Finance Extra for the UK and Spain

Finance Extra for the UK and Spain

UNIQLO: Banana Bag boosted profits photo credit: CC/Wing1990hk

Going bananas THE “banana bag” that has proved such a hit with Gen Z and millennials was responsible for UK and European sales that reached £1.1 billion (€1.3 billion) for Japanese retailer Uniqlo over the year that ended on August 31, 2023. Founded by Tadashi Yanai in 1984, Uniqlo now has more than 2,400 stores worldwide.

Rainy day THE Bank of Spain called on the country’s principal banks to focus more on setting aside funds from their profits to cover potential losses than rewarding shareholders with hefty dividends.  Banks had not taken sufficient advantage of the current cycle of record profits to plan for future crises, the regulator warned.

US deal INCHCAPE, the car distribution, sales and services company, is selling its UK retail operations to the US car dealership giant Group 1 Automotive via a cash agreement of around £346 million (€403.8 million).  The transaction would enable it to concentrate on becoming a distribution-focused business, Inchcape said.

Ford waits ON April 15, Ford ceased producing the Transit Connect van which accounted for 30 per cent of the vehicles made at the Almussafes (Valencia) plant, with 63,239 leaving the assembly line in 2023.  Employees now wait to learn more details about the new multi-energy model they were promised at the end of March.

Fewer bubbles FRENCH company LVMH, synonymous with luxury items, reported a 16 per cent dip in wine and spirit sales which slid to €1.4 billion in 2024’s first quarter.  The owner of  Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, Krug and Veuve Clicquot said this was an inevitable result of the “normalisation” of post-Covid demand when sales soared.

Solid growth BANKINTER announced a net profit of €200.8 million in the first quarter of 2024, a record increase of 8.7 per cent on the same period in 2023. As the bank had anticipated, growth was slower than in 2023, although its net interest income has continued growing at double-digit rates, chief executive Gloria Ortiz said.

Student digs BROOKFIELD, the Canadian investment management company, is preparing the €1 billion sale of Livensa, its Spanish company specialising in student accommodation that was launched in 2018.  Three sources from the real estate sector recently revealed to the Spanish media that the process is expected to begin over the next few months but will not be completed until 2025.

Going private THE private health insurance market grew by £385 million (€450 million) in the UK as the NHS’s problems drive people to seek private medical and dental treatment, according to health data provider LaingBuisson.  In all, the private health and dental sector grew 6.1 per cent to £6.7 billion (€7.8 billion) in 2022, the last year with available figures.

North-bound VINCI, Gatwick’s French owner, is buying a 50.1 per cent stake in Edinburgh Airport for a reported £1.27 billion (€1.48 billion) from its owners, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). GIP will retain the remaining 49.99 per cent stake and Edinburgh Airport’s chairman Sir John Elvidge and chief executive Gordon Dewar will remain in their roles.

Stat of the Week: €2 BILLION will be paid out in dividends by ACS Group, the Spanish civil engineering and construction group, between 2024 and 2026, chief executive Juan Santamaria announced.

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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