Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted Positioned for Global Brand Battle

 

Kasper Rorsted, chief executive officer at Adidas, discusses his growth plan for the brand, how import taxes may impact the entire industry, capturing the “cool” factor in the company’s products, and turning around the Reebok brand. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

British Retail Consortium hit back at Budget announcements

 

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, tells Ian King Live the measures introduced by the Chancellor in the Budget to help businesses cope with an increase to business rates are a plaster on a system that is fundamentally broken and not fit for purpose in the 21st century. Chris Bryce, the chief executive of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, says those hit by rising national insurance contributions are not receiving all the benefits that employed people do.

 

Philip Hammond expects the U.K. economy to Grow Faster in Budget Speech

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond expects the U.K. economy to grow faster than previously thought as he delivers his budget speech with the government preparing to leave the European Union. Bloomberg's Jonathan Ferro and Alix Steel report on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.”

UK economy shows growth for 2017 but signals gloomier for next year

 

There was mixed news for Britain's economy as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revised up its forecast for UK growth for this year but was gloomier about next year. It believes rising inflation will mean British consumers will spend less and businesses will put investment on hold due to uncertainty over Brexit.

Uk Government scheme reveal revaluated business rates

 

Tim Tabor/flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 7 Mar, 2017) London, Uk – –

The Government has incurred the wrath of the so-called “winners” of the business rates revaluation as their new bills reveal they are being denied reductions to compensate companies elsewhere in the country.

Last month David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury, attempted to defend the burdensome business rates system by arguing that three quarters of UK companies will see a fall in rates.

He also argued the Government had introduced a £3.6bn fund to smooth the burden for companies facing a steep jump in rates.

However, new rates bills have revealed that the majority of businesses will not enjoy the full value of their rates decreases.

The £3.6bn so called “transitional relief fund” will come directly from companies who will be denied the business rate reductions they are entitled to.

Nicholas Roffe, owner of the Furze Bush Inn in Newbury, told The Daily Telegraph he thought “someone had pushed the wrong button” when his latest business rates bill was delivered yesterday from Basingstoke and Deane borough council.

Mr Roffe’s was due to have his rates bill reduced by £4,181 from £24,079 to £19,898 in the latest revaluation. However, the pub owner has been landed with a £2,206.32 transitional adjustment charge, meaning he must still pay £22,104.52 this year.

“Relief to me does not mean charging more, but I am being charged more to compensate for relief”, said Mr Roffe. “It’s not fair.” The adjustment means that thousands of hard-pressed companies who believed they were in line for significant reductions in their bills will see the drop limited.

“As business rates bills start to land on doormats, firms are discovering just how inadequate the Government’s transitional relief scheme is”, said Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve.

Fresh analysis reveals that the North West of the country will be particularly hurt by the stealth move. Government figures show that the region will be denied around £391m of business rates reduction with roughly £611m transferred into the transitional relief fund.

Meanwhile, London will be the biggest beneficiary as it will take around £1.09bn of the £3.6bn fund.  “These firms have been struggling for many years with bills divorced from economic reality, and to make them subsidise businesses in thriving areas is simply unjust”, said Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve.  The move will also impact larger companies.

Marks & Spencer currently pays £482,090 in rates on its Stockport shop and is due to have its bill slashed to £242,000 but due to the Government’s cap, the ailing retailer’s bill will still be at £464,835 – meaning a measly saving of £17,255 compared to its eligible saving of £240,090.

“Not one penny of the Government money will be part of the £3.6bn fund”, said Paul Turner Mitchell, business rates expert at CVS. “What it means is that businesses in less prosperous areas will have their rate deductions denied in order for businesses in more prosperous areas to be afforded a cap on their increases.”

“It means that those businesses that thought they would be one of the winners, will still be a loser because they will not be getting their full entitled business rate reduction”.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested that the upcoming Budget will include easing the burden on those hit hardest by the forthcoming business rate revaluation.

However, it is unlikely that the Government will accelerate the uprating of business rates from the higher retail price index (RPI) to the lower consumer prices index (CPI) from the next decade.

The British Retail Consortium has warned the Chancellor that delaying the switch to CPI until 2020 would result in retailers paying an extra £180m over the two years from April 2018.

By  Ashley Armstrong

PSA Group to buy GM’s Opel unit valued at $2.3 Billion

 

Group agreed to buy GM’s Opel unit in a transaction valued at 2.2 billion euro ($2.3 billion), creating Europe’s second-largest carmaker in a bid to better compete in the region’s saturated market. Bloomberg's Manus Cranny reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe.”

Uber in London to appeal court ruling on drivers literacy

 

The online taxi service Uber says it will appeal after losing a court battle in London.

The app service was attempting to stop transport regulators from forcing private drivers to prove the level of their reading and writing skills in English.

London judges did agree with Uber, however, that drivers should not have to have permanent private hire insurance.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on First Roastery in downtown Milan in late 2018

Starbucks is entering the market in Italy for the first time. The world’s biggest coffee-shop operator will open a 25,500-square-foot retail space in a historic post office building in downtown Milan in late 2018. Speaking to Bloomberg's Francine Lacqua in the heart of the roastery, CEO Howard Schultz says Starbucks will have to earn success in a nation that pioneered coffee drinking. Schultz says Italy might not be the biggest market, but it is their most important. He also says China will probably overtake the U.S. in terms of the number of stores operated and discusses the company's tax arrangements as well as the state of U.S. politics.

 

Nokia’s relaunched 3310 mobile phone nearly 17 years after its debut

 

Nokia's 3310 phone has been relaunched nearly 17 years after its debut. Many consider the original handset iconic because of its popularity and sturdiness. More than 126 million were produced before it was phased out in 2005. The revamped version will be sold under licence by the Finnish start-up HMD Global, which also unveiled several Nokia-branded Android smartphones. One expert said it was a “fantastic way” to relaunch Nokia's phone brand.

 

 

 

Remote work and the challenges pose to small businesses

 

Nicolas Huk/flickr.com

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – via Staples–Sat, 4 March, 2017) London, Uk – –

The acknowledgement of the need for flexible working has been largely welcomed but what challenges does this pose to small businesses?

By the end of this year, more than 50pc of businesses in the UK are likely to have flexible working policies in place, with the tipping point – when office and desk-based working becomes the exception rather than the rule – having been reached.

That is according to a Citrix-commissioned report by The Work Foundation at Lancaster University, published in February 2016, which also predicted that by 2020 some 70pc of organisations will have followed suit, thus banishing many working norms – such as the nine-to-five shift in the office – to the past.

But what does that mean for SME owners? What should you be thinking about to enable your staff to work at home, or on the move? And which productivity tools are best?

By the end of this year, more than 50pc of businesses in the UK are likely to have flexible working policies in place
Professor Geraint Johnes, director of research at The Work Foundation, says: “One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is to learn how to manage the activities of their staff who are mobile workers. Getting people together to collaborate requires making arrangements in advance and deciding on a software platform (Skype, for example) on which meetings can take place.

“This change in routine may be daunting, but the ability not to be restricted by space opens up all sorts of possibilities for collaboration – both with people inside the firm and those outside. While the flexibility is a plus, firms need to be aware of the drawbacks, and put arrangements in to compensate.”

Paul Dunne, UK and Ireland manager of Plantronics, an electronics company producing audio communications equipment for business and consumers, agrees and says: “Mobile working can allow SMEs to cut costs significantly by reducing the need for physical office space.

“Real estate costs a great deal of money and when combining that with the overheads of heating, managing phone lines and IT infrastructure, and maintaining the general office environment, the traditional work space becomes a significant strain on budgets.”

Choosing your own office

“With flexible working you could do away with the office altogether or, at the very least, reduce bricks and mortar considerably,” notes Mr Dunne. “From an employee’s point of view, they’re able to save time and money by reducing their commute, and they’re able to work from a comfortable environment with little or no distractions, increasing both productivity and morale.”

However, on team bonding Prof Johnes warns: “Water cooler conversations may decline, so opportunities for workers to meet together virtually, outside of the pressure cooker, need to be built into the timetable.”

Gary Turner, co-founder and UK managing director of Xero, a software company that develops cloud-based accounting software for SMEs, says: “The modern workforce is far less interested in a dedicated desk or chair set-up at the office, so as long as your employees are all invested, mobile working can transform a business.

“Home working enables you to fit your work life into your other responsibilities and can allow you to get a lot done in a short amount of time – but you must be clever with the tools you use and be wary of other distractions, particularly regarding family life.”

With flexible working you could do away with the office altogether or, at the very least, reduce bricks and mortar considerably
Regarding tips for tools, he adds: “Mobile apps can boost your business to get the most from employees wherever they are. Google Hangouts enables ad-hoc 1:1 video conversations and larger group meetings of up to 25 participants with chat-group features to provide backchannel for crowdsourcing quick answers.

“Also, project management tools such as Basecamp and smart inbox management can help you manage your tasks, and cloud software enables teams to collaborate remotely on shared documents via software such as Google Drive, saving valuable time.”

The home-working office is easily equipped without filling the room with clutter. Portable hard drives and USBs are handy backups to cloud services, and privacy filters will help the keep home working environment secure and private.

“Work is what you do and not where you go,” suggests Rami Houbby, managing director of internet telephony service provider NFON UK. “There are many productivity tools that can help workers get the most out of mobile working. Services such as cloud telephony can make them feel and work as if they were behind their desk. Added to that are features such as desktop sharing, presence and instant messaging, so they can communicate effectively and seamlessly.”

Getting to the heart of the matter, Mr Houbby adds: “While everyone is talking about video conferencing, which has become much more affordable, the main barrier to adoption is still perception: not all staff members are comfortable to be seen in their home clothing on the screen.”

By Oliver Pickup

 

Vodafone programme launch to help women on career breaks return to work

Vodafone is launching a new programme designed to provide people who have taken a career break, many of them likely to be women who have quit their jobs to raise a family, with a way of returning to work. 

Vodafone's "ReConnect" programme will be rolled out in 26 countries and give recruits the chance to return to work on a full-time or flexible basis. Employees on the programme with also be offered in-work training to "refresh and enhance skills".  The initiative will include "unconscious bias training" for hiring managers.

Of the 1,000 people expected to be hired by the telecoms firm through the programme over the next three years, 500 will be to management positions. This will represent roughly 10pc of all external hires for jobs at this level over the period. Around 7,500 of Vodafone's employees are senior managers or above. 

By Ben Wright

Uber CEO Kalanick apologised after Argument With Driver Over Falling Fares

 

The head of the online taxi service Uber has apologised after a video of him swearing at one of the company's drivers went viral. Travis Kalanick says he is ashamed of his behaviour after the driver complained his income was falling because of Uber's fare structure.

Snap to Price 200 Million Shares at $17 each

 

In a few hours, Snapchat's parent Snap will list on the NYSE under the ticker, “SNAP.” In preparation, the NYSE planned a practice sale of the much-anticipated Snap IPO hoping to avoid technical glitches ahead of the event and Snap priced 200 million shares at $17 each. The countdown begins.