Primark owner ABF says sugar business to blame for 30% drop in profit

Group plans to open nine new Primark stores across the globe in second half of the year
Associated British Foods (ABF), the owner of discount fashion giant Primark, has reported a 30 per cent drop in profit despite increased sales across almost all its businesses during the first half of the current financial year.
The group said decline in its sugar operation was to blame for the dip in overall pre-tax profit, which fell to £623m from £895m in the first half of 2017. Shares dropped more than 1.7 per cent at the open.
Read more Primark: The corporate symbol of a discount Brexit Britain? ABF owns AB Sugar, which has been struggling for some time due to falling sugar prices as a result of the EU removing sugar sales quotas. On Tuesday, the company reported operating profit from the sugar business fell 27 per cent to £90m in the 24 weeks to 3 March, while revenue dropped 13 per cent to £938m.
Primark delivered an 8 per cent rise in revenue, to £3.5bn, and a 6 per cent increase in..

A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Great Video on Your Phone

A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Great Video on Your Phone Photo Credit Joshua Bright for The New York Times Not long ago, a filmmaker wouldn’t dream of shooting a movie on a phone because the quality was so inferior to what you could capture on pricier devices. But that’s changing. Consider this: The most recent project from the renowned American film director Steven Soderbergh, “Unsane,” was shot entirely on an iPhone.
Today, there are lots of reasons everyone from pro photographers to amateur shutterbugs are using phones to shoot video projects.
Like many of his peers, Christian Nachtrieb, a Boston-based corporate and wedding photographer, finds phones aren’t just continuing to improve in terms of quality, but they’re also extremely convenient. “It’s the readiness factor. Having a phone right in your pocket is a huge plus,” says Mr. Nachtrieb, who might see a stunning sunset, capture it on his phone, and then splice it into a final wedding video. “No one in a million years could tell th..

China’s Economy Grows, and Its Trade Gap With the U.S. Widens

China’s Economy Grows, and Its Trade Gap With the U.S. Widens SHANGHAI — China’s economy grew at a healthy pace in the first three months of this year, propelled by strong household spending and heavy government investment in infrastructure.
It was also helped — albeit much more modestly — by a factor that could exacerbate the country’s tense relations with Washington: China is selling a lot more to the United States, and its purchases from America aren’t keeping up.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced in Beijing on Tuesday morning that the economy had expanded 6.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the same quarter last year. That was well ahead of the pace necessary to hit the government’s target of 6.5 percent growth for the entire year.
The country’s quarterly growth figure has become so implausibly smooth and predictable in recent years that economists generally look for other ways to gauge China’s economic health. One of those is trade, which at one time was a..

Senate Bill to Curtail Labor Rights on Tribal Land Falls Short

Senate Bill to Curtail Labor Rights on Tribal Land Falls Short Photo The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, where a labor group is trying to organize workers. The casino is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe on tribal land. Credit Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times Organized labor managed an increasingly rare feat on Monday — a political victory — when its allies turned back a Senate measure aimed at rolling back labor rights on tribal lands.
The legislation, called the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, would have exempted enterprises owned and operated by Native American tribes from federal labor standards, even for employees who were not tribal citizens.
The A.F.L.-C.I.O. said passage of the measure, the subject of several years of tribal lobbying, would have amounted to the most aggressive erosion of labor protections since 1940s.
The bill fell six votes short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.
The House passed the measure in January. It is unclear if the Sen..

Chinese Tech Company Blocked From Buying American Components

Chinese Tech Company Blocked From Buying American Components
SHANGHAI — China’s second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment will not be able to use components made in the United States after the Commerce Department said it failed to punish employees who violated American sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
The ban announced Monday, which effectively locks the company, ZTE Corporation, out of American technology for seven years, is a blow to one of China’s few truly international technology suppliers.
ZTE’s products for the infrastructure of telecommunications networks, as well as its smartphones, use an array of American parts, like microprocessors from the chip maker Qualcomm, glass made by Corning and sound technology from San Francisco-based Dolby.
In a call with reporters on Monday, a senior Commerce Department official said the action was not connected to a broader intellectual property investigation into China.

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'Cradle to grave' millennial renters should have German-style tenancy protections, says think tank

According to the Resolution Foundation, if the decline in the UK home ownership rate continues, a third of people currently in their twenties and thirties will still be renting their homes by the time they retire
Millennials who face the prospect of renting for their entire lives should be given German-style long-term security of tenure and limits on hikes in their rent, a leading think tank has argued.
In its latest report, the Resolution Foundation estimates that if the decline in UK home ownership rates seen since 2000 continues, a third of people currently in their twenties and thirties will still be renting their homes by the time they retire.
Lifetime renting is unremarkable in countries such as Germany and Switzerland, which have home ownership rates far below the UK’s current 63 per cent level.
Read more The real reason why the Tories can’t solve the housing crisis But those countries have much stronger rights for tenants compared to the UK, where tenants can usually be ..

London falls out of top 10 most expensive business travel destinations thanks to stronger euro

All UK locations on list dropped down the rankings, with Aberdeen seeing a particularly marked fall, while Monaco, Basel and Paris became pricier
London has fallen out of the top ten most expensive cities in the world for business travel, thanks to a strengthening euro, new research has found.
The UK capital was overtaken by Monaco, Basel and Paris this year, dragging it down to sixth place in Europe from third the year before.
All of the UK locations included in the list compiled by data and software company ECA International dropped down the rankings.
Read more Inflation falls in February as transport and food prices decline Aberdeen fell from 13th to 39th in the European rankings in two years, partly due to a downturn caused by lower oil and gas prices.
Simon Franklin, daily rates manager at ECA International said: “Whilst the price of business travel to London has remained relatively static over the past few years, the strong performance of the euro in the past year has se..