Business headlines: Sainsbury’s; Asda; Vodafone; Heathrow; The Guardian; British Steel; ANZ; iPhone; Jaguar Land Rover


It’s vital to be aware of the latest news in the industry you’re working in or applying to. Here are some headlines you might find interesting:

Sainsbury’s facing £46m in costs over failed Asda bid
Sainsbury’s failed bid to merge with rival Asda has cost the supermarket chain £46m. The proposed merger was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority over fears that it would mean an increase in prices for consumers. Sainsbury’s recorded a drop of 0.9% in sales over its fourth quarter, with pre-tax profit falling to £239m – compared to £409m the year before. Aside from the costs of the failed merger, the supermarket chain spent £81m on restructuring costs and defined benefit pension expenses of £118m. Chief executive of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, said the business would invest in 400 new supermarkets over the next year while investing in online sales as well. Mr Coupe said he was planning to stay at Sainsbury’s after the failed merger.

Campaigners against third Heathrow runway lose High Court challenge
A group of campaigners who launched a legal challenge at the government’s decision to approve plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport have lost their case after High Court judges ruled that the plans were completely lawful. The action was brought by five councils as well as a group of residents, environmental charities and London Mayor Sadiq Khan after MPs backed the plans in June. The group argued that the government’s plans failed to account fully for the impact the airport expansion would have on air quality, noise, congestion and climate change. The current plan, which will cost £14bn, could see the start of construction in 2021, with the third runway operational by 2026.

The Guardian records first operating profit since 1998
The Guardian has recorded its first operating profit in two decades. The newspaper reported an operating profit of £0.8m for 2018-2019. The profit shows the success of the turnaround strategy introduced in 2015 when Chief Executive David Pemsel and Editor-in-Chief Katherine Viner took charge of the company. That year, the Guardian’s projected losses were forecast to rise to £83m. Since then 450 jobs have been cut, while a new strategy asking readers to contribute financially to the newspaper – even though they can read it for free – has helped increase revenue. The decision to switch from the Berliner to the smaller tabloid format also helped cut production cost.

British Steel seeking £100m government loan to meet EU emission rules
Steelmaker British Steel is seeking a £100m loan from the government to help it meet EU emission rules. The company has previously relied on EU-issued carbon credits to settle its 2018 pollution bill, but access to these free carbon permits has been suspended by the European Union until a Brexit withdrawal deal is confirmed. The EU allows industrial polluters to use carbon credits to pay for emissions of the previous year or trade them to raise money. Each permit allows a firm the right to emit 1,000kg of carbon dioxide. British Steel has said it is discussing the situation with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is in talks with the Department for Business about financial help.

ANZ bank reports cash profit increase despite weak housing market
Australian bank ANZ has raised its half-year cash profit by 2% to A$3.56bn (£1.91bn), but warned of the impact of a weak housing market. It also stated that subdued credit growth, competition and compliance costs would keep its earnings under pressure ‘for the foreseeable future’. Even so, the results beat expectations causing shares in ANZ to hit a two-month high of A$27.98 (£15.05) per share.

Electronics giant Apple has seen revenues from its iPhone drop by 17% to $31bn (£23.7bn) over the three months to the end of March, but lifted its outlook for the three months to June as sales picked up towards the end of March.

Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has announced it will build its next-generation Land Rover Defender 4×4 in Slovakia rather than the UK after 67 years of the 4×4 model being manufactured in Solihull.

Source: HN Global