Cost of living pressures push easyHotel bookings above pre-pandemic levels
A spike in the cost of living has helped easyHotel rise above pre-pandemic levels as customers shift from luxury to budget hotels for overseas travel and weekend breaks.
Revenue per room in April rose 70% from 2019 as the company plans aggressive expansion to double the size of its estate to 100 hotels by 2026.
EasyHotel CEO Karim Malak said: “With the inflationary pressure we are seeing across Europe, many people are looking for cheaper solutions to book rooms.
“We have a business model without breakfast and very simple hotel rooms. We have a small team, so we are less sensitive to inflationary pressures on wages, primary goods and food.
“March’s unexpected slowdown brings recession closer”
Economists in the City and elsewhere are reacting to worse than expected GDP data this morning.
The National Institute for Economic and Social Research says the contraction of the UK economy in March puts us on the brink of recession.
Rory Macqueen, Senior Economist at NIESR, said: “Deteriorating consumer confidence in March was reflected in a sharp decline in retail and wholesale trade, which was exacerbated by ongoing supply chain issues. in the automotive industry.
“Compensating for this, the continued normalization of GP and hospital activity has reversed the decline in Covid-related activity to mean the healthcare sector has returned to month-on-month growth.
“The fall in business investment in the first estimate of the first quarter is worrying: with the government’s tax ‘super-deduction’ expiring in less than a year, we still see little sign of a recovery from the Covid shock .”
Markets are still deep in the red this afternoon on the weak outlook for the UK economy and fears of rapidly rising interest rates in the US.
The FTSE 100 is down 2.2% and the more UK-focused FTSE 250 is down 2%.
Deliveroo signs ‘historic’ union deal with GMB
Deliveroo has struck a deal with the GMB union to give workers in the gig economy more influence over their jobs.
The deal, the first of its kind, has been hailed as “the basis for modern union” by both sides and hailed by the Shadow Chancellor and the TUC.
However, it was dismissed as a “cynical backroom deal” by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which represents workers in the gig economy. IWGB claimed that GMB had “no record of organizing couriers”.
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BT ‘keeps building like a fury’
BT boss Philip Jansen today hailed the telecoms giant’s rollout of broadband internet, saying the Openreach arm ‘continues to grow like a fury’, now reaching 7.2 million premises .
Jansen wants to increase the speed of deployment of so-called FTTP – ultra-fast Fiber To The Premises broadband – from 3 million to 4 million premises per year.
It should help fulfill Boris Johnson’s pledge to get fast internet to every home in Britain, albeit a little behind the 2025 timetable first promised.
BT today restored its full-year dividend to 7.7pa, back to pre-Covid levels, in a move that will reassure the city.
Disney subscriber growth puts Netflix in the shadows
Overnight in the US, Disney reported higher-than-expected streaming subscriber growth but warned it was now seeing the impact of Covid on its theme parks in Asia.
The entertainment group added 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers in the quarter to April 3 this year, overshadowing rival Netflix.
Disney, home of Marvel and the Star Wars saga, is now on track to hit its goal of 230-260 million subscribers by 2024.
Its domestic parks and resorts now generally operate without significant coronavirus capacity restrictions, but some international parks and resorts and cruise ship operations have continued to be impacted by pandemic-related closures.
Revenue in the quarter rose 23% to $19.2bn (£15.7bn), from $15.6bn in the same period last year.
“Our strong second quarter results, including the fantastic performance of our national parks and the continued growth of our streaming services, with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added during the quarter,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
SoftBank plummets to $20 billion in losses
The world’s biggest tech investor has lost a record $20.5bn (£16.8bn) as its bets turn sour.
Japan’s SoftBank blamed the loss of its investment unit on “a decline in the share price of most listed portfolio companies” due to “avoidance of high-growth tech stocks in anticipation of declining rates.” ‘higher interest’.
SoftBank made headlines in 2017 after announcing its $100 billion Vision Fund, at the time the largest technology investment fund ever.
The fund, and its smaller successor, the Vision Fund II, have made huge bets on companies like Uber, WeWork and Cambridge chipmaker ARM.
SoftBank has drawn criticism in some quarters for overvaluing companies and funding what many saw as unsustainable business models.
High-profile missteps include WeWork, Greensill and Wirecard.
$400 billion wiped from the crypto market this week
A rout in the cryptocurrency market that has destroyed over $400 billion in value since the start of the week has accelerated dramatically today, with Bitcoin falling over 10%.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency by value fell 11% to $27,668, a level not seen since November 2020.
There was a sea of red in the broader cryptocurrency market, which fell in value from $1.5 trillion on Monday to around $1.1 trillion today. There are fears it could fall much further.
Learn more about the big rocking crypto sale.
Grainger “well prepared” for the slowdown
Property company Grainger says it is ‘well prepared for the economic challenges facing the UK today’ in the face of inflation and the rising cost of living, as it has ‘limited direct exposure to’ inflationary pressures “.
Net rental income rose 23% to £42.8 million for the Newcastle-based property rental company when it released half-year financial results for the six months to March 31, 2022.
On a like-for-like basis, rental growth also increased by 3.5% across its entire property portfolio. The group said it expected to “double in size over the coming year”.
Helen Gordon, CEO of Grainger, said the UK rental market continues to have “an extremely attractive outlook with strong demand, rental growth, yield compression and structural factors favoring the large-scale professional landlord” .
“We are delivering on our growth plans which will see us double in size in the coming years, delivering exceptional earnings growth and attractive single-digit total returns for shareholders,” she added.
FTSE 100 down 2%, Brent at $105
Recession fears prompted further selling in equity markets today as traders faced the prospect of a protracted fight against price pressures.
The FTSE 100 index fell 2% in line with the rest of Europe after yesterday’s high US inflation figure of 8.3% fueled concerns of a hard landing for the economy world, given that the Federal Reserve may have to accelerate the rise in interest rates.
Uncertainty, which has not been helped by the ongoing weakness in UK GDP, sent the price of copper down another 4% to more than 20% below its March peak, while that Brent crude fell 2% to $105 a barrel.
Weakness in commodities led mining stocks Anglo American and Glencore down 4% and BP down 2%, with the FTSE 100 falling 100 points yesterday, falling 161.17 points to 7186.49. The FTSE 250 index lost 340.51 points to 19,306.54.
Hargreaves Lansdown was the biggest blue-chip faller, slipping 7% or 67.6p to 826.4p after the financial platform reiterated its forecast for 2022, but noted that geopolitical events were impacting investor confidence. investors.
Today’s selloff came despite greater resilience on the earnings front, particularly from retailer JD Sports Fashion, which reported a 5% increase in underlying sales over the past 14 weeks. The shares rose 3p to 121.9p at the top of the FTSE 100.
Followers of Rolls-Royce were also relieved, the engine giant being blocked by its financial orientations. Shares held steady at 80.5p as today’s AGM heard large engine flying hours had risen 42% since the start of the year.
Outside the Elite, shares of fashion retailer Superdry fell 6.4p to 149.2p after reporting a 24% fall in e-commerce revenue in the fourth quarter. Part of this decline is due to reduced promotional activity, with boss Julian Dunkerton continuing to focus on returning the brand to a premium position.