Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

CORTE INGLES: Department store chain increased profits in 2023 Credit: CC/Zaqarbal

Better than before Department store El Corte Ingles reported revenues of €16.33 billion for its 2023-2024 financial year ending February 29.

This was 5.4 per cent more than in 2022-2023, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of €1.08 billion were up 13.6 per cent on the previous year, the company announced on June 11.

The net profit of €480 million was less than half of the record €870 million posted last year, when El Corte Ingles sold its insurance business to Mutua in an operation fetching €550 million.  For this reason, the company drew attention to a recurring net income which grew by 73,7 per cent, year-on-year, to €359 million.

Going public Raspberry Pi shares soared 40 per cent when they started trading on the London Stock Exchange on June 11.

The Cambridge-based company’s shares reached 392p (€4.65) in early trading, compared with the initial public offering price of 280p (€3.32).

Raspberry Pi, which produces affordable computers the size of a credit card, has sold 60 million of the devices in more than 70 countries since the first was put on sale in 2012.

The business is a subsidiary of Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity founded when the company was founded in 2008 to promote interest in computer science amongst children.

No Naturgy takeover The joint takeover of Spanish power company Naturgy by the Emirates-owned utilities group Taqa and Caixabank’s holding company, Criteria, has been called off.

The €25 billion transaction fell through following Taqa’s refusal to water down conditions which were unacceptable to Criteria.

According to sources close to the negotiations that were quoted in El Mundo, the group headed by the UAE’s Investment minister Mohamed Hassan AlSuwaidi would only consent to a deal that would have given it a 51 per cent of the company.

With a 49 per cent holding, Criteria would have had to accept a secondary role, which neither its chairman Isidro Faine nor its chief executive Angel Simon were willing to accept.

 A new role Dame Alison Rose, former NatWest chief executive who left under a cloud following the Nigel Farage de-banking scandal, has joined Charterhouse Capital.

Rose will be a “senior adviser” in her first post since she resigned from NatWest in 2023.

Private equity firm Charterhouse, owner of consumer, healthcare and services companies and a former co-owner of Saga and AA, was accused of having left Saga “weakened, debt-ridden and starved of investment.”

Telecoms cutback Zegona, which completed the €5 billion purchase of Vodafone España in May 2024, has made 36 per cent of its staff redundant.

The move by the “buy-fix” British company that affects 1,198 employees was announced on June 12, and the works committee is now in talks with the new owners to negotiate the redundancy terms.

The Vodafone España dismissals follow those of Telefonica España which has made 3,421 people redundant in 2024, and Avatel where up to 693 job cuts were announced on June 4.

Taxing ordeal According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), 65 per cent of pensioners are now paying income tax compared with 48 per cent in 2010.

The income tax threshold for pensioners has remained at £12,570 (€14,883) since 2022, the IFS said, and once a pensioner’s income is just £1,067 (€1,264) a year more than the state pension, they will be liable to tax.

At the same time, the state pension has risen by £3,700 (€4,381) to £11,502.40 (€13,624) since 2010 thanks to the triple lock.

Madrid for ING Netherlands bank ING has chosen Madrid for its European headquarters, Spain’s Financial daily Cinco Dias revealed on June 12.

The bank has been present in Spain since 1999 and in recent years has focused on consolidating its corporate banking division, whose revenue grew by 21 per cent to €208 million in 2023.

While ING declined to comment, Cinco Dias disclosed – without quoting sources – that the new centre would be operational by the end of 2024 or in early 2025.

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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 editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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