British Gas loses 110,000 customers, retailer New Look accused of “fat tax”, and other trending news

 

British Gas has lost 110,000 customers since the start of the year, as rising energy prices push more households to switch providers. Energy UK reported 1.3 million customers switched energy suppliers in the first 3 months of 2018. Iain Conn, CEO of British Gas parent company Centrica told shareholders the energy sector faces “high levels of competitive intensity”. The government’s looming price cap on standard energy tariffs is expected to be in place by the end of the year.

New Look is facing allegations of implementing a “fat tax” across its plus size range. The high street retailer is accused of selling items from its Curves range for up to 30% morethan an identical garment in its main collection. New Look said it’s in the process of “reviewing the pricing structure” of its plus size collection. PwC reported the UK plus size market was estimated to be worth £6.6bn in 2017, forecasting growth between 5 and 6% from 2017 to 2022.

UK bookmakers are set to hit jackpot stateside, after the US supreme court struck down a 26 year-old nationwide ban on sports betting. Shares in UK-based bookmakers rose as investors bet on a rush to expand into the US market. William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair already have operations in Nevada and New Jersey. Meanwhile, William Hill has warned reforms to Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals could see the company become a takeover target, as well as putting tens of thousands of industry jobs at risk.

London’s Canada Water is the subject of a £3bn regeneration plan. British Land, one of the UK’s biggest property groups, has submitted plans to deliver up to 3,000 new homes and several corporate headquarters– creating around 20,000 jobs in an area located just two miles from the City. But the move may be risky, as research by London Residential Research and London Central Portfolio showed the construction of new-build flats in London fell by a quarter in 2017, as apartment developments struggled to sell.

Thomas Cook’s Club 18-30 franchise is “exploring options” including a possible sale, as millennial’s travel habits change. The travel operator blames the rise of “ego travel” and Instagram for turning millennial travellers away from cheap package holidays. Founded in 1965, Thomas Cook bought Club 18-30 in 1998, which at its peak had 100,000 bookings per year and recorded £48m in annual sales. Speculation last emerged in 2006 that Thomas Cook could put the brand up for sale.

Idea of the Day: “It turns out that happiness is a learnable skill,” author and Tencent executive Ben Feder tells Gretchen Rubin — and it’s something you can practice.

“By being mindful of our thoughts and deliberately turning them around to be more positive and optimistic, we can, over time, create new neural pathways so that our overall disposition is happier.”

What’s your take? Join the conversations on today’s stories in the comments.

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— Natalie MacDonald / Share this using #DailyRundown

 

Despite a share price that looks like a downhill ski slope, the company’s top four bosses were paid £5.6m last year 

Centrica’s big four bosses, led by chief executive Iain Conn, made a collective £5.6m for serving up a dog’s dinner last year. That’s less than the £9.4m they were paid in 2016. But it’s still £5.6m when in the world outside FTSE 100 ExCos you can get fired for producing a hell lot better than they have.

Because Centrica was born from privatisation, it has a decent number of small “retail” shareholders who sometimes turn up to AGMs to add a little heat to the proceedings by calling companies to task for this sort of behaviour.

But the power brokers in the City are a different matter entirely and Centrica’s directors know that, so its bosses can look forward to another lucrative year regardless of how it ends for their shareholders.

 


 

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