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Tuesday Update

DB Live: Disney axes 28,000; Greggs hours cut; Menzies losses

Disney (Paul Kiddie)

10pm: Disney job cuts

Disney is laying off 28,000 employees as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rip through its theme park operations.

It will mean the continued closure of its California parks and reduced capacity at its parks in Florida and around the world.

The cuts were detailed in a letter to employees today. About two-thirds of the affected workers were part-time employees.

4.30pm: Market close

A largely quiet day in London with traders reluctant to commit ahead of tonight’s US presidential debate. The FTSE 100 spent the day in the red, closing down 30.43 points, or 0.5%, at 5,897.50. The FTSE 250 ended down 196.61 points, or 1.1%.

12.30pm: Novosound to launch ‘breakthrough’ products

Scottish technology start-up Novosound will launch its range of revolutionary non-destructive testing (NDT) products this week, claiming they will provide a technological breakthrough for several industries, particularly oil and gas, and aerospace, potentially saving companies millions of dollars in downtime.

8.45am: London lower

The London market defied expectations of a slight rise in the FTSE 100 as the index traded 57.6 points (0.97%) lower at 5,870.37.

Ferguson, a UK plumbing and heating specialist, was an early gainer, rising 5.7% after better-than-expected full-year results.

Takeaway chain Greggs saw shares slide 4% after it said trading would remain below normal levels for the foreseeable future (see below).

Shares in Cairn Energy were down 2.42% at 137.1p after swinging to a loss (see below).

8am: EICC taking bookings

The EICC has been running online events since lockdown, ahead of a planned return to business events and conferences in 2021 and is set to announce a series of major conference wins later this year. 

Full story here


7am: Greggs takes away hours

Takeaway food chain Greggs said it will look to reduce job losses by staff working reduced hours and by new shop openings.

Trading showed only a small improvement over the last three months.

The Newcastle food-on-the-go company said sales had reached 76.1% of the 2019 level in September, an improvement on a slower August but only slightly above the level it reported at its last trading update in July.

In a trading update it said: “With the Job Retention Scheme planned to end in October we are taking steps to ensure that our employment costs reflect the estimated level of demand from November onwards.

“With business activity levels remaining below normal for the foreseeable future we must change the way we work to be as productive and flexible as we can in order to protect as many jobs as possible for the long term.”

Cairn Energy

Oil and gas explorer Cairn Energy swung to a first half loss of $324m, swinging from a profit of $66.5m in the first half of 2019.

Revenue totalled $172m (£133.64m) for the six months ended 30 June, down from $257m year-on-year.

Its average realised oil price fell to $40.21 per barrel from $67.84 a year earlier, with the firm also reporting hedging gains of $7.91 per barrel, while its average production cost slipped to $16.29 per barrel of oil equivalent from $16.78.

Menzies Aviation

Menzies loss deepens

Aviation services group Menzies reported sharply deeper half-year losses of £80.1 million against a loss of £4.4m last time as it suffered from the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ground handling and fuelling services across its European business was most significantly affected.

Revenue was down 33% as a result of a 43% year on year decrease in passenger flight volumes to £431.5m from £649.9m.

Philipp Joeinig, executive chairman, said the group had “acted decisively” to reduce costs and moved to right-size its operations.

“As a result, our liquidity position is good, and we are well placed to navigate through the winter season and beyond.”

Springfield gains from city exodus

The north of Scotland house builder said it is benefiting from buyers seeking to move out of city centres and into larger homes with gardens.

It said it was making excellent progress in delivering its order book and had seen a significant increase in demand since resuming operations.

Full story here

Today’s agenda

Day two of Scottish International Week

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

Bank policymaker plays down negative interest rate

Downing St rejects calls to review 10pm curfew

Monday 9.30pm: US market rises

Wall Street jumped as investors cheered progress in negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.5%, more than 400 points, while the S&P 500 rose 1.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.9%.

4.30pm: London shrugs off virus concern

Friday’s rebound extended into the new week as traders cast aside worries about the virus and new movement restrictions. The FTSE 100 closed 85.26 points (1.46%) higher at 5,927.93. The FTSE 250 was up 1.9%.

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