Primark’s owner will repay £121 million in furlough money claimed under government job retention schemes and pay out a dividend to shareholders despite a slump in profits. Associated British Foods (ABF) said the decision comes despite stores remaining closed for most of the autumn and winter period, leading to revenues and profits plunging. Sales were down 17% to £6.3 ...

The rate of unemployment in the UK fell slightly to 4.9 per cent from December 2020 to February 2021, some 0.9 percentage points higher than the same time last year. Economists had predicted that the unemployment rate would edge up to 5.1 per cent as Britain spent the winter months in lockdown. “The latest figures suggest that the jobs ...

MunchFit, healthy food provider to luxury gym Equinox and elite studio Barry’s Bootcamp has closed £1.2m through a recent crowdfunding campaign via Crowdcube, after attracting substantial investor interest. Helping to accelerate training results by taking the guesswork out of what to eat, the upmarket goal-based meal service secured equity investment from 330 “Fitvestors” to take the business to the ...

New research finds that a quarter of small businesses think it is unlikely they will be in business beyond the end of the year as a result of the pandemic. The analysis, undertaken just after the Government announced its roadmap out of lockdown in March, looks to uncover how SMEs are feeling about business conditions and what this might mean ...

A new study has found a growing increase in the number of females taking on ‘trade jobs’ in the UK – a space usually dominated by males. The study which analysed the biggest trade jobs women are stepping into identified a rise in the number of women learning the trade younger. Results found there has been a 366% increase ...

Over two hundred London black cabs that have been mothballed in fields in Essex may need to find a new location after council rules they are an eye-sore. North London-based rental company GB Taxi Services has seen the occupation rate of its fleet of 100 black cabs plummet from 95% before the coronavirus pandemic to just 10%, despite halving ...

It may have been the setting for The Office, the ground-breaking television sitcom, but the business park was no laughing matter in the years leading up to the millennium. This was one of the hottest asset classes in the property sector in the 1980s and 1990s, making fortunes for savvy developers who were ahead of a change in workplace ...

Drones will be routinely flown beyond a human operator’s line of sight for the first time in a significant step towards household parcel deliveries by air. It was announced today that the aviation watchdog had approved plans for the remote piloting of drones on a trial basis — part of a major change in the way the technology is ...

A Bank of England digital currency for the UK has moved a step closer after the chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a top-level taskforce to explore the benefits and risks of the idea. Sunak said a joint Treasury-Bank of England taskforce was being set up as part of a range of measures designed to boost the City following Britain’s departure ...

Starling Bank, the UK digital bank which is the fastest-growing bank for SMEs in Europe has received £50 million as an extension to the bank’s oversubscribed £272 million Series D funding round last month. The investment into Starling Bank came from Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. With this round, the overall Series D funding raised accounts to £322 million and ...

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