Economy

Oxo to launch vegan beef-flavoured stock cubes

Beef stock cubes have become the unlikely target of a vegan makeover with Oxo scheduled to launch a meat-free version of the famous meat extract amid a boom in sales of plant-based foods. Premier Foods, which is also behind brands such as Mr Kipling and Bisto gravy, said the beef-flavoured stock cubes would start appearing […]

Flybe plays down size of rescue deal as rivals step up criticism

Flybe has admitted to having secured a £10m tax holiday and confirmed ongoing negotiations over a state loan, as rival airlines stepped up attacks on the government’s rescue of the struggling carrier. The Exeter-based airline said that, contrary to reports, only a small amount of its annual air passenger duty (APD) bill – believed to be […]

Trump plans $11bn tariffs aimed at EU’s aircraft, cheese and wine – as it happened

Closing summary: IMF warns of no-deal Brexit hit and Trump threatens tariffs on EU The International Monetary Fund has the jitters – with Brexit and trade tensions at the top of the agenda at its latest Washington meeting. It has downgraded growth forecasts around the world – notably in Germany and Italy – and warned […]

Debenhams falls into administration, wiping out Mike Ashley’s stake

Debenhams has been taken over by its lenders after the department store group fell into administration, wiping out shareholders including Sports Direct and paving the way for store closures that will put thousands of jobs at risk. The retailer’s 165 UK outlets will continue to trade under the pre-pack administration deal that affects its listed holding […]

UK households spend above their income for longest period since 1980s

British households have spent more than they received for an unprecedented nine consecutive quarters amid a longer squeeze on real incomes, according to official figures. Households across the country have been net borrowers in every quarter between October 2016 – when living costs started to rise after the Brexit vote – and December 2018. The Office […]

Brexit fatigue: business leaders fed up of paying price of uncertainty

Business leaders have reacted with frustration and warned that Britain is increasingly succumbing to Brexit fatigue, severely damaging the economy, after parliament again failed to break the deadlock over leaving the EU. After Theresa May’s Brexit plan was defeated for a third time on Friday, throwing the country into yet more turmoil while paving the way for a potential […]

Debenhams offers Sports Direct chance to keep stake as it wins £200m lifeline

Debenhams has told Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct that if it wants to hold on to its stake in the company it must make a full takeover bid or inject new money as part of a £200m rescue package. The statement was issued hours after Ashley launched a stinging attack on advisers to the department stores group, […]

EU millionaire bankers grow in numbers, EBA reports

Despite a cap on bonuses for EU bankers, the number of high earners has increased by over 40 percent since 2010. The UK, home to thousands of millionaire bankers, has only seen a “small increase,” likely due to Brexit. The number of high-earners in the EU’s banking industry rose by more than 5 percent in […]

Philip Hammond weighs options for spring statement spending

On Wednesday, MPs expect to hear the chancellor tell them that austerity will soon be consigned to history. Philip Hammond said in last year’s budget that “austerity is coming to an end” and teased ministers with the promise of the cash that he and his predecessor George Osborne denied them in the previous eight years. There is […]

Banking leak exposes Russian network with link to Prince Charles

A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash from Russia in a scheme that is under investigation by prosecutors, the Guardian can reveal. Money flowing through the network included cash that can be linked to some of the most notorious frauds committed during Vladimir […]

Help-to-buy scheme pushes housebuilder dividends to £2.3bn

Britain’s biggest housebuilders paid out £2.3bn in dividends in their most recent financial year, as the help-to-buy subsidy pumped up their profits and house prices. The nine biggest housebuilders listed on the London Stock Exchange declared the dividend payouts in their last full financial years, according to an analysis by AJ Bell, an investment platform. […]

UK manufacturers’ optimism at 27-year low amid Brexit stockpiling

Manufacturers’ optimism about their prospects for the rest of the year fell to a 27-year low last month amid record stockpiling to cope with the potentialfallout of a no-deal Brexit, according to a survey of the industry. Worries about the UK leaving the European Union without an agreement also prompted manufacturing firms to cut jobs at […]

The Farmer’s Dog Raises $39 Million In The Largest Series B Round For A Pet Startup

Last year saw its share of blockbuster investments in the pet space. On-demand dog-walking app Wag received $300 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund in January, and its competitor Rover raised $155 million ($125 million in cash and $30 million in credit) in May. Even Amazon announced its own private pet label (also called Wag). But that doesn’t mean scrappy startups have […]

A380: a comfortable, eerily quiet cruise ship of the skies

The first thing you noticed was the silence. Even sitting by the engines at takeoff, you didn’t need to raise your voice on the A380 superjumbo. The quiet was almost eerie. It was a monstrous double-decker so big it felt like travelling in two planes stuck on top of one other. It was a kind […]

BBC launches eco-friendly fashion and lifestyle brand

The BBC is launching a sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand based on its Blue Planet and Planet Earth series, in an effort to capitalise on viewers inspired by the shows and presenter David Attenborough’s warnings about the effect humankind is having on the world. Eco-friendly clothing, homewares and books are being rolled out under the umbrella of BBC Planet, […]

Seven-year jail terms unveiled for pension fund mismanagement

MPs and pension experts have welcomed government plans to introduce lengthy jail sentences for executives who recklessly mismanage pension funds, in an effort to avoid a repeat of recent scandals like BHS or Carillion. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, said the current fines were not enough and that a new criminal offence would be […]

UK economic growth expected to halve in final quarter of 2018

UK growth slowed sharply in the final three months of 2018 as Brexit anxiety weighed on consumers and firms, official figures published on Monday are expected to show. City economists estimate that economic growth halved to just 0.3% in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 0.6% growth in the third quarter. If confirmed by […]

Philip Hammond urges business leaders to accept Brexit result

Philip Hammond has told business leaders they need to accept the result of Britain’s EU referendum and warned that a failure to implement it would damage the country’s political stability. The chancellor told increasingly restless business leaders that he was working for a deal that safeguarded the economy, and said he understood their frustration but companies […]

No-deal Brexit ‘poses threat to global stability’ – CBI head

Fears are growing internationally that a no-deal Brexit poses a threat to the stability of the global economy, the head of Britain’s leading business body has warned. Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said the failure to sort out Britain’s departure from the European Union was damaging Britain’s brand abroad and had joined a list of systemic […]

Patisserie Valerie chair extracted more than £40m from failed chain

Luke Johnson, the multimillionaire chairman of collapsed cafe chain Patisserie Valerie, has extracted more than £40m from the business since the cafe group floated on the stock market less than five years ago. Other shareholders are considering legal action after their investments in Patisserie Holdings, the parent company of brands including Patisserie Valerie, Druckers Vienna Patisserie […]

M&S: another five-year plan, still no great leap forward

Question: when will the City witness the revival of Marks & Spencer? Answer: in about five years’ time. This is not a scoop. “About five years” tends to be the answer every time the question about the Resurrection of St Michael is asked, and it gets refreshed almost as often as the retailer’s fashion lines. […]

China’s moon landing proves it is more than just a paper dragon

For the US it was a wake-up call. Convinced that it was a world leader in the knowledge economy, the US was shaken out of its complacency when its communist rival announced a breakthrough in space exploration. More than six decades separates the launch in 1957 by the Soviet Union of Sputnik – the first […]

As China feels US tariffs bite, a chill spreads around the world

It epitomises China’s position in the global economy that a seismic warning about its health last week came from a US company: Apple. The iPhone maker cut sales forecasts, citing the unforeseen “magnitude” of the economic slowdown in China – a vital growth market. At the same time the head of Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, warned […]

FRANCE MULLS WEALTH TAX CHANGES AS PROTESTS INTENSIFY

The French government will consider reintroducing taxes on the most wealthy in what is seen as a further measure to appease the gilets jaunesprotesters threatening to destabilise Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. Lifting part of the impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF, solidarity tax on wealth) was a pillar of Macron’s election campaign and one of the first fiscal measures […]

‘People don’t go out’: the town where half the pubs have vanished

Fifteen years ago, taxi driver Basharat Khan would drive past the Hyndburn Inn on Accrington’s Blackburn Road and marvel at how packed it was. He never went inside – he doesn’t drink – but he noted its reliably heaving beer garden. These days, Khan is inside the building most days: six years ago he converted […]

Jaguar Land Rover to cut costs after quarterly loss of £90m

Fears of further job losses as carmaker suffers 44% year-on-year sales drop in China Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s biggest carmaker, has launched a £2.5bn plan to cut costs and free up cash after slumping £90m into the red in the three months to September, hit by falling sales in China and Europe. JLR will reduce […]

The business students of today want to ‘do well by doing good’

Top universities often tout their MBAs as a path to high-paying jobs and a powerful network. But a growing number of students are more interested in learning how to change the world through business. Students at Columbia Business School in New York are among those leading the way. They founded Microlumbia, an impact investment fund, which measures […]

The Pope likes this kind of investing

For some Catholic investors, it’s no longer enough to do no harm. They want their money to help the world’s poorest, and they’ve got the backing of Pope Francis. While Catholic investment funds have traditionally avoided businesses that are inconsistent with church teachings, there’s a growing movement towards “impact investments” that actively deliver a social […]

Premier Inn unveils no-frills hotel brand with pod-style rooms

Owner Whitbread creates spin-off Zip as it refocuses after sale of Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola. Premier Inn’s owner, Whitbread, is launching a no-frills hotel chain with small pod-style rooms as the company seeks to refocus its business after the sale of its cafe chain Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola. Called Zip by Premier Inn, the new hotels […]

I fancy a colleague. Should I make a move?

I really fancy someone at work. We’re in different teams, so it’s not technically against the rules, but would it be terrible for my career if I made a move? I’m quite junior and worried that people will judge me for it. First, let’s erase this ghastly idea of judgment: who cares what people think of […]

How to be heard: the art of public speaking

Over the years, comedy scriptwriter Heidi Ellert-McDermott must have put thousands of words into mouths more famous than hers. But even she didn’t find it easy to stand up and make a speech at her own wedding. “Even though I felt like I’d written a good one, I was still surprised on the day that […]

How to make it big in tech and still keep the demons at bay

At a mentoring session for founders of early-stage startups last year, Asi Sharabi broached a topic rarely discussed – at least frankly and in public – by the tech community: the daunting personal and psychological challenges faced by (often very young) entrepreneurs. “The biggest challenge on a day-to-day basis is what I call managing your own psychology: […]

Be brave, UK business leaders and say why you’re not going to the Saudi Davos

It should be an easy decision for a board of directors to make: after the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it would be obscene to send a corporate representative to next week’s “Davos in the Desert” event in Riyadh. What’s more, it should not be difficult to say so. The list of high-profile dropouts […]

Crest Nicholson issues profit warning as house sales in London slow

The housebuilder Crest Nicholson has warned that profits will be lower than expected because of slowing sales in London and the south-east, where Brexit uncertainties are putting off buyers in the traditionally strong autumn selling season. The company said it had not seen the pick-up in demand, with prospective buyers unable to afford a home in the […]

Gold Ferrari and 24-carat bedding go up for auction at Sotheby’s

“People are actually really surprised at how soft they,” the auctioneer Constantine Frangos said, as he described 24-carat gold and silk bedsheets that will go on sale at Sotheby’s auction house in London in the first all-gold auction. As well as the king-size, 40% gold bedsheets, which are expected to sell for between £30,000-£50,000, there is a […]

Tax evasion: blacklist of 21 countries with ‘golden passport’ schemes published

A blacklist of 21 countries whose so-called “golden passport” schemes threaten international efforts to combat tax evasion has been published by the west’s leading economic thinktank. Three European countries – Malta, Monaco and Cyprus – are among those nations flagged as operating high-risk schemes that sell either residency or citizenship in a report released on Tuesday by […]

Three-quarters of UK workers ‘do not receive same pay each month’

Three-quarters of workers do not receive the same pay from one month to the next, according to a report that says sudden plunges in income are putting low-paid people at risk. The Resolution Foundation found pay volatility was particularly acute among the lowest earners and their income was more likely to fall than better-paid people’s. […]

Keep us at top of TV listings, say public service broadcasters

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are calling for new laws to give their shows top billing in the era of on-demand internet TV viewing. The chief executives of the UK’s biggest public service broadcasters, including STV in Scotland and S4C in Wales, have co-signed a letter calling on the government and Ofcom to guarantee their content […]

Offshore wealth: loopholes found in EU anti-tax evasion rules

European rules designed to make it harder for wealthy individuals and companies to hide their cash offshore have loopholes that mean foreign accounts can be kept secret from tax collectors, a report has warned. Countries in the EU have exchanged financial information about accounts held by overseas residents since the introduction of the “common reporting […]

May could yet leave the Brexit rebels high and dry

When the final Brexit deal hits the floor of the Commons, Brexiters who prefer leaving the EU without a deal than agreeing to a Chequers fudge will come under the most intense pressure to lay down their arms. They won’t just feel the water cannon of recession forecasts hosing them down. The international community, in the form […]

Bank of England to print plastic £50

The £50 note will remain part of UK currency after a “new, more secure” version of the highest-value note in England was announced. It will be printed on thin, flexible plastic polymer material after the Turner £20 note is issued in 2020, the Bank of England said on Saturday. The last crop of £50s was introduced in […]

Scrapping UK grants for hybrid cars ‘astounding’, says industry

Incentives for consumers to buy hybrid and electric cars rather than diesel or petrol alternatives have been slashed by the government, adding thousands of pounds to the price of a new low-emission vehicle. Car manufacturers said the decision was an “astounding” move. It comes only three months after the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, published a Road […]

Patisserie Valerie shares suspended over ‘£20m accounting black hole’

The owner of Patisserie Valerie has suspended its shares after the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities. Patisserie Holdings said it has been notified of “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities and therefore a potential material mis-statement of the company’s accounts”. As a result, this has significantly affected the company’s cash position and may lead […]

‘McMafia’ banker’s wife with £16m Harrods spending habit named

The woman at the centre of the UK’s first McMafia-style “dirty money” investigation who has a £1.6m-a-year Harrods spending habit has been unmasked as Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of an Azerbaijani banker jailed for defrauding his state-owned bank out of as much as £2.2bn. The court of appeal has lifted a veil of secrecy allowing […]

Liam Charles’ recipe for spiced caramel layer cake

Finally, we are reaching autumn. And you know what that means: comfort food. Nobody can moan at me about putting salted caramel in everything any more – at this time of year, it’s justified! Here, I combine it with my other love, spiced spread, in a spiced caramel cake. Nom nom nom. Prep 20 min Cook 40 […]

Bank of England warns EU over Brexit risk to financial stability

The Bank of England has issued its strongest warning yet to the EU that its lack of adequate planning for Brexit has created growing risks for almost £70tn of complex financial contracts. Threadneedle Street said the bloc had made only limited progress to protect the financial system and time was running out, with little more than six […]

Greggs to ‘ramp up’ labelling after Pret a Manger allergy deaths

Greggs is looking at ways to step up allergy labelling in its stores after two deaths from allergic reactions to food bought from rival chain Pret a Manger. Roger Whiteside, chief executive of Greggs, said the company was currently putting out messages via digital screens in stores, telling those who suffered from allergies to ask assistants […]

US unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 1969

US figures have shown the lowest jobless rate since the year of the first moon landings, keeping the world’s largest economy on course for further interest rate rises. Eagerly awaited figures for jobs and wages showed less inflationary pressure in the world’s biggest economy than had been feared, but still pointed to more hikes by the […]

The frackers are back: but will there ever be a British shale gas boom?

Fracking is due to return to the UK this week, as the shale gas company Cuadrilla prepares to start operations at a well in Lancashire – provided it can see off a last-minute legal challenge. It will be the first horizontal shale well to be fracked in the UK. The drills have penetrated two kilometres deep […]

Trump says Saudi King wouldn’t last ‘two weeks’ without US support

US President Donald Trump told supporters Tuesday that Saudi Arabia and its King would not last “two weeks” in power without American military support and appeared to call on the country to pay more for its own defense. “And how about our military deals where we protect rich nations that we don’t get reimbursed. How […]

High stakes: cannabis capitalists seek funds to drive drug trade

In a Mayfair hotel ballroom some of the UK’s biggest banks and pension funds have gathered to consider an investment in a new wonder ingredient that promises to revolutionise products ranging from pharmaceuticals, face creams and diet supplements to yoghurt and beer. That ingredient is cannabis, and it has exploded into a multibillion-dollar industry as […]

World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF

The world economy is at risk of another financial meltdown, following the failure of governments and regulators to push through all the reformsneeded to protect the system from reckless behaviour, the International Monetary Fund has warned. With global debt levels well above those at the time of the last crash in 2008, the risk remains that unregulated […]

London house prices fall again as stamp duty and Brexit fears bite

House prices in London have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row as high prices, stamp duty changes and Brexit uncertainty put off buyers. The average price of a home in the capital fell by 0.7% in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year, to £468,544, according to Nationwide. It followed a […]

Primera Air collapse: CAA will not rescue stranded passengers

Britain’s airline authority will not intervene to bring UK passengers home following the collapse of the Danish airline Primera Air, which has left thousands stranded abroad and holiday plans ruined. The Civil Aviation Authority said it was not obliged to mount a rescue operation because the budget airline was not covered by its Atol protection […]

Sports Direct sacks House of Fraser’s senior management

Sports Direct, which is controlled by the tycoon Mike Ashley, has dismissed the former directors and senior management of House of Fraser, less than two months after buying the department store group from its administrators. In a brusque statement issued to investors after the London stock market closed on Monday, Sports Direct said: “Following the collapse […]

German energy secretary backs forest clearance to build coal mine

Controversial plans to chop down a German forest to build a vast coal mine should proceed because Germany needs the polluting fuel to keep the lights on, according to the chief of the country’s state secretary for energy. Dozens of treehouses built and occupied by campaigners for years have been recently cleared by police to make way for plans […]

Royal Mail shares plunge after profit warning

More than £800m has been wiped off the stock market value of Royal Mailafter it issued a shock warning on Monday that profits will slump this year. Investors sent shares in the post and parcels group down almost 18% as the company refused to rule out higher stamp prices to rebuild profits. “We are going to […]

Energy firms demand billions from UK taxpayer for mini reactors

Backers of mini nuclear power stations have asked for billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to build their first UK projects, according to an official document. Advocates for small modular reactors (SMRs) argue they are more affordable and less risky than conventional large-scale nuclear plants, and therefore able to compete with the falling costs of […]

Can Labour’s five-point plan rescue Britain’s high streets?

The high street is facing its darkest hour, with tens of thousands of jobs disappearing as traditional retailers are crushed by the rise of internet shopping and restaurants are hit by tough competition and home delivery services. Successive governments have commissioned reviews, most famously by Mary “Queen of Shops” Portas, to diagnose the problem and come […]