have been tossed into trash cans and lakes. The city attorney has threatened to impound scooters, calling them dangerous, unlawful and examples of tech arrogance. City hall is exploring ways to regulate the devices.

With a global market in their sights, the scooter startups are pushing back.

Bird comes armed with $115m (£80.3m) in investment funding and seems to take the Uber-esque, hard-charging stance on regulation that it is better to seek forgiveness than permission. A tangle with Santa Monica officials earned a criminal complaint and hefty fine.

“The demand is huge. We’re looking to reach more than 50 markets this year and eventually have Birds all over the world,” says Stephen Schnell, the company’s vice president of operations, noting that Britain is on the company’s radar. “We try to pick cities that have bicycle lane infrastructure.”

Schnell, like Bird’s CEO Travis VanderZanden, previously worked at Lyft and Uber.

Ride sharing companies are shaking up urban transport but many commuters still have the “last mile” problem: a distance too far to walk and too short to drive, says Schnell. “This is a way to get people out of their vehicles.”

Marlon Boarnet, an urban planning and spatial analysis professor at the University of Southern California, says dockless scooters can facilitate short trips while being light on the environment and using minimal space.

“Traditionally we view this as walking or bicycling, but the concept can and should be extended to light and small powered vehicles like electric scooters. One could also include in this set small neighborhood electric vehicles or electric motor assisted bicycles. We should expand our idea of what an acceptable ‘short trip’ vehicle is.”

Boarnet hopes the companies and city authorities can resolve issues such as where the scooters are left. When clumped in the middle of a pavement scooters can seem more nuisance clutter than transport revolution.

The boom and bust of dockless bicycles in several markets – exemplified by a picture of a bicycle graveyard in China – act as a cautionary tale.

The Guardian scooted around Santa Monica for a week to try them out. The longest journey was from the city’s downtown to Bird’s headquarters in Venice, three miles away. It took 17 minutes and cost $3.55 – a $1 base fee plus 15 cents per minute.

The experience was positive. Scooters were easy to find with the app’s map pinpointing devices left by trees, parking meters, benches and doorways.

Once you’ve scanned and unlocked the barcode with your phone there’s a childlike glee in kicking off with your foot, pushing the handlebar’s throttle button and gliding down the street.

Not encased in a shell of metal and glass, you feel connected to your surroundings – both hands are needed to steer so it is difficult to text or fiddle with your phone.

Tootling down Main Street, the most striking impression was the response of pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders and motorists: in most cases there wasn’t one. In September the scooters were a novelty and drew stares. Now they’re part of the streetscape and barely remarked upon – except by some tourists who gawk and take pictures.

Bird reports quick adoption; there are more than 50,000 regular riders in and around Santa Monica, and riders in San Francisco notched up more than 60,000 miles in just 17 days. “It’s kind of amazing,” says Schnell.

What’s amazing, say critics, is the irresponsibility of the scooter companies and many of their riders.

Few wear helmets in Santa Monica. It is common to see children riding scooters, two people on one scooter, parked scooters cluttering sidewalks and moving scooters scattering pedestrians on sidewalks. San Francisco residents have joined Santa Monicans in venting on social media.

Riders are supposed to be licensed drivers, helmeted and are meant to ride on streets, preferably in bicycle lanes. Users need a driver’s licence to download the app and upon request Bird sends free helmets. Still, improper use abounds. According to a city spokesperson, so far Santa Monica has recorded 11 accidents, some serious, 328 citations and 694 traffic stops.

Irked that Bird launched with little or no warning, city authorities filed a criminal complaint over lack of business licences and vendor permits. Both sides settled in February, with Bird promising to seek the licences and to pay more than $300,000 in fines.

“Even though they got off to a rocky start we didn’t move to kick them out because based on our values we’re really committed to this new model of mobility,” says Anuj Gupta, Santa Monica’s deputy city manager.

There has been no detectable impact on car congestion but scooters are now part of the transport mix, he says. “We honestly understand and share in the excitement about these devices.”

But there’s another concern. If Bird and rival startups plant scooters on every block won’t people have even less incentive to walk and exercise?

“You mean WALL-E world,” says Schnell, referencing the Pixar film in which future humans become obese gluttons ensconced in padded floating arm chairs. “Let’s hope not. With the scooters at least you have to stand.”

By Rory Carroll



Amazon first-quarterly profits doubles to $1.6bn beats forecasts


( via – – Fri, 27 Apr, 2018) London, Uk – –

Company announces cost of Prime subscription will increase $20 to $119 for US customers, after share price soars to record high of $1,625

As Amazon reported that it had more than doubled its profits to $1.6bn in the first three months of 2018, the company announced that the cost of a Prime subscription would increase to $119 from $99 per year for US customers.

The results sent the company’s shares soaring 7% to a new record of $1,625 in after-hours trading, adding billions to the fortune of its founder, Jeff Bezos.

During the earnings call, the company, which said last week that it had signed up more than 100 million people to its Prime subscription service, revealed that the cost of a Prime subscription would increase to $119 per year, effective from 11 May for new subscribers and to renewed subscriptions from 16 June. It represents the first price hike in the US since March 2014.

The company’s chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said that the price hike was a reflection of the increased cost of handling same-day, one-day and two-day shipping and “increased value” for customers.

In the first quarter of 2018 Amazon collected more than $550m a day in revenue from sales, web hosting, TV production and Whole Foods, the upmarket US grocery chain it bought last year.

Amazon also reported strong growth at its highly profitable cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS, which hosts companies including Netflix, Airbnb and the CIA, reported a 49% hike in sales in the first quarter to $5.44bn. AWS made a profit of $1.4bn – the majority of Amazon’s profits over the quarter.

The company’s success has allowed it to announce a big investment in Amazon Studios, its in-house TV production firm that makes The Grand Tour, presented by Jeremy Clarkson, and the dystopian series The Man in the High Castle.

The strong results came despite Donald Trump’s repeated threats to force the company to pay more tax.

Amazon is the world’s second-biggest company after Apple, with a market value of $723bn. Many experts expect it to overtake the iPhone maker and become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

Analysts at Credit Suisse believe Amazon’s shares – which have risen by more than 50% in the past six months – could soon hit $1,800. The bank’s Stephen Ju said: “Amazon is one of the best positioned to capture the next wave of retail dollars coming online.” Food and fashion spending are its big targets.

Ju said: “Apparel and groceries remain large pools of dollars still left to come online, and Prime Wardrobe and the linkup between Whole Foods Market content and Prime Now distribution will serve as the spearheads to address those opportunities.”

Michael Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, also said he expected Amazon’s shares to rise, adding even if Trump did launch a tax offensive against the firm it would have a negligible effect.

“Nothing can be certain, except death and taxes … and more Trump tweets on Amazon,” Olson said in a note to clients. “We believe sales tax collection changes would have limited impact on consumer use of Amazon and could actually help Amazon’s relative competitive positioning in domestic ecommerce.”

Olson said research showed that only 5% of the public think about whether companies pay appropriate levels of tax when deciding where to shop. Free and fast shipping, which Amazon provides to Prime subscribers, is seen as a much more important consideration.

Amazon’s results come as the company and its multi-billionaire founder Bezos are coming under greater scrutiny from politicians, regulators and its employees. Last week, the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said technology companies such as Amazon had “too much market power – in the hands of too few”. She said the tech giants’ dominance was “not helpful to the economy or to the wellbeing of individuals”.

Bezos was recently met with a noisy protest from Amazon employees in Germany, who allege mistreatment of workers and tax avoidance. About 450 protesters picketed the offices of media company Axel Springer, which honored Bezos with an award for innovative excellence.

“We have an Amazon boss who wants to Americanize work relationships and take us back to the 19th century,” union leader Frank Bsirske told the crowd of Amazon workers, some carrying placards reading: “Make Amazon pay”.

Andrea Nahles, the newly elected leader of Germany’s Social Democratic party, the junior partner in chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, said Bezos treats his employees badly and is a “world champion in tax avoidance”.

Nahles, who is billed as a possible chancellor candidate for the next election in 2021, added: “This does not deserve a prize.”

Amazon has repeatedly rejected the union’s demands. It says it believes warehouse staff should be paid in line with competitors in the logistics sector, not as retail staff.

An Amazon spokesman said: “Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across Germany with competitive pay and benefits from day one.”

By Dominic Rushe and Rupert Neate


Capita reports £513.1m annual pre-tax loss

( via – – 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.”



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.



Uk Mobile networks buy 4G and 5G spectrum in £1.4bn Ofcom auction

( via – – Thur, 5 April 2018) London, Uk – –

Mobile phone companies Hutchison 3G, Telefonica, EE and Vodafone were the successful bidders in Ofcom’s 4G and 5G airwave spectrum auction it was announced this morning.

US-challenger Airspan Spectrum Holdings was the only bidder to come away empty handed in the first stage of the auction which has raised £1.355bn.

Communications regulator Ofcom was offering lots in two frequency bands: 2.3 (gigahertz) GHz which is usable by contemporary mobile phones and will help improve mobile users 4G capacity, and 3.4 GHz, which is earmarked for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology.

EE won 40 megahertz (MHz) of 3.4 GHz spectrum at the cost of £302.59m, Hutchison won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum costing £151.20m, Telefonica won all 40 MHz available of 2.3 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317.72m and Vodafone won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum costing £378.24m.

The auction will now move to an assignment stage where the winners from stage one will bid to determine where in the frequency bands their new spectrum will be located.

Both Vodafone and EE parent BT saw their share prices rise by more than one per cent in early trading this morning.

Spectrum group director at Ofcom Philip Marnick said: “This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet. As a nation we’re using ever more mobile data on smartphones and mobile devices. Releasing these airwaves will make it quicker and easier to get online on the move. It will also allow companies to prepare for 5G mobile, paving the way for a range of smart, connected devices.”

By James Booth



UK’s Spending on Social Media Advertising Predicted to Surpass TV’s in two years


( via – – Mon, 2 Apr 2018) London, Uk – –

More money will be spent advertising on social media networks than on the entire TV ad market within two years, according to a new report.

The report predicts that Mark Zuckerberg will shake off any potential commercial impact from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, hoovering up more than four-fifths (84%, £2.76bn) of the predicted £3.3bn that will be spent on social media networks in the UK this year.

Facebook is also expected to weather the wider threat of a boycott by the world’s two biggest advertisers – Dove to Lynx maker Unilever and Pampers to Gillette owner Procter & Gamble – who say they have had enough of Facebook’s “swamp” of fake news, racism, sexism and extremism.

By 2020, Facebook will be making an estimated £3.8bn in UK ad spend – over a billion pounds more than this year – and just behind the value of the entire commercial TV market (£4.04bn): led by ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5.

A younger generation of digital-savvy consumers is fast emerging that has dramatically eroded the once unquestioned power of traditional television as the most important medium advertisers had to spend on in order to reach big audiences.

In 2010, a peak audience of almost 19 million viewers tuned in to watch Matt Cardle win the X Factor, the biggest show on British TV, capturing more than half the entire audience watching TV across the UK at the time.

Last year’s final saw the lowest ratings in the show’s history with less than 5 million tuning in to see Rak-Su win.

By comparison Facebook has amassed more than 2 billion active users per month; its sheer scale the very reason advertisers direct so much digital ad spending its way.

Such is Facebook’s power, advertisers believe they have little option but to spend with them in order to reach the digital-savvy audiences they crave to influence.

Facebook’s scale dwarfs would-be rivals with Twitter and Snapchat estimated to be set to pull in less than £300m (8%) of social network advertising spending between them this year. The spend on traditional TV advertising will remain comfortably ahead at £4bn this year.

Facebook is weathering a barrage of criticism over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the harvesting of information from more than 50m Facebook profiles to target US voters without permission, including calls for users to delete their profiles in protest.

Analysts say there is little sign so far that a boycott of a size to commercially hurt the social network will take place.

“The social media juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down commercially,” said Bill Fisher, UK senior analyst at eMarketer. “You have the Cambridge Analytica Facebook privacy issue and it is difficult to know right now whether it will have a fundamental impact on user numbers. Until we see significant numbers of users coming off we are not going to see any drop in ad revenues. Advertisers follow eyeballs and there are plenty of eyeballs on social media.”

Emarketer’s report predicts growth in social media advertising will continue to surge, despite wider issues of potential advertiser boycotts over measurement, transparency and content issues such as fake news dogging Facebook.

Growth in social media ad spend will rocket 40%, some £1.3bn, between 2018 and 2020 from £3.29bn to £4.59bn, the report predicts.

By 2020, social media advertising will have passed traditional TV advertising by about £500m – £4.59bn compared to £4.04bn, it forecast. However, TV broadcasters are likely to increase revenuefrom their online TV services in the next few years, figures which are not covered by the eMarketer report.

“It is a tipping point reflecting consumer trends,” said Fisher. “But the fact that more and more consumers are on social media does not diminish the importance of broadcast TV per se. The television industry is also pivoting to digital to a degree as well, building revenues from their own digital services. Broadcast TV is still an incredibly important medium. We are forecasting a slight rise in our report, it is just that social media is just becoming an even more significant number.”

The report also shows that Facebook’s dominance over its rivals for social media advertising is likely to continue.

Facebook’s 82.5% share of social media advertising in 2020 is predicted to be only marginally less than this year (84%). This means rivals Snapchat and Twitter, which are forecast to increase their ad take from £260m to £478m over the next three years, will not have made a meaningful dent in Facebook’s position.

Overall, social media advertising spending is expected to grow from accounting for 25.4% of the total £12.98bn UK digital ad market this year, to just short of 30% of the £15.42bn market in 2020.

By Mark Sweney


Ford Motor and Alibaba “Super Test Drive” Car Vending Machine Service


Ford Motor Co., Ltd., Changan Ford Motor Co., Ltd. and’s Tmall Vehicle launched a brand new brand experience pilot program to provide consumers with a “Super Test Drive” service. The project will use a combination of online digital technology and offline entities to provide consumers with a more convenient, efficient, and in-depth test drive experience, and ultimately lead potential consumers to the Ford brand more accurately. Authorize dealerships and ultimately help facilitate offline transactions.

From now on until April 23, Ford will enter the “Super Test Drive” vending machine building located in Baiyun District of Guangzhou as the exclusive co-brand of Tmall. The whole building is equipped with intelligent lifting system and advanced identity authentication system. It can accommodate up to 42 carts at a time. Ford Motor Company, Changan Ford Motor Co., Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Co., Ltd. provide up to ten Ford brand models for consumers to test drive test experience, including domestic models, such as car products Taurus, new Mondeo, SUV products Maverick, Ruijie and Qilu Imported models such as full-size SUV explorers; Ford Mustang, a classic American muscle sports car sought after by consumers, joined this wonderful lineup.