Thursday Update

DB Live: Marston’s axes 2,150 jobs; Ryanair cuts schedule

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4.30pm: FTSE 100 slumps

London’s FTSE 100 index fell to a near-two week low as concerns grew over new coronavirus restrictions.

Brexit uncertainty also prompted investors to book profits after some recent gains.

After slumping as much as 2.5% during the session, the blue-chip index closed down 1.7% or 102.54 points at 5,832.52 to mark its biggest daily decline since late September, with energy, insurance and mining stocks leading declines.

Pub operator Marston’s was 1.4% lower after it announced 2,150 job cuts caused by the latest restrictions.

Noon: London down on virus restrictions

Stocks were firmly in the red amid tightening coronavirus restrictions across Europe, including London, and as hopes of further US stimulus faded.

The FTSE 100 was 120 points or 2% lower at 5,814, extending earlier losses in line with European peers.

London looks likely to be plunged into Tier-2 Covid-19 restrictions from Saturday.

There was no sign of a pre-election stimulus package in the US and Brexit was also very much in focus, with the two-day European Union summit due to kick off later.

10am: Star Pubs fined

Heineken-owned Star Pubs, headquartered in Edinburgh, has been fined £2 million in the High Court after being accused of forcing tenants to sell “unreasonable levels” of its own alcohol.

See more: Scots publicans want legal cover

8am: London falls sharply at open

The FTSE 100 fell 87.69 points (1.48%) to 5,847.37 as traders fretted over further Covid restrictions and a lack of new stimulus measures.

Gen!us

7am: Marston’s cuts

Brewer and pubs group Marston’s said 2,150 pub-based jobs currently subject to furlough will be axed because of continuing restrictions.

“These decisions are difficult but are necessary due to the restrictions placed upon our business at this time,” it said.

The group, which brews Glasgow-owned Gen!us lager at its Bedford brewery, said 10,000 staff who had been on furlough have returned to work.

Since 4 July, the company had reopened approximately 99% of its pubs, though a small number closed subsequently as revised regulations were introduced in Scotland.

It has 21 pubs in Scotland, eight of them closed, and has initiated a full review of overhead costs which will be concluded by the end of December. 

It has 18 pubs in the “highest risk” Liverpool region, the majority of which serve food and under the existing guidelines are capable of remaining open.

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