Vauxhall announces new investment in Luton plant despite Brexit uncertainty

The car maker's chief executive said the investment was a 'major milestone'
Vauxhall has announced further investment in its Luton operation where the motor company said it plans to build more vans, safeguarding 1,400 jobs at the plant, despite uncertainty caused by Brexit.
The news follows reports last month that up to 100 Vauxhall dealerships could be facing closure across the UK, threatening thousands of jobs.
The car maker said on Wednesday that it is aiming to increase production of its Opel/Vivaro model at the Luton plant to 100,000 vehicles per year, up from 60,000 produced at the plant last year.
Read more Volkswagen overtakes Vauxhall in UK sales rankings According to Vauxhall, the plan “has been facilitated by both the responsible social dialogue with the Unite union guaranteeing production flexibility and the support of the UK government and Luton Borough Council, despite Brexit uncertainties”.
“Performance is the trigger for sustainability and I woul..

Aldi and Lidl reach record market share as shoppers continue to look for low prices

More than 63% of households visited at least one of the German discount chains over the past 12 weeks
Discount chains Aldi and Lidl boosted their market share to new record highs of 7.3 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively in the last quarter, new figures show.
Sainsbury's and Asda both lost ground to the German challengers as competition in the grocery sector remains fierce.
Sales rose 2.5 per cent across the sector in the last quarter despite the travel chaos caused by the Beast from the East keeping some shoppers at home.
Read more Lidl vows to crack down on plastic waste by eliminating 5p bags An earlier Easter this year compared to 2017 motivated consumers into starting their Easter weekend shopping in March, largely counteracting the hit to demand caused by severe weather in February and March, the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel suggest.
Sales of Easter eggs were particularly buoyant, with a 69 per cent rise in the 12 weeks to March compared to the same peri..

Amazon paid $90m for camera maker's chip technology, sources say

The online retailer is reportedly exploring chips exclusive to Blink that could lengthen the battery life of its devices
Amazon paid about $90m (£64m) to acquire the maker of Blink home security cameras late last year, in a secret bet on the startup’s energy-efficient chips, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The deal’s rationale and price tag, previously unreported, underscore how Amazon aims to do more than sell another popular camera, as analysts had thought. The online retailer is exploring chips exclusive to Blink that could lower production costs and lengthen the battery life of other gadgets, starting with Amazon’s Cloud Cam and potentially extending to its family of Echo speakers, one of the people said.
Amazon views its in-house devices as key to deepening its relationship with shoppers. The Cloud Cam and Echo currently need a plug-in power source to operate. Blink, which says its cameras can last two years on a single pair of AA lithium batteries, could change t..

Foxtons boss Nic Budden gets paid despite annus horribilis

Heads the CEO wins, tails it's not his fault it's all down to the market, can't you see that?
Foxtons used to delight in being one of Britain’s brashest, most annoying companies. Its bright green minis emblazoned with its yellow logo swarmed around London and the shares soared on the thermal updraft from the capital’s smoking hot property market.
Until, that is, winter came, ushered in by Brexit, stamp duty changes and other unwelcome developments.
As a result, last year’s profits tumbled by nearly two thirds. So did shareholders' dividends, and it can’t have been much fun working there.
Read more Foxtons’ profit slumps as London market lingers ‘near historic lows' Foxtons profits plummet 64% amid 'unprecedented' uncertainty Foxtons estate agents sees revenues slump by 25% This year isn’t likely to be much better. The sharp suited young men and women flogging property from its offices will have to update their wardrobes via the sale rails, or..