Melrose bosses take home annual pay of £42m each ahead of GKN takeover

Company says the incentive arrangement is 'highly effective and essential”
Top bosses at turnaround specialist Melrose have raked in pay packets worth nearly £42m ahead of the company's pending takeover of British engineering giant GKN.
Melrose’s annual report showed four executives benefited from the payout of a five-year long-term incentive plan (LTIP), which meant the top brass were handed an extra £41.7m each on top of their salaries for 2017.
Executive chairman Christopher Miller, executive vice chairman David Roper, chief executive Simon Peckham, and group finance director Geoffrey Martin all claimed the awards.
Read more Melrose takeover offer approved in GKN shareholder vote Melrose said the LTIP payment – which was approved back in 2012 – was linked to the creation of £3.6bn in value for shareholders between 2012 and 2017, representing an average annual return of 22 per cent.
The company's remuneration committee added that the performance “validates” the..

UK the fly in recruiter Page's ointment as nervous Brits stay put

Company is flying everywhere else as global economy throws off good, well paying jobs
Recruiter PageGroup probably wishes it could turn the page on Brexit (it wouldn’t be alone).
The worst decision in British political history has a habit of spoiling the party when it reports results.
The company recruits professionals, white collar types who earn decent money. We’re talking between £50,000 and £150,000 annually.
Read more Airbus warns hard Brexit will cause business to 'grind to a halt’ Under boss Steve Ingham, it has become a global business, and its performance ranges from good to very good everywhere it operates as a booming global economy throws off lots of good, high paying jobs.
When adjusting for currency movements, profits over the first three months of the year were up 20 per cent in the Americas, 18 per cent in Europe, the Middle East & Africa, 13.8 per cent in the Asia Pacific region.
You can probably guess what’s coming: the glaring exception was the UK..

British Gas price hike a 'slap in the face' to customers, says MP

Ministers say 'unjustified' decision is 'disappointing' but Labour says government should have done more to prevent it
MPs have criticised British Gas’s decision to raise bills for millions of customers just months before the introduction of a cap on energy prices.
The energy giant said prices will rise by an average of 5.5 per cent, meaning the cost of the standard tariff will increase to £1,161. An estimated 4.1 million customers will see their bills increase by an average of £60 per year.
The price hike was criticised by MPs across the political spectrum. The Government said it was “disappointed” with the “unjustified” decision, while Labour accused ministers of failing to introduce their energy price cap quickly enough.
Centrica, which owns British Gas, blamed the increase on rising wholesale energy prices and said government policies were also responsible.
Read more British Gas announces 5.5% price hike, affecting 4.1m UK households Claire Perry, the mi..

IMF's Christine Lagarde warns trade protectionism will only hurt the world's poorest

Christine Lagarde fears growing tension between the US and China will result in WTO rules being 'torn apart'
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has warned countries that they must avoid trade protectionism to ensure global prosperity.
Speaking in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Ms Lagarde said she fears growing tension between the US and China over tariffs will lead to World Trade Organisition (WTO) rules being “torn apart”, which she called an “inexcusable, collective policy failure”.
“History shows that import restrictions hurt everyone, especially poorer consumers,” said Ms Lagarde.
Read more Airbus warns hard Brexit will cause business to 'grind to a halt’ “Not only do they lead to more expensive products and more limited choices, but they also prevent trade from playing its essential role in boosting productivity and spreading new technologies.”
Alluding to Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’s war of words on tariffs, the IMF chief called for an end to protectionist t..

Legal marijuana could soon be a bigger market than fizzy drinks

Expanding access to cannabis is also expected to hit alcohol sales
Cannabis could soon become a bigger industry than fizzy drinks and it has already started putting pressure on alcohol sales.
If marijuana is made legal nationwide in the US by 2030, the legal weed industry could generate $75bn (£53bn) in sales by that year, according to a new note from the investment bank Cowen.
Cowen’s cannabis sector analyst, Vivien Azer, revised her previous estimate up by $25bn (£17.6bn). Legal marijuana sales are already around $50bn, Ms Azer said in the note.
Read more Legalising cannabis could help solve US opioid crisis, studies suggest Rise in cannabis strength may not affect schizophrenia, study suggests Israel moves towards decriminalising marijuana use UK world’s largest producer of legal Cannabis, finds UN body Government refuses medical cannabis to six-year-old epileptic boy Fizzy drink consumption, on the other hand, is declining. Per capita consumption fell to a 31-year low in th..

Shop Direct puts 2,000 UK jobs at risk with closure of three warehouses

Online retailer which owns Very and Littlewoods will open new automated site in East Midlands in 2021
Littlewoods owner Shop Direct is closing three of its warehouses in Greater Manchester, putting close to 2,000 jobs at risk.
The online retailer, which also owns Very.co.uk, said it will close sites in Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven from mid-2020 onwards and open up an automated warehouse in the East Midlands where around 500 new jobs will be created.
Shop Direct predicts it will also employ an additional 200 and 300 agency workers at the site during peak times.
Read more Bargain Booze owner set to go into administration risking 2,500 jobs The closures put 1,177 Shop Direct employees and 815 agency workers in doubt, with the company confirming that redundancies are likely. Industry experts said it was unlikely that many existing staff would be given new jobs.
Shop Direct will begin work on the new site in May, with the opening set to take place in 2021. The company, which is ow..

Oil giant ConocoPhillips to axe 450 UK jobs over next two years

The US company is stopping production at a gas terminal on the Lincolnshire coast
Oil giant ConocoPhillips is cutting 450 roles in the UK after it stops production at its Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal in the North Sea later this year.
The firm currently employs 1,300 staff and contractors across its UK operations, both onshore and offshore. The Theddlethorpe terminal, located on the Lincolnshire coast in England, was earmarked for closure by the company last year.
Read more Shell to start new North Sea oil drilling project in Penguins field A spokesperson for ConocoPhillips said the job cuts will be made between 1 October 2018 and April 2020, following a voluntary redundancy programme.
The US company swung back to profit in the fourth quarter of last year, helped by the rising price of crude oil, with the bulk of that profit coming from its operations in Alaska.
The North Sea oil and gas industry has been under pressure in recent years, with several platforms shutting down due ..

Airbus warns hard Brexit will cause business to 'grind to a halt'

Tom Enders says the lack of clarity on Brexit is 'damaging and hard to bear'
Airbus has warned the UK government that it must provide a clearer vision of the country’s post-Brexit relationship with the European Union or risk a decline in investment in the aviation industry.
Writing in the Financial Times, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders called the lack of clarity on Brexit a situation that is “damaging and hard to bear”.
“A transition arrangement for the UK’s departure will be a positive step, once it is signed. But this is a temporary solution – it does not solve all the issues that need to be addressed,” Mr Enders told the FT on Wednesday.
Read more Sticking to EU law 'vastly' better than making our own, say businesses “We must have more clarity on the UK’s long-term relationships, not just for the next 20 months.”
The manufacturer's CEO called for the UK to remain within the EU aviation safety certification agency to ensure new planes gain the nec..