Finance Extra for the UK and Spain

Finance Extra for the UK and Spain

ALEX SCOTT: Former Lioness is now ambassador for M&S fitness wear

On the ball Alex Scott, former Arsenal and England footballer and now a BBC sports commentator has been named Marks & Spencer’s ambassador for fitness wear.  The retailer added Puma and Reebok as part of its Brands at M&S strategy in February and the Alex Scott alliance is expected to attract still more customers.  

Cellnex exit Cellnex, Spain’s telecommunications infrastructure company no longer has major shareholders from its own country after Criteria, Caixabank’s holding company sold its 2.64 per cent stake for €613 million. The private placement was carried out by JP Morgan as Criteria reportedly restructures its assets. 

Everybody out The majority of Harland & Wolff employees in Belfast voted in favour of industrial action as the management seeks to reinstate a five-day week instead of the present four. The amount of work has increased as the company prepares to start work on a £1.6 billion (€1.9 billion) supply ship for the Royal Navy. 

SEPI success Spain’s state-owned industrial holding company SEPI finished 2023 in the black for the third consecutive year.  Last year’s profit of €10 million profit was 76 per cent down on 2022’s earnings of €43 million although Correos, Tragsa and Grupo Navantia amongst others contributed to record revenue of €5.9 billion.

Paying out British biotech company Novacyt has reached a settlement with the Department of Health and Social Care to avoid an imminent court case.  Novacyt shares plummeted as the company agreed to pay the government £5 million (€5.9 million) compensation for supplying defective Covid-19 tests during the pandemic.

Liquid gold Olive oil is the main reason why Spain’s 4.7 per cent food inflation rate outstripped the eurozone’s 2.7 per cent average in April, the Bank of Spain’s Economy and Statistics director Angel Gavilan said.  “Not only do we consume more olive oil, but it is also one of the food items whose price has risen most,” Gavilan maintained.

Crystal clear Despite Severn Trent’s 60,000 sewage spills in 2023 – an increase of 30 per cent on the previous year – the company’s chief executive Liv Garfield received £3.2 million (€3.8 million) via a pay rise, bonus and other benefits.  Her generous remuneration was made possible by Severn Trent’s “strong performance” in 2023 the company said.

No change Reduced IVA value-added tax on basic food items in Spain was due to end on June 30 but will continue, the government announced.  Super-reduced staples will remain at 0 per cent and pastas and oil at 5 per cent.

Flying high Higher interest rates and more clients enabled digital bank, Starling, to post pre-tax profits of £301.1 million (€356.4 million) for its last financial year, compared with 2022-2023’s £194.6 million (€230.5 million). Revenue grew from £452.8 million (€536.3 million) to £682.2 million (€807.9 million).

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province 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