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Primark faces £1.5bn sales hit from Covid-19

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Ikea’s UK business dived nearly £33m into the red last year after it was forced to close stores for nearly three months during the pandemic.

The world’s largest furniture retailer said UK sales fell more than 10% to £1.9bn in the year to 31 August, even though online sales increased by nearly a third.

Ikea admitted that it had struggled to meet demand for home deliveries despite turning stores into distribution centres for online orders during the high street lockdowns….













An Aston Martin DBX SUV on display during the 18th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition last November.

An Aston Martin DBX SUV on display during the 18th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition last November. Photograph: VCG/Getty Images

The Covid-19 pandemic has left a nasty dent in Aston Martin’s turnaround plans – with losses at the luxury carmaker nearly quadrupling last year.

My colleague Jasper Jolly reports:


The carmaker on Thursday reported a £466m loss before tax for the year, compared with a £120m loss in 2019, as sales slumped and it wrote off nearly £100m of investments in now-abandoned products such as the Rapide electric car.

It also missed out on its usual marketing boost from being featured in the James Bond film franchise, after the release of No Time to Die was repeatedly delayed by the pandemic. The carmaker’s revenues slumped by 38% year-on-year to £611m for 2020.

However, the company did highlight glimmers of hope in an improved final quarter of 2020 thanks to sales of its new DBX SUV, with revenues 3% higher than the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.

But, shares in Aston Martin have jumped 10% this morning, as it also predicted it would “see the first steps towards improved profitability” in 2021.



















DS Smith shares jump after reports of potential bid



















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Introduction: Markets rise as Powell calms nerves

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