Home Money LIVE BUSINESS: EasyJet’s winter losses narrow; Hipgnosis faces a takeover; Deliveroo grows again in orders

LIVE BUSINESS: EasyJet’s winter losses narrow; Hipgnosis faces a takeover; Deliveroo grows again in orders

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 LIVE BUSINESS: EasyJet's winter losses narrow; Hipgnosis faces a takeover; Deliveroo grows again in orders

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am Companies with reports and trading updates today include EasyJet, Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Deliveroo, National Grid, Rentokil, Home REIT, Dunelm and AJ Bell. Read the Business Live blog from Thursday 18 April below.

> If you are using our app or a third-party site, click here to read Business Live

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Musk’s £45bn payday comes to vote just months after deal was struck down in court

Tesla has asked shareholders to approve a £45bn pay deal for billionaire Elon Musk, just months after the package was struck down in court.

The payday, decided in 2018, would be the largest in American corporate history.

But in a setback for Musk, 52, Judge Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery said he controlled the board through his personality and influence, meaning his package could not be decided through a fair process. .

Ferrexpo suffers losses due to huge supply for Ukraine

Ferrexpo suffered an annual loss last year after being hit by a $131 million provision it set aside in light of the ongoing legal dispute against its Ferrexpo Poltava Mining (FPM) unit in Ukraine.

The company posted a loss of $85 million for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $220 million in 2022.

If not for the provision, Ferrexpo said it recorded a profit of $46 million, which however remains lower than the previous year due to currency fluctuations and the consequences of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Dunelm sees margin growth

Dunelm Group has forecast gross margins will grow this year, after the furniture retailer reported an increase in sales during the third quarter due to higher volumes as deals continued to attract customers to its stores.

The company, which has products ranging from cushions and bedding to kitchen equipment, said total sales in the three months ended March 30 rose 3 per cent to £435 million.

Boss Nick Wilkinson said:

‘We have delivered a resilient performance in the third quarter, with continued volume-based sales growth during a period of more challenging and volatile market conditions. While discretionary spending remains under pressure, our relevant and attractive product offering continues to resonate with customers who shop our extensive ranges to find quality and value for all areas of the home.

‘This performance reflects our deep understanding of our customers and the effectiveness of a total retail system that continues to drive growth in stores and digital channels, generating further gains in market share. At the same time, our operational control continues to mitigate current cost headwinds and has supported strong gross margin performance.”

Saga cruises return to the black as passenger numbers rise

Saga hailed an “excellent” year for its cruise business but still racked up a £129m loss as problems at its insurance division took their toll.

The company, which specializes in insurance and holidays for over-50s, returned to positive numbers in its ocean cruise business, where profits rose to £36 million by 2023, compared to a loss of £700,000 the previous year.

Its river cruise division revealed annual profits of £3m, against a loss of £5m in 2022.

1713424003 416 LIVE BUSINESS EasyJets winter losses narrow Hipgnosis faces a takeover

Deliveroo grows again in orders

Deliveroo returned to growth in orders in its first quarter, with a 2 per cent year-on-year increase driven by its operations in France, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong and its continued strength in Italy.

Orders in Britain and Ireland, which account for more than half of the total, remained stable during the period.

Founder and CEO Will Shu said:

‘The team has been relentlessly focused on delivering service and value for money, helping to drive a return to order growth and continued growth at GTV.

‘We have made particularly strong progress in international markets during the quarter, with notable improvements in France, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, and continued strength in Italy.

‘At UKI, while the consumer environment remains stable but uncertain, our commitment to fair pricing and a seamless consumer experience is laying a strong foundation for the future and will continue to differentiate our business. “I am excited about creating the best possible consumer experience and confident in our ability to drive profitable growth and sustainable cash generation.”

Hipgnosis faces $1.4 billion acquisition

Concord Chorus, a music and theater rights firm, has agreed to acquire London-listed music investor Hipgnosis Songs Fund for $1.4 billion.

Hipgnosis Songs shareholders will receive $1.16 each in cash, representing a premium of about 32 percent at current exchange rates, and the company’s board plans to unanimously back the deal.

Concord said its financial partner Apollo Global Management will help finance the deal.

Concord is indirectly controlled by Alchemy Copyrights, which acquired music copyright-focused investment firm Round Hill Music Royalty Fund last year.

Robert Naylor, president of Hipgnosis, said:

‘The Board is pleased to announce and unanimously recommend this $1.4 billion offer for Hipgnosis of Concord. The acquisition represents an attractive opportunity for our shareholders to immediately realize their participation at a premium, mitigating the risks we see in the future to achieve a material improvement in the share price.

‘At the same time, the Board is confident that Concord, one of the world’s leading independent music companies, is the appropriate owner to take over the Hipgnosis catalog and manage it for the benefit of songwriters and performers.

‘We now encourage Hipgnosis Song Management, the firm’s investment advisor, and Blackstone, which is the majority owner of HSM, through the funds they manage and/or advise, to agree to an orderly termination of the investment advisory agreement.

“This would enable the payment of increased consideration under the agreed transaction with Concord and would end a period of uncertainty for all Hipgnosis stakeholders.”

Gatwick’s French owner to buy majority stake in Edinburgh airport

The French owner of Gatwick Airport is to buy a majority stake in Edinburgh Airport for around £1.27bn.

Vinci agreed to buy a 50.01 percent stake from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), owner since 2012. GIP will retain the remaining 49.99 percent stake.

In 2019, Vinci bought a 50.10 per cent stake in Gatwick Airport with investors led by GIP taking the rest.

1713424003 460 LIVE BUSINESS EasyJets winter losses narrow Hipgnosis faces a takeover

EasyJet’s winter losses reduce

EasyJet reduced its winter losses by around £50 million compared to the same period last year, and demand for flights and holidays ahead of its key summer season is increasing, the airline said on Thursday.

The airline’s improving fortunes in the first half were driven by 8 percent growth in passengers in the second quarter and 8 percent growth in revenue per seat.

As a result, the group expects to post an overall pre-tax loss of £340m to £360m.

Boss Johan Lundgren said:

‘The importance consumers place on travel, together with easyJet’s trusted brand, has driven good demand for our flights and holidays. Our growth and focus on productivity has reduced winter losses by more than £50 million.

‘We have further enhanced our network with the launch of new bases in Alicante and Birmingham, offering more choice to consumers across Europe.

“We are well prepared operationally for this summer season, where we expect easyJet to be one of the fastest growing major airlines in Europe and accept more customers than ever on easyJet holidays.”

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