Ryanair report annual profits increase of 10% despite costly pilot schedule failure

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(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

By By James Sillars

 

 

How ‘all you can eat’ restaurants’ turn a profit despite offering endless food

 

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.

 

 

Royal wedding 2018: Who’s footing the bill?

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(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?

Security cost

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.

Other costs

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.

Who pays?

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.

By Reality Check team

 

 

 

 

Ocado’s shares soar in landmark deal with American supermarket giant Kroger

Ocado Van/10 10/Flickr

(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.”

 

 

EasyJet to beef up loyalty scheme to boost customer numbers

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(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.

By Jack Torrance

 

 

 

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao Steps down as company swings into profit

(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.”

 

 

Royal wedding sales: tourism and retail businesses most likely to benefit

(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.”

 

 

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.

 

Midtown Manhattan where old New York charm joins Williamsburg cool

 

If when you think of Midtown Manhattan you think of traffic congestion and tourist traps, then it might be time for a re-visit. This part of New York has seen a boom in new restaurants and bars, especially from Brooklyn. Welcome to Midtown, where old New York charm is being joined by Williamsburg cool.

 

 

Hotter footwear the UK brand delivering shoes of quality and style to the global market

 

(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.

By Parlez Media

 

 

Royal Bank of Scotland agree to pay $4.9bn settlement with US over mortgage probe


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(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 10 May, 2018) London, Uk – –

The settlement may enable the Chancellor Philip Hammond to sell a stake in the state-owned bank.

Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pay $4.9bn (£3.62bn) to settle a US Department of Justice probe into its packaging and sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis

The tentative agreement means the government-owned bank would need to take a $1.44bn charge in the second quarter to pay the penalty. The rest will come from money it has already set aside.

It moves the bank a step closer to shaking off government ownership. The government, which owns 71% of the RBS, paid $45.5bn to bail out the bank after the financial crisis.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said this was a “milestone moment for the bank”.

He said: “Reaching this settlement in principle with the US Department of Justice will, when finalised, allow us to deal with this significant remaining legacy issue and is the price we have to pay for the global ambitions pursued by this bank before the crisis.”

The bank warned that the agreement was subject to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and RBS entering into a legally binding agreement.

RBS is the latest bank to settle claims of mis-selling in the run-up to the financial crisis. Barclays agreed to a $2bn (£1.4bn) settlement with the DOJ in March.

“Removing the uncertainty over the scale of this settlement means that the investment case for this bank is much clearer,” Mr McEwan said.

With the penalty paid, RBS can now open talks with UK regulators about the resumption of dividend payments.

It may also allow the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond to sell a stake in the bank.

“I welcome the agreement in principle to resolve this long-standing issue which will, when finalised, remove a major uncertainty for the UK taxpayer,” Mr Hammond said in a statement.

“It marks another significant milestone in RBS’s work to resolve its legacy issues, and will help pave the way to a sale of taxpayer-owned shares.”

The company’s stock rose 4% in early trading.

 

 

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

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — 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

 

 

Tax on pensioners proposed to offer inter-generational fairness in the UK: Reports Think Tank

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 8 May 2018) London, Uk – –

A £10,000 payment should be given to the young and pensioners taxed more, a new report into inter-generational fairness in the UK suggests.

The research and policy organisation, the Resolution Foundation, says these radical moves are needed to better fund the NHS and maintain social cohesion.

Its chairman, Lord Willetts, said the contract between young and old had “broken down”.

Without action, young people would become “increasingly angry”, he said.

The Resolution Foundation says its goal is to improve outcomes for people on low and modest incomes.

Recommendations include:
Give £10,000 to all young adults at the age of 25, funded by a new “lifetime receipts tax” that would replace inheritance tax
Scrap council tax and replace it with a new property tax targeting wealthier homeowners
Use the proceeds from property tax reform to halve stamp duty for first-time buyers and increase public funding for social care
Make earnings of those above state pension age subject to National Insurance contributions
Lord Willetts, the former universities minister under David Cameron, argued that young people were being locked out of the housing market and older people were worried about the demands of healthcare.

Lord Willetts was speaking as the Resolution Foundation, which he heads, published a report calling for tax changes to help heal the growing economic tensions between the generations.

Windfall for young
The foundation’s Intergenerational Commission report calls for an NHS “levy” of £2.3bn paid for by increased national insurance contributions by those over the age of 65.

It says that all young people should receive a £10,000 windfall at the age of 25 to help pay for a deposit on a home, start a business or improve their education or skills.

The report proposes that this money be raised by abolishing inheritance tax and replacing it with a lifetime limit for recipients of £125,000 before taxes kick in.

The commission estimates this would raise £5bn.

“We’ve got a very serious problem of ensuring there’s a fair deal across the generations,” Lord Willetts told me.

“Older people are worried about a properly funded healthcare system, people in middle age still haven’t been able to buy their own home, and for younger people their pay is no better than it was 10 or 15 years ago.

“So the different generations in the UK all face different pressures.

“But we can tackle them, we can do something about it.”

The report calls for the scrapping of the council tax system, replacing it with a new property tax which would raise more money from wealthier homeowners.

The proceeds would be used to halve stamp duty for first-time buyers.

The cross-party commission, which included input from the heads of the CBI business lobby group and the Trades Union Congress, also demands more secure tenancies for renters.

Millennials – people born between 1981 and 2000 – are half as likely as baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1965 – to own their own home by 30.

Lord Willetts said that a lot of the problems had been created by political inertia by a series of governments.

‘Broken down’
“I think we still care about it,” Lord Willetts said.

“We still feel the obligations that generations have to each other, and families are incredibly important in discharging those obligations.

“But when you look at public policy, sadly when it comes to a properly funded healthcare system, houses available so that people can achieve their goal of owner-occupation and a fair deal in pay for younger people – in all those ways, that contract between the generations has not been maintained.

“That contract has broken down. Families are doing their best, the bank of mum and dad helping out the kids, younger people caring about their grandparents, but when you look at public policy, there are older people worried about their social care, there are people of middle age who still aren’t owner-occupiers, and that’s what they want to be, and there are younger people whose pay is no higher than it was 10 or 15 years ago, so there’s a problem in public policy.”

New research produced by the Resolution Foundation revealed that young people are earning less today than the generation before them was earning at the same age.

And a poll undertaken for the Intergenerational Commission also suggested people were more pessimistic in Britain about the chances of the next generation having “better lives” than the one before it – compared with almost any other country.

I asked Lord Willetts whether any government would have the stomach for increasing taxes on pensioners, for example, given that Theresa May was unable to push through a tax increase for the self-employed last year because of a public and Parliamentary backlash.

“There’s no avoiding the pressures for more spending on healthcare and social care, the question is how we meet those pressures,” he replied.

“Extra borrowing is unfair on the younger generation.

“Extra taxes on the working population – when especially younger workers have not really seen any increase in their pay – will be very unfair.

“It so happens that the older people who will benefit most from extra spending on health care have got some resources, so at low rates, it’s reasonable to expect them to contribute.

“It is better than any of the alternatives.”

Private contributions
The foundation also suggests that wealthier people should contribute privately to a social insurance system to help pay for social care in older age.

The system would mirror elements of compulsory health insurance policies in Germany.

“We do think that there needs to be some element of private payment into social care costs when people can afford it,” Lord Willetts said.

“But we’re absolutely clear there should be a limit on those contributions, so that people don’t face a very large bill that could wipe out their wealth.

“There should be an upper limit on it, and everybody should expect some contribution from the state.

“We want everything to be fair and affordable.”

By Kamal Ahmed

 

 

Bank holiday hot weather boosts sales of paddling pools and garden gnomes

 

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 7 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Stores pack shelves for boom in sales of ice-cream, rosé wine, BBQ staples and garden ornaments

Retailers and garden centres have enjoyed a much-needed boost from what is set to be the hottest early May bank holiday on record, packing the shelves with ice-cream, barbecue food, paddling pools and plants as shoppers got their first real taste of summer.

Asda said sales of paddling pools were up by almost 50% as customers sought ways to keep cool, with its range of novelty gnomes the biggest driver of sales in the garden category.

Waitrose said it has stocked stores for a 200% increase in bank holiday Monday barbecue meat sales and a 50% rise in orders of rosé wine compared with the same time last year.

Sainsbury’s was predicting a 600% increase in ice-cream sales compared with the previous weekend, a 300% increase in gin sales, and a 280% increase in potato salad sales.

Sainsbury’s said: “This scorcher of a bank holiday is set to be the first proper barbecue weekend of the year. We’re predicting that our ice-cream, gin and Taste of Summer barbecue staples will be real sizzlers – not to mention suncream flying off the shelves as we all head outdoors to soak up the rays.”

Springboard, which measures customer visits across the UK high streets, shopping centres and retail parks, forecast a 3%-4% increase in footfall this bank holiday compared with the same one last year.

DIY retailer B&Q said that each of its flagship stores is likely to sell well over 100 barbecues, 3,000 bags of compost, 6,000 bedding plants, 150 mowers and 125 fence panels over the weekend.

“At this time of year especially, customers do respond to the weather. We tend to see a change in the type of projects they do,” said Steve Guy, B&Q’s market director for outdoor. We look at the weather forecast for the next 14 days and make trading and stock decisions on a daily basis.”

Wyevale, the largest garden centre group in the UK, said it was benefiting from the weather with a surge in demand for cocktail herbs as people got a thirst for summer classics such as Pimm’s and mojitos. Sales of moroccan mint are up 62% year-on-year and mint chocolate up 36%.

“It’s no surprise that herbs are the must-have plant of the season; they’re fragrant, look great and are the perfect addition to summer BBQs for both drinks and dining,” said Lilidh Matthews, herb buyer at Wyevale Garden Centres. “They also thrive in small spaces, and are an increasingly popular addition for city balconies and kitchen windowsills alike.”

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said garden and DIY-related goods were likely to fare well because it was the first opportunity for keen gardeners to get out planting and tidying-up after weeks of poor weather.

“Anything related to the garden is likely to do well after such a poor Easter. People will use the opportunity to get out and do work in the garden and in the home. And of course fashion should benefit as people will want to replenish their wardrobe as the first signs of spring and summer emerge.”

Well-stocked smaller convenience stores were expected to be among the bank holiday winners, according to analysts at research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

“Whenever the mercury rises people swiftly move away from traditional meals and start focusing on the barbecue,” said Fraser McKevitt, Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight.

“In the interests of maximising their exposure to the sunshine consumers are also much more likely to shop locally rather than travel longer distances to bigger stores, so the retailers who’ve stocked up on sausage and burgers in their convenience outlets should perform well this weekend.”

By Angela Monaghan

 

 

Swiss food giant Nestlé to pay Starbucks $7.15bn for rights to sell its coffee


QLM Image
(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Mon, 7 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Swiss food giant Nestlé is paying Starbucks $7.15bn (£5.28bn) in cash for the rights to sell its coffee beans directly to consumers through supermarkets and other food shops around the world.

Nestlé is already big in coffee – it owns the Nescafe and Nespresso brands – and the company said this agreement would boost its market position in North America, while giving it more opportunities to sell premium range coffee to consumers overseas.

For Starbucks, the deal will increase its global presence as the company’s coffee beans and grounded blends will be sold through Nestle’s substantial channels in food retail, such as supermarkets and corner shops.

“This global coffee alliance will bring the Starbucks experience to the homes of millions more around the world,” said Kevin Johnson, chief executive of Starbucks.

Nestlé reported sales of £66bn last year, with coffee one of its fastest-growing categories. The food giant, whose brands include Purina pet food, KitKat and Haagen-Dazs ice cream, is focusing on coffee as a main growth area and has already made some acquisitions in the sector, including buying a stake in California’s Blue Bottle Coffee last September.

“This is a great day for coffee lovers around the world,” said Mark Schneider, chief executive of Nestlé

The Starbucks business covered by the deal currently generates around $2bn (£1.48bn) in annual sales and includes coffee beans and ground coffee that Nestlé will be selling outside of Starbucks’ coffee shops.

Nestlé expects this business to contribute to its profit in 2019.

Starbucks, meanwhile, will use the cash to accelerate share buybacks. The Seattle-based company said it now expected to return some $20bn (£14.7bn) to shareholders through buybacks and dividends by 2020.

Around 500 Starbucks staff will join Nestlé, but operations will continue to be located in Seattle.

The deal, which needs approval from regulators, is expected to complete by the end of the year.

By Julia Bradshaw

 

 

John Paul DeJoria : Overcoming Homelessness Twice to Become a Billionaire

John Paul Dejoria has had a rough ride to the top. Yet being homeless twice and being abandoned by his wife early on didn’t shake his drive to make it in this word, and he’s managed to turn an admittedly difficult hand into a royal flush. These days he’s a billionaire several times over with a successful Paul Mitchell haircare line and even a founding stake in Patron tequila brand. So how did he maintain motivation? He remembered giving two dimes to the Salvation Army as a boy, and how his mother told him that those dimes add up and can really help people. This lesson directly helped him overcome a period early in his career where he was collecting bottle caps to get money to eat.

 

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ worldwide box office takings approaching $1 billion

 

 

Disney’s and Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is approaching $1 billion at the worldwide box office faster than any film in history after finishing Tuesday with $808.4 million in global ticket sales, including clearing the $300 million mark domestically in record time.