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Friday Update

DB Live: easyJet vote; brewing merger; Carluccio’s; markets

6pm: Shearings collapses

Coach company Shearings has collapsed with the loss of 2,500 jobs.

Full story here

5.05pm: Quarantine confirmed and date announced

Passengers arriving into the UK will have to go into a 14 day quarantine, the Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed.

Full story here

4.45pm: London close

The FTSE 100 ended the last session before the Bank holiday slightly down at 5,993.28 −21.97 (0.37%).

4pm: Carluccio’s saved but jobs lost

Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s has been sold to Boparan Restaurant Group, owner of Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner, in a deal that will see 1,019 jobs lost as 40 restaurants are closed.

Under the deal, handled by FRP, a total of 800 jobs and 30 sites will be saved. Financial terms were not disclosed.

3pm: Stelios defeated

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou said three institutional shareholders “controlled by Airbus” led to his failure to unseat the airline’s chairman and chief executive in today’s shareholder vote.

Full story here

2.50pm: Low airline pushes back flights

Low-cost carrier Jet2 has delayed the resumption of it flights and holidays programme from 17 June until 1 July.

2.30pm: Ikea reopens – in England

Ikea is set reopen 19 stores across England and Northern Ireland from 1 June with a new series of safety measures to ensure social distancing, the retailer has announced.

Stores in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain closed, in line with Government coronavirus guidance

2pm: Country fair cancelled

Galloway Country Fair 2020, due to be held on 22 and 23 August has been cancelled. 

Hosted annually at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, the Fair attracts up to 20,000 visitors.

Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, said:  “It is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel this year’s Fair, but at a time such as this, the safety of those involved and our local communities must be prioritised.

1.30pm Drinking rises

One in four people in Scotland are drinking more since lockdown began, according to research.

Full story here

1pm: Housing minister silent on restarts

Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, has twice declined to give any indication when construction can start on sites around Scotland.

Full story here

11am: Quarantine rules

International travellers could face spot checks and £1,000 fines if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK under measures to guard against a second wave of coronavirus.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to confirm the plans – which will be introduced early next month – at today’s Downing Street briefing.

Exemptions for road hauliers and medical officials will apply, while the common travel area with Ireland will be unaffected.

10am: Marston’s and Carlsberg in joint venture

Gen!us

Midlands-based brewer Marston’s has announced a joint venture with Danish giant Carlsberg’s UK arm.

The Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company will be worth about £780 million.

Marston’s, which brews the Glasgow-owned low-cal lager Gen!us at its Bedfordshire brewery, said it will own a 40% in the joint venture and will now focus on its pub and accommodation business.

8.10am: London open

The FTSE 100 fell at the open and was trading at 5,905.97 −109.28 (1.82%)

7.30am: Tennent’s to open new warehousing

Tennent’s will open a 50,000 sq ft facility on the edge of Edinburgh in October aimed at enhancing the wholesaler’s service to customers, especially in the east of Scotland.

Full story here

7am: Frasers group ready to reopen

House of Fraser Glasgow

Mike Ashley, majority shareholder in Frasers Group, says stores may begin to reopen from 1 June, though this will not apply to Scotland where most retail remains in lockdown for a few more weeks.

The group owns House of Fraser, Sports Direct and Evans Cycles, and Mr Ashley has written a letter of thanks to all staff for their efforts during lockdown.

The letter also notes the Government’s proposals for the phased reopening of retail stores, “which whilst not guaranteed may potentially see the company’s stores begin to open from June 1st 2020.” 

Mr Ashley got into hot water at the beginning of lockdown when he threatened to defy the order to close shops.

He said today that payments to virtually all directly engaged employees, including those on casual contracts, will remain at 100% of normal salary levels for May. This applies to both furloughed and non-furloughed employees.

Senior management including Chris Wootton (CFO), Sean Nevitt (head of commercial) and the non-executive directors, will remain on a reduced annual salary capped at £40,000 at this time. As per normal, Mike Ashley will not be drawing a salary.

Mortgage help

Struggling home buyers are to get extra help with their mortgages under Financial Conduct Authority proposals to extend payment holidays.

For customers yet to request a payment holiday, the time to apply for one would be extended until 31 October. For those who are still experiencing temporary payment difficulties due to coronavirus, lenders should continue to offer support, which could include extending a payment holiday by a further three months.

Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive at the FCA, said: “Our expectations are clear – anyone who continues to need help should get help from their lender. We expect firms to work with customers on the best options available for them, paying particular attention to the needs of their vulnerable customers, and to provide information on where to access help and advice.”

“Where consumers can afford to re-start mortgage payments, it is in their best interests to do so. But where they can’t, a range of further support will be available. People who are struggling and have not had a payment holiday, will continue to be able to apply until 31 October.”

Vodafone chairman

Vodafone Group has appointed Heineken chief executive Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer as chairman-elect, succeeding Gerard Kleisterlee on 3 November.

He becomes a non-executive director following the company’s annual general meeting on 28 July.

Mr Van Boxmeer has been at the helm of the brewer since 2005 and will hand over the role to his successor in June.

Burberry

Fashion retailer Burberry said the luxury industry could take some time to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as it reported a 27% drop in comparable sales in the final quarter, which ended with 60% of its stores closed.

The company said given the uncertain outlook it had withdrawn its final dividend and would review future payouts at the end of its 2021 financial year.

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