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MARKET REPORT: Cull Upper Crust leaves investors with a sour taste

Shares in train station and airport cafe operator SSP came under pressure as it became the newest company to lay off employees for the plunge in travel.

The owner of Upper Crust warned investors that it could cut up to 5,000 jobs from headquarters and UK outlets, because commuters stay home, socializing remains limited and vacations are canceled.

In April and May, Lockdown wiped out sales of the entire group, operating in more than 30 countries, by 95 percent.

SSP owner of the Upper Crust warned investors it could cut up to 5,000 jobs from headquarters and UK outlets because commuters stay home, socializing remains limited and vacations are canceled

SSP owner of the Upper Crust warned investors it could cut up to 5,000 jobs from headquarters and UK outlets because commuters stay home, socializing remains limited and vacations are canceled

Sales recovered slightly in June, and are now 90 percent lower than last year due to eased travel restrictions in Europe and North America.

But the green shoots seen elsewhere were not yet in the UK, with boss Simon Smith warning “the pace of recovery remains slow.”

Therefore, job losses currently only target the UK, where it would normally employ 9,000 people at this time of year.

Stock Watch – Catenae Innovation

Software tiddler Catenae Innovation more than doubled in value after it started talking to prospects for its digital coronavirus passport.

The company’s app, called ‘Cov-ID’, registers a user’s Covid test status, allowing people to return to work or meet friends.

After going through development in recent months, it is now in discussion for potential UK and international deals. The stock rose by 117 percent, or 3.1p, to 5.75p.

It is estimated that approximately 20 percent of the 580 stores, including Camden Food Co and Cafe Ritazza, will be open by the end of this year.

Shares in SSP, which have more than £ 750 million available in cash, are 2.3 percent or 5.8 p, down to 251.4 p.

And HS2 contractor Kier fell 7.8 percent, or 7.6 percent, to 90 percentage points after net debt started to widen and reports surfaced that it could cut more jobs than initially planned.

As part of a restructuring before Covid, Kier planned to cut 1,200 jobs by June to cut costs by £ 65 million.

But it’s now eyeing £ 100m savings, which could lose more jobs, according to Construction News. Shares in Manchester-based Kier also rallied this week, as the government committed itself to a school-rebuilding plan for a decade.

Looking for 4,500 jobs, Easyjet fell 1.5 percent, or 10.4 pts, to 669.6 pts, after saying some cuts would be made in Berlin and cutting domestic flights in Germany.

After a turbulent trading day, the FTSE 100 hissed out.

It closed 0.2 percent lower, down 11.78 points, to 6157.96, clearing the news that trials of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Biontech and Pfizer showed promising results.

The index fell despite a boost from the medical equipment and technology group Smith & Nephew, which said that the resumption of elective operations would reverse declining sales.

The company, which makes knee and hip replacement kits, saw sales drop by 29 percent in the second quarter.

The FTSE 250 moved higher, up 0.4 percent or 70.27 points to 17,189.43 when defense companies posted gains.

Meggitt rose 3.7 percent, or 10.8p, to 305.1p after it sold a subsidiary of the U.S. training system to a private investment company, Pine Island Capital, for £ 118 million.

And Babcock International, nuclear submarine maintainer, rose 2.4 percent, or 7.5 percentage points, to 317.7 percentage points after firing former Cobham boss David Lockwood as chief executive officer. He will join the firm next month and will take over from Archie Bethel in September.

Provident Financial backers were less impressed by a new senior appointment. The former boss of guarantor Amigo – down 11.2 percent, or 0.65 pc. Up to 5.16 p Hamish Paton, Provvy will serve as general manager of its consumer credit division. Provvy’s inventory fell by 1.3 percent or 2.3p to 173.9p.

Investors in the independent hospital group Spire Healthcare, on the other hand, were unimpressed with the news that it will have to pay a fine of £ 1.2 million after the Competition and Markets Authority charged prices for eye consultations.

Due to the illegal scheme, seven consultants paid an extra £ 20 for the initial appointments with patients. Shares fell 0.1 percent or 0.1 pence to 85 pence.

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