Tech giants slam Trump’s withdrawal from climate agreement
Apple, Facebook, Google and other leading US businesses have expressed their concern and disappointed over President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
In separate messages and statements across social media, leaders from the tech giants called the move “shortsighted” and “wrong”.
Elon Musk, the owner of electric car maker Tesla, stepped down from two White House advisory councils after the decision was made. The pioneer of clean-energy said “climate change is real” adding “leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted that the “decision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet” and said the brand is committed to fighting climate change and “will never waver”
This is an incredibly shortsighted move backwards by the federal government. We're all on this planet together and we need to work together. https://t.co/tLEdtG0n1o
— jack (@jack) June 1, 2017
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called the decision “incredibly shortsighted” and a “move backwards by the federal government”, while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckererg said the decision “puts our children’s future at risk”.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: “Disappointed with today’s decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all.”
Leaders from Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have also criticised the move.
Snapchat Spectacles are now on sale in the UK
Snapchat Spectacles are available in Europe for the first time via five ‘Snapbot’ vending machines situated in London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Venice.
UK consumers will have to head to the London Eye on the Southbank to locate the vending machine, but glasses can also be purchased online at Spectacles.com for shipping across Europe.
The wearable camera is priced at £129.99 and allows users to record 10-second video clips, which when connected to a smartphone can then be shared to Snapchat or downloaded as a video.
The Spectacles, which come in a number of colours, are the first hardware product to be launched by Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc.
Intel predicts $7trn future for driverless cars
The driverless car industry is set to be worth $7trn a year, according to a new study by Intel, which suggests companies that don’t prepare for a self-driving future risk failure or extinction.
The study, put together by Strategy Analytics, predicts the value and opportunity created by autonomous vehicles will grow from $800bn in 2035 (the base year of the study) to $7trn by 2050.
An estimated 585,000 lives could also be saved by the introduction of driverless vehicles between 2035 and 2045.
Lucozade turns bottles into contactless Tube tickets
Lucozade Energy is offering customers free trips on the London Underground using bottles fitted with a contactless chip.
The specially adapted bottles allow people to swipe in and out at Oxford Circus station for a limited time in the same way Oyster does.
It is an extension of the brand’s multichannel ‘Find Your Flow’ campaign, which includes digital marketing, product sampling and in-store activation, as well as a takeover at Oxford Circus station.
The brand has also created a series of videos featuring Team GB gymnast Nile Wilson, Britain’s Got Talent finalists Twist and Pulse and ballet star Alessia Lugoboni.
Entrepreneurs are putting their health at risk by never switching off
Startup founders are putting their health at risk by working up to 80 hours a week, a new report finds.
The research, a joint study of 500 tech startups by British venture capital firm BGF Ventures and market researcher Streetbees, reveals 41% of respondents feel stressed everyday as a result of working such long hours.
Half of the founders surveyed said they were unable switch off from the business in its first year, which is a problem that only gets worse over time given this figure rises to 65% when the company reaches three to four years.
More than a quarter of founders admitted to working over 60 hours a week, and the report suggests the stresses associated with starting a business coupled with these long hours leaves entrepreneurs particularly vulnerable to health and relationship problems.
Thursday, 1 June
BA owner’s new budget airline takes first flight
Level, the new trans-Atlantic budget airline budget from British Airways owner IAG, will officially launch today with its first flight from Barcelona to Los Angeles.
IAG, which also owns Iberia, Aer Ingus and Vueling, has sold 100,000 tickets for Level flights since first going on sale in March. Over the next three weeks Level will begin flying from the Barcelona to San Francisco, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
The pricing structure is divided into six types of fare, starting from £99 one-way for hand luggage only to Flexible Premium Economy, which offers a hot meal, two checked-in bags and seat selection. The airline will also offer Wifi from €8.99.
Starting out using cabin crew from sister airline Iberia, Level is expected to create up to 250 jobs in Barcelona. IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, confirmed that by summer 2018 Level will have increased its fleet of aircraft in order to fly to more destinations from Barcelona and plans to expand to other European cities.
Level’s first flight comes in the same week as low cost rival Ryanair saw profits rise 6% in the full year to 31 March to €1.316bn, with traffic up 13% to a record 120 million customers.
Deliveroo offers riders pay per trip
Deliveroo is offering 3,000 riders the option to be paid by each order they deliver, rather than per hour, in a bid to reinforce their status as self-employed contractors not employees.
The payment per delivery option will amount to between £3.75 and £4 per trip, depending on the location. The Telegraph reports Deliveroo told riders tests have shown that workers who have chosen this option earn an average of £12 per hour, compared to £9.50 for those on the current system.
Riders willing to accept the payment deal are also being offered extra incentives, such as the option to see the orders when they come in so they can reject those they don’t want, as well as information on the busiest times so they know when they will receive the most work.
The pay by order option is being made voluntary after riders protested last year against plans to impose a similar contract. The food delivery firm is currently embroiled in a row with riders, some of whom argue that as they only work for Deliveroo they are entitled to full employee rights such as sick pay, holidays and other benefits.
BrewDog UK sales rocket 97%
BrewDog UK sales rocketed 97% in 2016, helping it to become one of the fastest growing drinks companies in the world.
In its first publicly disclosed results the craft beer brand also reported a 60% increase in annual turnover to £72m.
Sales of its flagship Punk IPA rose 130%, with sales of the Dead Pony Club brew up 157%, making it the third most purchased craft beer in the UK. During 2016 BrewDog shipped just under 131,000 barrels of beer, alongside an additional 65 million bottles worldwide.
Back in April the brewer announced the sale of a 23% stake in the business to investment firm TSG Consumer Partners for $264m (£205m), valuing BrewDog at $1.24bn (£960m).
In the same month the craft brewer also launched its first vodka and gin brand LoneWolf in a bid to “reclaim craftsmanship” in the sprits sector.
Tesco to trial Currys PC World outlets in stores
Tesco has signed a deal with Dixons Carphone to trial two Currys PC World concessions in its Tesco Extra stores this summer.
The first store is scheduled to open in July at Tesco’s Milton Keynes Extra store, followed by a second concession in Northampton in August.
The concessions will offer a tailored range of Currys PC World products including televisions, computers, white goods and accessories. Laptop repairs, as well as broadband and energy supply advice, will also be available.
Tesco UK CEO Matt Davies explained that the partnership was another way of offering customers “the best possible range of services” in its stores, while Katie Bickerstaffe, Dixons Carphone UK&I CEO, said the trial was aimed at enabling consumers to pick up electrical goods “seamlessly” during their weekly grocery shop.
Pizza chain Papa John’s appoints first CMO since 2015
Papa John’s International has appointed Brandon Rhoten as its global CMO, filling a role left vacant since 2015.
The pizza chain poached Rhoten from US fast food rival Wendy’s, where he was serving as vice president of advertising, media and digital/social.
As global CMO Rhoten will be responsible for domestic and international marketing, reporting into president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie, who described Papa John’s new appointment as “a disruptor in the quick-service restaurant industry”.
Rhoten will be tasked with enhancing Papa John’s brand relevancy and quality positioning across its global marketing channels.
Wednesday, 31 May
Amazon shares hit $1,000 for first time
Shares in Amazon have risen above the $1,000 mark for the first time. The shares touched $1,001.2 at one point yesterday (30 May) before slipping back to $996.7. It originally listed its shares in May 1997 for just $18 each.
Amazon now has a market capitalisation of about $478bn and according to consultancy Slice Intelligence, Amazon now accounts for about 43% of all online sales in the US. It is the fourth-largest US company by market capitalisation, behind Apple, Google owner Alphabet, and Microsoft.
Snapchat makes move to create a safer environment for brands
Snapchat is striking deeper partnerships with outside companies in a bid to reassure marketers that it is a safe place to advertise.
The tech company is working with Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and Moat to evaluate its technology and procedures for addressing brand safety.
“The Snapchat brand safety protocol is designed to block any ads from appearing adjacent to user-generated content that is determined to be inappropriate or objectionable,” DoubleVerify says
Co-op Bank said to head for debt-for-equity swap as options fade
Co-operative Bank is coming closer to forcing bondholders to swap debt into equity and selling shares.
The Manchester-based lender is seeking an agreement with bondholders including US hedge funds Silver Point Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management within weeks to raise as much as £750m. Co-op Bank is also in talks with a potential bidder for the company, though a so-called liability management exercise without a sale is the most likely option.
Shop prices pushed closer to inflation by pick-up in food
Overall shop prices reported the shallowest deflation rate since November 2013 in April. Deflation for April was reported as 0.4%, down from the 0.5% fall in April.
Non-food deflation deepened slightly with prices falling 1.5% over the year to May compared to the 1.4% decline in April. Food inflation accelerated to 1.4% from the 0.9% rise in April, while fresh food was 1.2%, up from 1.0% in April.
“Overall prices continue to fall year on year, albeit now at the slowest rate since November 2013,” says Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium.
“With shorter stock turnaround times, the impact of the weaker pound has already started feeding through into food prices; although food price inflation this month is still well below the input cost price increases being faced by retailers. By contrast, heavy discounting in the wake of a weak start to the year and the fact that some businesses are still protected by hedging contracts are keeping non-food prices deflationary for now.”
Tuesday, 30 May
Ryanair profits rise as ‘always getting better’ programme attracts record traffic
Ryanair saw profits rise 6% in the full year to 31 March to €1.316bh, an increase it puts down to a 13% cut to average fares and the third year of its ‘Always Getting Better’ programme. Traffic was up 13% to a record 120 million customers, with load factor (how full a plane is) at an industry-leading 94%.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary says: “We are pleased to report a 6% increase [in profit after tax] despite difficult trading conditions in 2017 caused by a series of security events at European cities, a switch of charter capacity from North Africa, Turkey and Egypt to mainland Europe, and a sharp decline in Sterling following the June 2016 Brexit vote.
“We reacted to these challenges by improving our customer experience and stimulating growth with lower fares.”
Customer experience improvements include updates to Ryanair’s website, mobile appand digital platforms. The airline plans to continue this emphasis by offering connecting flights for long-haul partners and rolling out its Ryanair Holidays offering to all markets as it looks to build the “Amazon of travel”.
British Airways to resume all flights after catastrophic IT outage
While Ryanair reports a record year, British Airways and its customers had a disastrous weekend after an IT outage, apparently caused by a power surge, caused the airline to cancel hundreds of flights and ruin the holiday plans of thousands of people heading away for the bank holiday and half-term break.
BA says operations have now returned to normal, with plans to offer a full flight schedule today (30 May), including at Heathrow and Gatwick where at one point all flights were cancelled.. But it warns it will take “some time” to reunite travellers and bags.
The outage has seen almost €360m wiped off the value of BA owner IAG, with that expected to fall still further today. The airline faces a huge compensation payout, with suggestions the financial impact could run into the tens of millions.
BT set to bring EE within consumer group
BT plans to fully merge its mobile phone division EE with its consumer arm within the next four years in a move that would create a £10bn integrated mobile, broadband and pay-TV offering. Speaking to the Financial Times, CEO Marc Allera says keeping the two businesses separate says keeping the two businesses separate is the right choice for now, but that that will change.
What really excited me is the future opportunity as a group from bringing BT and EE together.
Marc Allera, BT
“There are no plans at the moment but nothing is forever, what really excited me is the future opportunity as a group from bringing BT and EE together,” he says. “It would create a £10bn line of business. It is there in the back of our minds. Over the long term there are opportunities to make consumer routes to market simpler.”
EE is currently operated at arm’s length and BT has previously said it has no plans to get rid of the brand. However the two operate in very similar markets, both offering mobile, broadbrand and pay-TV.
Sainsbury’s eyes bid for Palmer & Harvey
Sainsbury’s is reportedly drawing up plans to takeover tobacco distributor Palmer & Harvey in a move seen as an attempt to remain competitive in the market after Tesco’s planned buyout of Booker. According to The Telegraph, plans are in the early stages and no formal bid has yet been made.
P&H currently gets around 40% of its business from Tesco and has just signed a new deal with them, although that could change once the Booker deal goes through. For Sainsbury’s it is an opportunity to increase its share of the market following its £1.4bn acquistion of Argos.
UK economy set for sunny summer
Private sector growth is expected to rise over the summer after it rowed back in the three months to May, according to the CBI. In a survey of 721 respondents across the manufacturing, distribution and services sectors, it found that growth had slowed a little in May to 13%, compared to 18% in April.
But it expects that growth to accelerate over the next three months, up by 18%, as demand in manufacturing and business and professional services helps to offset a slowdown in retail.
Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s chief economist, says: “The UK economy continues to perform solidly, if not spectacularly. Emboldened by a weaker currency, our manufacturers are getting on with it and recorded strong growth again this quarter.
“But on the other hand inflation is starting to bite, having an impact on household incomes with costs rising at the factory gate and on the high street.”