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Sports Direct profits dive by nearly 60%

Profits at retailer Sports Direct have plummeted nearly 60% largely as a result of the weaker pound. Underlying pre-tax profit fell to £113.7m, down from £275.2m last year, because of “currency movements and increased depreciation charges”. Chief executive Mike Ashley said it had now taken steps to “minimise the short-term ...

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US and China emerge from trade talks without agreement

The US and China have wrapped up contentious trade talks in Washington without agreement. The two sides did not issue a joint statement or action plan after the meeting and cancelled scheduled press conferences. The US was critical of China’s trade surplus and demanded “more fair” trade arrangements. Separately, US ...

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Roll-over risks for fixed-price energy customers

Half a million households could see a 51% increase in their energy bills this summer – if they simply allow their old fixed-price tariffs to roll over. The warning comes from uSwitch, the price comparison and switching service. It says the biggest increases will be for Npower customers, who could ...

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One-third of card payments contactless

More than a third of all card payments are now contactless, according to new figures which also show a jump in pest control purchases. Trade association UK Finance said 33% of all spending on plastic was settled with a tap instead of a swipe in May. This is a rise ...

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Vertical farm start-up Plenty raises $200m

Plenty, a San Francisco vertical farming start-up, has raised $200m (£154m) from big-name investors that include Japanese media giant SoftBank, Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. Plenty said it would use the money to expand in the US and abroad. The firm, founded in 2013, has an indoor ...

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Morgan Stanley profits climb 11%

Profits at US bank Morgan Stanley increased 11% year-on-year in the second quarter, with gains across its business. The firm also weathered a decline in bond trading better than rivals, reporting a 4% revenue fall in that business. Profits were $1.8bn in the quarter, on revenues of more than $9.5bn. ...

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B&Q in payouts over bad paint smells

B&Q says it will compensate hundreds of people who experienced bad smells after painting their homes with Valspar paint that it sold them. Customers have likened the smell to cat urine and rotten animals. They say the smell gets stronger in hot weather and if the windows are open. Valspar ...

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Former Spanish bank chief found dead

A senior Spanish banker who was facing jail for his hand in a credit card scandal has been found dead from a shotgun wound. The body of Miguel Blesa, who once led Spain’s oldest savings bank Caja Madrid, was found at a hunting lodge. He was one of a number ...

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The corporate silence over race

There is a deafening silence over race in Britain’s board rooms. So say the professional bodies that represent UK management in a report on ethnic diversity . Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME), it says, are hugely under-represented in key management roles. Only 6% of management jobs in the ...

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State pension age increase brought forward

UK state pension age increase from 67 to 68 to be brought forward by seven years to 2037, government says This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. If you want to receive Breaking News alerts ...

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