BBC News Companies

Top Stories

Features

Watch/Listen

Latest Updates

Public sector borrowing expected at around £3.5bn

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Pund notes and coins
PA

Monique Wong, senior portfolio manager at Coutts, told the Today programme she expects June's government borrowing figures, which will be announced this morning, to stand at between £3bn and £4bn.

The number shows how much government spending exceeds tax receipts.

"The labour market data is healthy, the unemployment rate is at a multi-decade low, wages are rising faster than inflation so the tax take will continue to be in good shape," said Ms Wong.

"In terms of the spending, we saw an increase in departmental spending around the end March Brexit date so a good guess would be that that was to do with contingency planning."

"So my guess is for the June number is that will ease."

RBS says search for McEwan successor continues

RBS
Getty Images

Royal Bank of Scotland has issued a statement after that announcement from Australia that its chief executive Ross McEwan will take up the same role at National Australia Bank.

RBS said in April that he was stepping down as chief executive and had a 12-month notice period to April 2020.

Sir Howard Davies, chair of RBS, said we "congratulate him on this appointment.The search for a successor remains ongoing and the effective date of Ross' departure will be confirmed in due course."

SSP revenue rises

cafe
SSP

SSP - owner of Upper Crust and a provider of services at airports - has illustrated the impact of the fall in the value of sterling.

In a planned trading update it says trading results from outside the UK are converted into sterling at the average exchange rates for the period.

The overall impact on revenue of the movement of foreign currencies (principally the euro, dollar, Swedish Krona, and Norwegian Krone) during the first three quarters of 2019, compared to the 2018 average, was 0.7% increase.

If the current spot rates were to continue for the rest of 2019, this would provide a 0.5% boost.

It says its expectations for the year "remain unchanged and whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value".

In the third quarter it said group revenue increased by 9.2% on a constant currency basis,

It said some airports have been impacted by the grounding of Boeing Max 737 aircraft and the transfer of passengers away from our terminals.

Microsoft 'innovative but not cool'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Microsoft sign
Getty

Microsoft beat expectations yesterday to deliver revenues of nearly $34bn (£27bn) and profits of $13bn.

Aaron Shields from Fitch brand consultancy said Microsoft's strength came down to "trust" and "innovation".

Although he acknowledged the firm lacked something other tech giants didn't, calling Microsoft "innovative but not cool".

He said the software giant still had a lot of "head height" with its Azure cloud computing platform because "that's where the whole world is heading" and that positions Microsoft well, he thinks.

"The likes of apple live or die on their product releases but Microsoft seems to buck the trend by just offering really good hardware that continues to sell."

NSO spyware ‘targets Big Tech cloud services’

The Financial Times global technology correspondent tweets

Boeing needs to announce more numbers

BBC Radio 5 Live

Wake Up to Money

Grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max aircraft parked at the Southern California Logistics Airport
AFP

Monique Wong of Coutts spoke to Radio 5 Live's Wake Up to Money about that announcement from Boeing that it was taking a $4.9bn hit to cover costs related to the worldwide grounding of its 737 Max aircraft.

The "line in the sand" was in line with the market's expectations as the share price of the company rose 2%.

But, she said: "They haven't put any estimate on the liabilities - legal and otherwise - associated with the crashes... Analysts would like to see some number associated with that".

The number announced on Thursday was to cover the compensation for airlines.

Boeing has a strong balance sheet, she said, but needed to get the planes back in the sky.

Departing RBS boss picked for NAB top job

Ross McEwan
Getty Images

National Australia Bank has hired outgoing Royal Bank of Scotland boss Ross McEwan as its new chief executive.

The 62-year-old takes the reins as the Australian lender battles to regain customer trust after a national inquiry exposed widespread industry misconduct.

Mr McEwan quit RBS earlier this year and will start at NAB by April 2020.

Philip Morris shares rise

iqos heat system
PHILIP MORRIS LIMITED

Philip Morris has reported better-than-expected figures for the second quarter of the year and told Wall Street that it expects to perform better than it expected for the rest of the year after growth in its heated tobacco products.

"Our strong year-to-date results are the reason behind today's announcement to increase our full-year guidance," said chief executive André Calantzopoulos.

Earnings per share growth rate is being increased by one percentage point to at least 9%.

"Of particular note is our combined cigarette and heated tobacco unit shipment volume, which -- for the first six months of the year -- was up by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis," he said.

"This positive performance was led by robust in-market heated tobacco unit year-to-date sales growth of 34.0%, making HEETS/HeatSticks, combined, a top-ten international tobacco brand, despite only being present in approximately one quarter of our markets".

Its shares were up nearly 10%.

Waitrose & Partners to close seven shops

Waitrose trollies
Getty Images

Supermarket chain Waitrose & Partners is to close seven shops, it has announced.

The shop in Burnt Ash Lane in Bromley, as well as those in Oadby in Leicestershire and Wollaton in Nottinghamshire are being sold to Lidl. One in Sandhurst in Berkshire is being sold to an undisclosed party.

Three shops are to close: Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Stevenage in Hertfordshire, and Waterside at the British Airways headquarters near Heathrow.

Waitrose & Partners director of shop trade Mark Gifford said:

"We haven’t taken this decision lightly but we have to do what’s right for the business as a whole. Thanks to the hard work of all our partners we’re making good progress and Waitrose & Partners is on track for profit growth this year but, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we haven’t been able to find a way to make these shops profitable in the long term.

"Our priority now is the wellbeing and future of our partners in these shops. We will do everything we can to support them and will explore opportunities for anyone wishing to remain with the Partnership."