Below are the key headlines from today’s updated papers, featuring the Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail & more - see the full Press section here.
Ted Baker to offer HR training as sexual harassment investigation concludes. is to review its HR policies and offer employee training following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour, including unwanted “hugging” of employees, by founder and former chief executive Ray Kelvin. The fashion retailer said it would not be making any comment on the specific allegations against Mr Kelvin, who left the company last month. Mr Kelvin has denied all allegations of misconduct. The findings of an investigation into the company’s policies and its handling of employee grievances will not be made public.
WH Smith strikes rent-free deals on some high street shops. is paying no rent on about 20 of its shops, its boss has revealed, in the latest sign of turmoil on the high street. Stephen Clarke, chief executive of the stationery chain, remarked that there was a shift away from the decades-long trend of ever-increasing rents for retailers as a number of struggling rivals had fallen into administration or were scrambling to shut shops through company voluntary arrangements. “How times have changed,” he added. WH Smith, which has 578 shops across the UK, had no major closure plans but would close stores if deals to make them profitable could not be struck, Mr Clarke said. Last year it announced plans to shut six stores.
tech arm AHL keeps hedgie motoring as assets rise. Man Group’s tech-driven hedge fund AHL division helped cushion $700 million (£535 million) of outflows as retail investors shunned Japan. AHL, which also employs scores of people with PhDs, was the stand-out performer at London’s only listed hedge fund, attracting inflows from investors and boosting fund performance by $500 million. Around two thirds of AHL funds are now in the territory where they start to earn performance fees, paid when fund returns jump over a certain hurdle, which will benefit the company. AHL’s good run contributed to a rise in assets under management to $112.3 billion at the end of March
IAG and easyJet gain height on relief over delay to Brexit. Airline backers welcomed a decision by EU leaders to hand Theresa May a Brexit extension until October 31. The move in Brussels means airlines can, for the time being, remove Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal from their list of headaches, which also includes rising fuel costs and overcapacity in the market. Just last week budget carrier admitted that bookings had succumbed to Brexit uncertainty, with would-be passengers holding off buying flights in fear of how the Brexit process will end. That sent the shares tumbling. But easyJet flew to the top of the FTSE 100 today, up 45.5p to 1101.5p. Shares in British Airways owner rose 20p to 535p, and the City also piled into travel company , sending the shares up 20.4p to 736.6p. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Robin Byde said: “The European airlines are rallying as the risk of a demand shock with a disorderly Brexit abates.” He pointed to the Brexit delay period getting the airlines through the crucial summer season.
On AIM investors checked into budget accommodation group . The chain said UK demand has “softened” amid political and economic uncertainty, with London growth being offset by weaker regional performances. However, chief executive Guy Parsons said it is outperforming competitors. First-half revenues rose 47% to £7 million and the shares leapt 2.5p to 69p.
Online clothing retailer was in fashion as it posted a 12% jump in full-year sales to £130.9 million. The AIM-listed firm cheered international and digital growth, and tried to reassure investors about work with Debenhams.
On today's podcast: Live Company Group discuss the licensing and merchandising agreement they've signed. Cadence Minerals talk about the heads of terms agreement to acquire an iron ore mine. Emmerson explain their permitting roadmap for their Khemisset Potash Project.
SP Angel research note on commodities and miners, featuring: Acacia Mining (ACA LN) – Barrick makes progress in discussions with Tanzanian Government Bushveld Minerals* (BMN LN) BUY – Target price 90p – Vametco ore reserve grade rises to 2.02% as reserve more than doubles to 279,100t of V2O5 in magnetite Greatland Gold (GGP LN) – Newcrest Mining starts drilling at Havieron IronRidge Resources* (IRR LN) – Metallurgical results yield premium lithium URU Metals* (URU LN) – Zebediela project update
WHSmith boss to depart after six years at the helm, Watchdog slams G4S for ‘late payouts’
Five financial stories, trending today in a 60 second podcast, including: Theresa May will give a statement to MPs on her changes to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill later - including her promise to give MPs a vote on holding another referendum. But Labour MPs said too little had changed for them to come on board.