Business Extra

Business Extra

CIGARETTE BREAKS: Smoking costs firms an annual €26 billion in lost working hours Photo credit: Pexels/Cottonbro Studio

Cigarette break SMOKING has been banned in all Spanish workplaces since 2011 but a study by the Jobatus employment agency found that each employee who smokes spends an average of 16 minutes a day smoking outside.  This costs companies a yearly total of €26 billion, the agency calculated.

Front runners JD SPORTS expect profits of £1 billion (€1.15 billion) this year as it expands into the US and Europe, foreseeing a continuing trend for trainers and sports leisurewear. Régis Schultz, chief executive,  said that JD’s young shoppers had more work opportunities, enabling them to “buy the gear they love.”  

Damage done FORMER CBI president and Outgoing Tesco chairman John Allan will also step down as chair of housebuilder Barratt Developments on 30 June.  The latter company announced that Allan was resigning to prevent allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” against him from becoming “disruptive” to the company.

Opposing views  SPAIN has 140,000 unfilled jobs, the highest proportion in its history, and eight out of 10 companies cannot cover vacancies, according to professional services company KPMG. Meanwhile, the unions claim that with a 13 per cent unemployment rate, three million people were unable to find work.

Oil recoil REPRESENTATIVES from Trinity and Jesus colleges in Cambridge and the Universities of Newcastle, Sussex and Bristol have written an open letter to the asset management industry.   All are calling for “bold action” on their part to rebel against the boards of fossil fuel companies and their backers.

Crashing down VIRGIN ORBIT, billionaire Richard Branson’s satellite launch company, is shutting down and selling off assets worth $36 million (€33.1 million).  Branson had little luck with the venture, which included the failed orbital mission in the UK that received funding of more than $20 million (€18.5 million) from British taxpayers.

US project COSENTINO, the marble multinational based in Almeria, will build a production plant in the US.  The company announced that it has signed an agreement with city hall in Jacksonville (Florida) to acquire land for the future factory which will require a total investment of approximately $270 million (€250 million).

Wet spring KINGFISHER, owner of B&Q, said bad weather had affected sales of seasonal products during its first quarter. The company reported an 11.3 per cent drop in revenues compared with the same period in 2022, together with a 1.2 per cent fall in sales of higher priced and core items.

On the spot STATE-OWNED Ineco intends to open a permanent office in California as plans are reactivated to build the first high-speed railway line between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was previously questioned as unviable. The Spanish engineering company will now seek short- and medium-term opportunities to participate in the $400 billion (approximately €93 billion) project.

Flight fight SPANISH airlines will not be following France’s lead in banning domestic flights for journeys that can be completed in two and a half hours by train. Javier Gándara, president of the Spanish Airlines Association dismissed it as “more theatrical than effective” while Willie Walsh, director general of International Air Transport Association (IATA), described it as “completely absurd” and “useless.”

Going down THE UK government’s holding in NatWest now stands at below 40 per cent after selling £1.26 billion (€1.45 million) of its stake. The government has set itself a 2026 target for reprivatising the bank, 18 years after the taxpayer paid £46 billion (€53 billion) to save NatWest Group, then known as Royal Bank of Scotland Group, from collapse.

VAT gaffe BURBERRY’S chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd said the UK was at a “competitive disadvantage for global shoppers” after scrapping the VAT tax break for tourists.  Sales to foreign visitors rose by 19 per cent in London during the first quarter of 2023 but increased by 300 per cent in Paris and 43 per cent in Milan, Akeroyd pointed out.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at