Whitbread: Please make a fuss next time you opt for a break up like the one you're planning with Costa Coffee

We in the City could do with the work. Second and third homes don't pay for themselves you know!
Dear Alison Brittain, Adam Crozier and the other members of the Whitbread board,
First, congratulations on the decision to spin off Costa Coffee into a separate company, and on your latest results which no one will pay any attention to as a result.
We love the idea, because it will generate a lot of work for us and right now any work is welcome.
Read more Costa to be split from Premier Inn within two years, owner confirms Coffee cups: major chains fail to match Costa’s recycling targets Costa launches ‘chatter and natter’ tables to help combat loneliness As we’re sure you're only too well aware, the government has been seized by a bunch of lunatics and they seem hell bent on kicking us in the guts with the way they’re going about cutting the country off from Europe, the biggest market for its goods and services.
Or course, you have a supply chain to worry about, so you’..

The Shift: Workers of Silicon Valley, It’s Time to Organize

Workers of Silicon Valley, It’s Time to Organize Photo Credit Glenn Harvey Dear tech workers,
Long year, huh?
I get it. Your industry is under siege. Whether you work at an established giant like Facebook or Google, a private company like Uber or Palantir, or a lesser-known start-up, it feels like you’re being attacked from a thousand directions. People are comparing your companies to Big Tobacco, and Congress is accusing your executives of undermining democracy, poisoning users’ brains and censoring content.
All of a sudden, Silicon Valley — once the golden child of American industry — has become a villain.
Some of the backlash probably feels excessive. After all, the tech industry still creates useful things and employs lots of decent and ethical people. But I’ve talked to a number of tech workers recently, and I’ve seen you wrestling with your consciences. Some of you have stopped wearing your company T-shirts around town, fearing dirty looks from strangers. Others have taken extend..

Boohoo profits rise as sales at PrettyLittleThing jump 228%

Online retailer said customer numbers increased by 22 per cent over the year
Online fashion retailer Boohoo has reported surging full-year sales and profits as it reaps the rewards of successful acquisitions.
Shares jumped 16 per cent in early trading, after the group reported a 97 per cent increase in revenue to £579.8m in the year to February 28 as pre-tax profit rose 40 per cent to £43.3m.
Growth was helped by the recently acquired PrettyLittleThing, which clocked up a 228 per cent rise in sales to £181.3m.
Read more Boohoo launches capsule collection for men Joint bosses Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said the results had been achieved against the “backdrop of difficult trading in the UK clothing sector”.
They added: “The group made great progress during the year, integrating a new company, PrettyLittleThing, and a new brand, Nasty Gal, into the boohoo group.
“Revenue from boohoo continued to grow strongly, whilst there has been an exceptional performance from PrettyLittleTh..

Costa to be separated from Premier Inn within two years, owner Whitbread confirms

Following weeks of speculation, the group has confirmed it will demerge the coffee chain
The Costa coffee chain will be spun off from its owner, Whitbread, within the next two years, the group revealed on Wednesday.
Shares in Whitbread rose at the open after the company confirmed that it would demerge the high street cafe business and retain control of hotel chain Premier Inn, following weeks of speculation.
Read more Coffee cups: major chains fail to match Costa’s recycling targets Costa launches ‘chatter and natter’ tables to help combat loneliness Now activists want Costa cut free of Whitbread Earlier this month, it emerged that activist investor Elliott Advisors had built up a stake of more than 6 per cent of Whitbread, enabling it to apply more pressure on the group to split Costa off, on the basis that both Costa and Premier Inn would do better as more focused individual businesses.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Whitbread said it is “confident” that Costa ..

Lloyds Bank profits rise 23% as lender cuts jobs and branches

Shares in the lender edged down Wednesday morning
Lloyds Banking Group has reported a 23 per cent increase in profits to £1.6bn in the first quarter of the year, weeks after announcing another round of branch closures and job cuts.
The lender posted a 4 per cent increase in net income for the three months to 31 March, from £4.18bn this time last year to £4.33bn, while earnings per share rose 36 per cent to 1.5p from 1.1p.
Read more Lloyds Banking Group to cut 305 jobs and close 49 branches across UK Lloyds rakes in billions, but how much is too much? Lloyds posts largest annual profit in over a decade “In the first three months of 2018 we have again delivered strong financial performance with increased profits and returns, a significantly reduced gap between underlying and statutory profit and a strong increase in capital. These results continue to demonstrate the strength of our business model,” said chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.
“The UK economy continues to be resilien..

Wanted at Chinese Start-Ups: Attractive Women to Ease Coders’ Stress

Wanted at Chinese Start-Ups: Attractive Women to Ease Coders’ Stress BEIJING — China’s vibrant technology scene is searching for people like Shen Yue. Qualifications: Must be attractive, know how to charm socially awkward programmers and give relaxing massages.
Ms. Shen is a “programmer motivator,” as they are known in China. Part psychologist, part cheerleader, the women are hired to chat up and calm stressed-out coders. The jobs are proliferating in a society that largely adheres to gender stereotypes and believes that male programmers are “zhai,” or nerds who have no social lives.
“They really need someone to talk to them from time to time and to organize activities for them to ease some of the pressure,” said Ms. Shen, a 25-year-old who has a degree in civil engineering from a university in Beijing.
Chinese women have made great strides in the workplace. The country has the world’s largest number of self-made female billionaires, while many start-ups have women in senior roles. But..

Fraud against small businesses has cost 50,000 UK jobs, new study shows

Almost one in four SMEs has fallen victim to fraud
Fraud against small businesses has led to the loss of up to 50,000 UK jobs, according to research by Barclays.
A study carried out by YouGov on behalf of the bank found that 44 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) had been targeted by fraudsters and almost one in four (23 per cent) had fallen victim to fraud.
Read more UK consumers at risk of fraud because British bank security 'lagging' The study showed 10.6 per cent of all SMEs surveyed had suffered a cyber-attack, with 8.58 per cent of those making staff redundant to cover the cost of cybercrime. Based on a total of 5.687m small businesses in the UK, that equates to 52,120 jobs lost.
The average cost of fraud to a business was £35,000, which means the total cost could be up to £40bn to date.
Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays Business Banking, said: “Fraudsters are targeting hard-working entrepreneurs, in some cases impersonating suppliers and..