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  • BP halves dividend; 1,100 PizzaExpress jobs at risk- business live

    Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news


    1.24pm BST

    Back in the City, oil giant BP is still among the top FTSE 100 riser – up 7% today.

    Investors are sanguine about its dividend being halved, and perhaps relieved that it didn’t make a deeper cut or an even larger loss (although the $16.8bn loss in Q2 was a record-breaker).

    “BP has woken up to the immediate need to cut carbon emissions this decade. Slashing oil and gas production and investing in renewable energy is what Shell and the rest of the oil industry needs to do for the world to stand a chance of meeting our global climate targets.

    BP must go further, and needs to account for or ditch its share in Russian oil company, Rosneft. But this is a necessary and encouraging start.”

    BP has two choices. The first is to continue to cut costs, cut output from its highest cost fields, cut production manpower and overhead and simply restart paying out the maximum dividend it can in the future by not investing in the future at all.

    “Alternatively, it can diversify on a much larger scale by investing more in alternatives –– wind power, green hydrogen production, hydrogen storage and distribution, small modular reactors and other non-oil or gas investment. This would result in its realising the objective it set itself in the year 2000 when it changed the meaning of BP from being British Petroleum to being Beyond Petroleum.

    12.53pm BST

    Dixons Carphone have confirmed they are cutting up to 800 jobs, by restructuring its in-store management structure.

    Dixons Carphone said it is cutting jobs in order to create a “leaner” management structure in its stores. The retailer will axe several roles including retail manager, assistant manager and team leader and create more customer-facing jobs. The changes will result in an overall reduction of 800 roles, it said.

    Mark Allsop, the chief operating officer, said it was trying to better align the shopping experience in its store and online. “We want to … create a flatter management structure and make it easy for our customers to shop with us, however they choose,” he said.

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  • Four lessons from bank results

    Trading revenues provided a boost but will loan loss provisions absorb a wave of defaults?


  • Profits plunge for Guinness owner Diageo after Covid lockdown

    Company forced to write down value of brands by £1.3bn after closure of pubs and bars

    Locked down drinkers in the UK started buying booze online and baking with Baileys but that wasn’t enough to stop profits tumbling at the Guinness and Smirnoff owner Diageo, as Covid-19 forced the closure of pubs and bars.

    Operating profit at the global drinks firm fell by 47% to £2.1bn in the year to the end of June, with most of the damage done in the final three months as countries across the world imposed strict lockdown rules.

    Continue reading…


  • Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy as Covid continues to hurt airlines

    Airline seeks protection under US’s bankruptcy code, allowing it to shield assets in the country

    Virgin Atlantic has declared itself bankrupt and is seeking protection from creditors in the US, according to a court filing in New York on Tuesday.

    The airline is seeking the protection under chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code, which allows a foreign debtor to shield assets in the country. The announcement comes little more than a month after Virgin Atlantic announced it had secured funding to survive for another 18 months.

    Continue reading…


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