RBS warns of Brexit damage despite profits more than doubling. Figure of £1.6bn means bank records second straight year of profit since 2008 state bailout. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) has said Brexit uncertainty has “gone on far too long”, despite posting better-than-expected full-year profits and declaring new dividends that will boost government coffers by £1bn. RBS’s chief executive, Ross McEwan, admitted the additional pressure of Brexit risks would affect the bank’s performance over the coming year and it may struggle to meet its target of getting costs below 50% of its income by 2020. “I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the political uncertainty around Brexit has gone on far too long,” he said on Friday. “Our corporate clients are pausing before making financial decisions and this, of course, is damaging the UK economy and will affect our income performance.”
Renewable energy will be world’s main power source by 2040, says BP (BP.). Annual energy forecast predicts record surge in wind, solar and other renewables. Renewable energy sources will be the world’s main source of power within two decades and are establishing a foothold in the global energy system faster than any fuel in history, according to BP. The UK-based oil company said wind, solar and other renewables will account for about 30% of the world’s electricity supplies by 2040, up from 25% in BP’s 2040 estimates last year, and about 10% today. In regions such as Europe, the figure will be as high as 50% by 2040. The speed of growth was without parallel, the company said in its annual energy outlook. While oil took almost 45 years to go from 1% of global energy to 10%, and gas took more than 50 years, renewables are expected to do so within 25 years in the report’s central scenario.
Patisserie Valerie saved in buyout backed by Irish private equity firm. More than 100 cafes and 2,000 jobs saved in Causeway Capital and AF Blakemore & Son deals. The Patisserie Valerie cafe chain has been saved from closure by a management buyout backed by an Irish private equity firm. Almost 100 cafes will be rescued in the deal, funded by Causeway Capital Partners. Another 21 Philpotts sandwich shops that were part of the Patisserie Valerie group have been bought by AF Blakemore & Son, the family-owned company which is the largest operator of Spar convenience stores in the UK. The two deals will save about 2,000 jobs. Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) – the listed parent company of the two chains – said they had been sold for £13m in total, a fraction of the £450m the group was once worth. The company fell into administration in January, three months after a black hole emerged in its accounts which it blamed on “potentially fraudulent” accounting irregularities.
Ryanair says air traffic control problems will disrupt summer flights. Disruption due to strikes and staff shortages will be worse than last year, airline predicts. Ryanair Holdings (RYA) has said air traffic control strikes and staff shortages will cause record levels of disruption to holiday flights this summer. Strikes have already forced the airline to cancel several hundred flights this year in its quieter winter schedules. According to A4E (Airline For Europe), which represents the 15 biggest European airlines, there was a 53% rise in delays due to air traffic control staffing issues in 2018, forcing its members to cancel more than 5,000 flights last summer. Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said that represented record disruption, but predicted even worse for 2019. He said air traffic control staff shortages were now the primary reason for flight delays and would aggravate the effect of strikes: “You don’t feel it so much now, but once you get into the summer I promise you the French air traffic controllers will go on strike in May … that will then be followed by the Italians. “You could have the Belgians taking industrial action more, and you also have the backdrop that they don’t have enough trained staff.” Jacobs said passengers would “be feeling that at weekends in the summer” and there was “a cost for customers not getting away for their holidays on time, but also for us in EU261s”.