finance

European shares bounce back, as UK house price growth cools – business live


11.34am BST

Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s sales to dealers more than trebled in the first half of 2021 compared to the pandemic-hit start of 2020, as revenues from its new DBX helped the struggling carmaker reduce its losses, reports Jasper Jolly.

The British carmaker sold 2,901 cars during the six months to June, up from 895 in the equivalent period in 2020. It expects to sell 6,000 cars this year, before expanding to 10,000 a year by 2025. Comparisons are skewed by the start of the coronavirus pandemic when car dealers and factories closed down across the world, but it still represented an improvement for the carmaker, which was rescued by fashion billionaire Lawrence Stroll at the start of 2020.

The demand we see for our products, the new product pipeline and the quality of the team we have in place to execute, gives me great confidence in our continued success as we progress towards achieving our medium-term targets of 10,000 units, £2bn revenue and £500m of adjusted EBITDA, as we transform Aston Martin to be one of the greatest ultra-luxury car brands in the world.

11.31am BST

GSK and San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology have struck an agreement with the European Commission to supply up to 220,000 doses of their therapy sotrovimab as a Covid-19 treatment. It’s a monoclonal antibody and will be used to treat adults and teenagers from the age of 12. The announcement comes ahead of second-quarter results from GSK at noon.

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The contract has been signed by 16 of the 27 EU states. The drug is being assessed by the EU medicines regulator and is not authorised yet. It can be used to treat coronavirus patients with mild symptoms who don’t need oxygen.

This agreement with the European Commission represents a crucial step forward for treating cases of Covid-19 in participating EU member states, as it enables access to sotrovimab for high-risk patients who have contracted the virus.

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