Thursday update

DB Live: Higgins response date; Brewin Dolphin; Dyson jobs

5pm: Dyson job cuts

Consumer products firm Dyson is cutting 600 jobs in the UK and a further 300 worldwide as changing shopping habits hit the company.

The firm, best known for inventing the bagless vacuum cleaner, said the pandemic had forced more people to shop online.

Most of the jobs will be lost in retail and customer service roles from its global workforce of 14,000, with 4,000 in the UK.

Dyson uses its own people to sell in department stores, for example at John Lewis, but the shift to online has cut necessity for a High Street presence. The jobs being lost overseas, where the company operates in 80 countries, involve similar roles.

4.45pm: London edges higher

The FTSE 100 index posted a four point rise at the close to 6,211 as investors contemplated the US economy and relations with China, the UK Brexit negotiations and the spread of the pandemic.

3pm: EU talks statement

Britain’s chief negotiator in the Brexit talks has issued a statement on the prospects of a trade deal with the EU by the end of the year.

Full story here

12.35pm: Higgins response next month

Fiona Hyslop

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop pictured, said “good progress” was being made formulating the government’s response to reports from the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery – chaired by Benny Higgins – and the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board. The government will respond in the first week of August.

Tourism, business, community and agricultural projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders have been awarded more than £2.1 million to support economic development across the region.

In total, 28 projects will receive funding through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

9.15am: Betting ‘muddle’

The Betting and Gaming Council says it is disappointed that the Scottish government has told bookmakers to switch off their gaming machines under the close contact retail guidance until further notice.

It comes just days after Holyrood confirmed it would be lifting the ban on gaming machines, in-store chairs and live racing in betting shops from 22 July.

John Heaton, boss of Scotbet, Scotland’s largest independent betting shop chain, said: “We’re now incurring all the cost of the in-shop product without the benefit of the machines. It’s the worst of all worlds.

“They seem determined to put as many betting shops out of business as they can, and it’s independent shops like ours that will suffer the most.”

9am: Aegon offices sold

M&G, owner of the Edinburgh Gyle offices occupied by pensions and wealth management group Aegon, has sold the building to a Korea-led group.

Full story here

8.30am: London open

The FTSE 100 was trading 22 points higher (0.35%) at 6,229.08 on a number of upbeat quarterly earnings reports bolstering optimism about a post-pandemic corporate rebound.

Unilever surged 6.8% after reporting a much lower drop in sales than feared.

Security contractor G4S rose 4.3% to the top of the FTSE 250 after reporting a higher-than-expected first-half operating profit.

8am: Frigate contracts

Computer image of Type 26 frigate

BAE Systems has awarded a further five contracts to suppliers worth more than £100m, as progress on the Type 26 frigate programme continues at the company’s shipyards in Glasgow.

Full story here

7am: Mail events disruption drags group into loss

The owner of the Daily Mail fell to an adjusted operating loss in the last three months as its events business suffered the impact of the coronavirus.

Full story here

Alliance Trust

The wealth manager has declared a second interim dividend of 3.595p, an increase of 3% year on year and said that unless market volatility is greater than anticipated in the second half of the year, it expects to use its strong revenue reserves to maintain that level of increase for the remaining interim dividends for 2020 resulting in the 54th year of dividend increases.

Brewin Dolphin

Total funds increased by 12.8% to £46.7bn in the quarter (Q2 2020: £41.4bn), with discretionary funds up 13.7% to £40.6bn (Q2 2020: £35.7bn).

Robin Beer, chief executive said: “We continue to deliver resilient results despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic have imposed on our business in supporting our clients and colleagues.

“In response to COVID-19 we have continued to review our office operations and have re-opened a number of small offices on a controlled basis, prioritising our employee’s and clients’ health and safety and ensuring consistency with government’s guidelines. We anticipate that our larger offices will take longer to reopen fully.”

AJ Bell

The investment platform said total assets under administration (AUA) increased to £54.3 billion, up 7% over the last 12 months and 12% in the quarter.

Management currently expects profit before tax for the year ending 30 September 2020 to be at least £2.5 million above current market consensus.

Carnival extends cruise delays

Princess Cruises and P&O are extending the pause in cruise operations. It will impact the following Princess voyages: 

* All cruises sailing in and out of Australia on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, and Sun Princess through October 31, 2020 

* All sailings in Asia, Caribbean, California Coast, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America & Antarctica, Japan, and Tahiti/South Pacific through December 15, 2020 

“We share in our guests’ disappointment in cancelling these cruises,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise.”

P&O Cruises announced it was extending its rolling pause in operations across Australia and New Zealand to October 29, 2020

6am: Markets

IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index to open 4 points higher at 6,211.10. The blue-chip index closed down 62.63 points, or 1.0%, at 6,207.10 on Wednesday.

Asian markets were trading mixed overnight with the Hang Seng (+0.37%) and Asx (+0.18%) up while the Kospi (-0.91%), and notably, the Shanghai Comp (-1.19%) was down amidst renewed US-China tension over the closure of Chinese Embassy in Houston, Texas.

Today’s agenda

The Prime Minister is in Scotland

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

Jobs to be axed at five star Edinburgh hotel

Johnson accused of ‘panic’ over independence support

SEC reports boost to events calendar in sign of revival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.