Tesco share price surges after it unveils 800% profit rise and resumes dividend

The supermarket said its turnaround strategy is 'firmly' on track
Sales and profits improved at Tesco last year, leading the supermarket to announce its first dividend in three years.
Operating profit increased by 80.6 per cent to £1.84bn from £1.02bn, while profit before tax was up 795 per cent at £1.3bn from £145m.
Group sales rose 2.3 per cent to £51bn from £49.9bn, as the supermarket added 260,000 more customers.
Read more Tesco and Morrisons fastest growing big supermarkets, data shows The company said it would pay a dividend of 3p per share, the first divi it has announced since embarking on a strict cost-cutting strategy in the wake of an accounting scandal almost four years ago.
Shares in the group rose as much as 3.9 per cent in early trading after the results were published on Wednesday.
In September 2014, Tesco admitted to a £250m overstatement of profits for the first half of that year, and UK supermarket watchdog later found that the group had been ..

UK offices of Murdoch's 21st Century Fox raided as EU probes sports broadcasting 'cartel'

European Commission carries unannounced inspections of companies across continent amid investigation into 'suspected anti-competitive practices'
The London offices of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Networks have been raided by the European Commission as part of a continent-wide investigation into a possible sports broadcasting cartel.
Officials carried out “unannounced inspections” of companies in several countries over concerns the firms “may have violated EU antitrust rules”, the commission said.
Fox Networks Group (FNG), an operating unit of 21st Century Fox which distributes TV and cable channels around the world, said it was co-operating with the investigation after its offices in Hammersmith, west London, were raided.
Read more Murdoch takeover of Sky ‘not in the public interest’, watchdog finds The commission said the inspections were “a preliminary step into suspected anti-competitive practices”.
In a statement, it added: “The fact that the commission carries out such i..

Brexit: Sticking to EU rules 'vastly' more beneficial than creating UK's own, says business group

'For the majority of businesses, diverging from EU rules and regulations will make them less globally competitive,' says Confederation of British Industry
The economy will be much better off if the UK sticks closely to EU rules rather than creating its own after Brexit, a leading business group has said.
Eighteen of 23 sectors analysed would benefit from regulations that remain aligned with Brussels, the Confederation of British Industry found.
It said the costs of divergence would “vastly outweigh” the benefits in most parts of the economy.
Read more UK firms face storm of flawed legislation after Brexit, experts warn The CBI spoke to thousands of business leaders up and down the UK over a six-month period and found that, while there were opportunities to make beneficial new rules in sectors such as agriculture, shipping and tourism, these are limited.
In sectors such as aerospace, aviation, chemicals, financial services and technology, the majority of important reg..

Economic Scene: ‘How Long Can We Last?’ Trump’s Tariffs Hit Home in the U.S.

‘How Long Can We Last?’ Trump’s Tariffs Hit Home in the U.S. CP Industries just got an expensive lesson in the unintended consequences of protectionism.
Based in McKeesport, Pa., the company makes seamless vessels to store gases at high pressure — steel cylinders of up to six tons that it sells to the likes of the Navy, NASA and T. Boone Pickens’s Clean Energy. It has received the first bill from the 25 percent tariff that President Trump placed on steel from China and a few other countries: $178,703.09 assessed on a steel-pipe shipment scheduled to arrive at the Port of Philadelphia on Thursday.
That’s equivalent to about two weeks’ payroll. Over all, tariffs on steel pipe that the company has ordered from China — some already on its way across the Pacific — will add more than half a million dollars to raw-material costs over six months alone.
“How long can we last?” mused Michael Larsen, the company’s chief executive. “I don’t know. We could go down relatively fast.”
Photo “How long..

Amazon to deliver Whole Foods groceries to Prime members

Fast shipping services will be introduced in select US cities
Amazon said on Thursday it would start delivering Whole Foods groceries via its fast-shipping Prime Now service in select US cities, and plans to expand it across the country this year.
The online retailing behemoth will add Whole Foods to its one-hour and two-hour delivery service in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, it said in a statement.
Amazon Prime members will receive two-hour delivery for free and one-hour delivery for $7.99 (£5.76) on orders of $35 or more, the company said.
Read more Amazon overtakes Google as the world's most valuable brand Amazon shook up the industry with its $13.7bn acquisition of Whole Foods last year, prompting traditional supermarkets to look for ways to profitably deliver fresh food and shelf-stable pantry items.
In recent months, the world’s largest retailer Walmart, healthy food supermarket chain Sprouts Farmers Market and the largest traditional supermarket oper..

Student team designs ingenious change to washing machines that could save thousands of tonnes of C02

The average washing machine is weighed down by a 25kg slab of concrete to stop it moving around but students a
Sometimes an idea comes along that is genius for the simple fact that it seems so blindingly obvious, yet no one has thought of it before. Just such an idea came to a team at Nottingham Trent University who invented a simple device that can save fuel, cut carbon emissions and reduce back injuries with a simple adjustment to the humble household washing machine.
The average washing machine is weighed down by a 25kg slab of concrete to stop it moving around, but product design company Tochi Tech Ltd, which works with students and researchers at Nottingham Trent to solve manufacturing problems, came up with a much better solution.
Read more Crystal invented that can turn air into fuel and fight global warming It has built an empty plastic container that takes the place of the concrete and fills with water once the machine is installed.
In tests, it has proved just as effe..

Uber ride-sharing ban in France backed by EU's top court

'Member States may prohibit and punish, as a matter of criminal law, the illegal exercise of transport activities,' without referring decisions to Brussels, rules European Court of Justice
The European Union's top court has dealt another blow to Uber after ruling that member states can ban ride-sharing services without having to notify Brussels first.
The ruling came after France banned the UberPop service, which allowed drivers without a taxi licence to pick up passengers.
French authorities passed the law in 2014, after finding that the service would provide unfair competition to licensed cab drivers.
Read more Uber agrees settlement with family of self-driving car victim A court in Lille later asked the European Court of Justice whether the European Commission should have been notified before the law was passed.
The court said in a statement on Tuesday that “Member States may prohibit and punish, as a matter of criminal law, the illegal exercise of transport a..

Ultimo lingerie brand to cease trading in the UK due to 'extremely challenging' market

The brand launched in 1999 but was sold in 2014
Ultimo, the lingerie brand launched by Baroness Michelle Mone, is to cease trading in the UK due to the current challenging retail market.
Staff at Ultimo headquarters in East Kilbride, Scotland, retail partners, suppliers and other key stakeholders were informed of the decision today, and all 11 staff have now begun a formal redundancy consultation period.
Read more How baroness Mone of Mayfair balances business, politics and lingerie A spokesperson for the company said: “The last few years have been extremely challenging for Ultimo, driven by increasing competition in the market and more cautious consumer spending due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK economy over the last 18 months.
“Having reviewed the business’ performance over the last three years as well as future prospects and considering the retail environment within which the business is operating; the board has, with regret, decided to cease operations of the Ultimo ..

Russia's wealthiest oligarchs lose $16bn in the day after US imposes sanctions

Siberian nickel miner Vladimir Potanin saw $2.25bn wiped off his fortune
It was a painful day to be a Russian billionaire. The combined net worth of the country’s wealthiest people fell by $16bn (£11.3bn) on Monday — erasing all of their year-to-year gains — following last week’s US-imposed sanctions.
All but one of the 27 Russian tycoons listed on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index lost money, led by Siberian nickel miner Vladimir Potanin, whose fortune declined $2.25bn.
Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov saw his wealth tumble $1.37bn, while Viktor Vekselberg of Renova Group lost $1.28bn.
Read more Russia stock market crashes after US imposes sanctions on oligarchs ​Vekselberg is one of seven Russian tycoons sanctioned last week by the Trump administration in retaliation for Moscow meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. He took steps on Monday to limit the exposure of his Swiss holdings to the sanctions.
Oleg Deripaska, who was also among those sanctioned, lost $905m..

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria pushed natural catastrophe insurance costs to record high last year, study shows

Insured losses from catastrophes hit the highest level on record last year, rising to $144bn (£102bn), up from $56m in 2016, new research shows.
According to insurance giant Swiss Re’s latest Sigma report, insurance covered less than half of the total economic loss from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters, which hit $337m in 2017, almost double the $180bn loss recorded in 2016.
Read more How Texas is ‘building back better’ from Hurricane Harvey Of that total, $330bn came from natural catastrophe-related losses, mainly hurricanes and other weather events, while $7bn arose from man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks, major fires and explosions and maritime disasters.
More than half of the total insured losses last year were due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria (HIM), which caused chaos in the US and Caribbean in the second half of 2017, which racked up estimated costs of $92bn. Hurricane Maria is now ranked as the third most costly event in terms of insurance lo..