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Wednesday Update

DB Live: Deposit scheme; Marshalls, Brewin Dolphin; GDP

5.45pm: Deposit return scheme

Colin Smith

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) said it is “bitterly disappointed” that its call for the deposit return scheme to be halted has been rejected.

The government today confirmed plans announced in March to delay the scheme going live until July 2022.

Colin Smith, chief executive of the SWA, pictured, said this “pre-dates Covid-19 and still needs manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to start planning now – but no-one will.”

4.45pm: Markets

The FTSE 100 closed at 5,904.05 −90.72 (1.51%)

1.40pm: Housing leaders demand guidance

Housing leaders are urging the First Minister to give clear guidance on a phased return to work as construction work gets under way in England.

Full story

12.15pm: Ashley ‘to invest in stores’

Retail analysts expect Sports Direct and House of Fraser tycoon Mike Ashley to use cash raised from selling Newcastle United FC to prop up his high street empire.

Full story here

11.45am: BBC chief blasts critics

BBC Scotland’s departing top executive has defended the organisation against “frequently unfair” and “politically-motivated” attacks on its journalism.

Full story here

9.30am: Design success

A Scottish design engineer has been selected as the only UK finalist in a global challenge to invent a ventilator to help Covid-19 sufferers.

Full story here

8.15am: Markets

The FTSE 100 fell at the open on weak UK GDP figures and lingering concerns over the global economy.

The index was 58.92 points (0.98%) lower at 5935.85, having edged above 6,000 yesterday.

Asian stocks struggled for direction overnight as investors reacted to new cases of coronavirus in countries that had brought their outbreaks under control. 

7am: Aston Martin Lagonda

Aston Martin DB11

All Aston Martin cars will be built to fulfil order demand only. The DBX is on track for Summer 2020 delivery with retail orders continuing to grow and now extending into 2021; derivatives to be unveiled from 2021.

Aston Martin Valkyrie deliveries now planned to commence in late H2 as closure of test facilities impacted development schedule.

Revenue declined to £79m as COVID-19 impacted dealer demand and core retail sales fell 31% year-on-year.

The St Athan plant in Wales reopened on 5 May following public health guidelines

All 18 dealers in China have re-opened and more than 15% of dealers are fully open globally.

Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman said: “I am even more enthusiastic and confident in the multi-year plan that we have set out to bring new and exciting products to market to drive demand and build the Aston Martin brand.”

Brewin Dolphin earnings fall

Brewin Dolphin posted a fall in first-half earnings on as the market sell-off towards the end of the period saw assets under management (AUM) fall by £3.6 billion.

Statutory pretax profit was 5.1% lower at £28.2m for the six months ended 31 March, while AUM stood at £41.4bn against £45bn at year-end.

The board declared an interim dividend of 4.4p per share.

David Nicol, chief executive, said: We have a strong balance sheet and good cash generation although we need to be mindful of the high level of uncertainty for the remainder of the financial year. We continue to monitor the impacts on the business and maintain strong cost discipline.

Marshalls to cut jobs

Landscape products group Marshalls has confirmed selective site closures, changes in shift patterns.

Up to 400 jobs representing 15% of the total workforce may be impacted and include 95 already notified in Falkirk.

The company said it plans to reopen plants as demand returns.

As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, sales in the first four months through to 30 April were down 27% at £131 million (2019: £180 million).

However, In the early part of May daily levels of activity have improved and the company is currently at about half daily revenues compared to the same period in 2019.

The company said the cost reductions, together with banking and government support facilities will leave it stronger and well-placed to meet the current challenges and also well-positioned for eventual future opportunities.

Tui cuts staff

The Tui Group is looking to cut up to 8,000 staff worldwide.

The Anglo-German firm posted losses of €845.8 million (£747m) in the first half of 2020, compared to €289.1m (£255m) in the same period last year.

The company said it was looking to permanently reduce its overhead cost base by 30% across the entire group.

Economy shrinks

The UK economy contracted at its fastest pace since the financial crisis during the first quarter of 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Gross domestic product shrank by 2% in the three months to March. February to March saw a record 5.8% contraction.

Today’s top Daily Business stories

Housing restarts in England as Scottish sites stay silent

Sunak extends furlough scheme to end of October

Billionaire Ratcliffe wants taxpayer loan for Ineos plant

Sleeper boss Soames under fire over Scottish trip

Rangers in no mood to cease hostilities with SPFL

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