Jun 19, 2018

Apple fined for misleading customers in Australia

An Australian court has fined Apple A$9m for refusing to fix iPhones and iPads that had been serviced by third parties. When customers sought repairs, Apple denied some of them assistance because their devices had previously been fixed by a third party, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said. "The court declared the mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply,"...

Jun 19, 2018

The personal stylists helping out-of-work women

How important is your outfit when you're being interviewed for a job? For Luxchmi, who lost her job before Christmas and has struggled to find work since, the answer turned out to be "Very". She visited Smart Works, a charity offering personal styling sessions and interview coaching to women struggling to find work.

Jun 19, 2018

Debenhams issues another profit warning

Debenhams has warned that its full-year profits are expected to fall below expectations, adding to the chorus of retailing woes. The department store blamed "Increased competitor discounting and weakness in key markets" for the profit shortfall. It said pre-tax profits for the full year would come in between £35m and £40m, below estimates of £50.3m. This is Debenhams' third profit warning this year despite a turnaround plan designed to cut costs and boost sales. Debenhams said sales had been...

Jun 19, 2018

Northern Rail: Guards row sparks fresh strikes

Passengers on Northern Rail services are facing further disruption with a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over guards on trains. The company said it would run as many services as possible between 07:00 and 19:00 BST. The union claims imposing driver-only services is a risk to public safety. "Regional director for Northern, Sharon Keith, said:"On each day of the strike action we will be running fewer services and expect those services we do operate to be extremely busy. "RMT general...

Jun 19, 2018

Debenhams issues third profit warning of 2018

British department store group Debenhams has issued its third profit warning of 2018, adding to the deep sense of gloom on UK high streets. Blaming "a background of increased competitor discounting and weakness in key markets," Debenhams said that its full-year pre-tax profits would be around £35m-£40m. Analysts had expected the retailer to make £50.3m. This comes after the company's main rival, House of Fraser, issued a plan to strike a lifeline deal with its landlords to close 31 stores,...

Jun 19, 2018

Debenhams shares fall nearly 20% on profit warning

Shares in high street retailer Debenhams fell nearly 20 per cent in early trade on Tuesday, after the British department store warned on profits for the third time this year. Shares were down as much as 18 per cent at the market open on Tuesday. In January Debenhams issued its first profit warning of 2018, pointing to poor Christmas trading, and in April it issued a second, blaming uncharacteristically cold weather in March. Like rival department store House of Fraser, which announced a plan...

Jun 19, 2018

Debenhams issues third profit warning of 2018

Shares in Debenhams fell by almost a fifth after the struggling British department store group issued its third profit warning of 2018, adding to the deep sense of gloom on UK high streets. Blaming "a background of increased competitor discounting and weakness in key markets", Debenhams said that its full-year pre-tax profits would be between £35m and £40m. Analysts had expected the retailer to make £50.3m. "It is well-documented that these are exceptionally difficult times in UK retail, and...

Jun 18, 2018

Audi chief Rupert Stadler arrested in diesel emissions probe

German carmaker Audi's chief executive, Rupert Stadler, has been arrested, parent company Volkswagen has said. A spokesman for VW said: "We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning. The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing." Audi has been caught up in the diesel emissions scandal that has plagued VW. Last month, Audi admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines have emission software issues. The so-called dieselgate emissions scandal first...

Jun 18, 2018

Facebook cuts out gun-accessory ads for children

Children will stop seeing adverts for gun accessories on Facebook as it updates its policy from 21 June. Currently, ads for scopes, holsters, gun-mounted lights, slings, sights, belt extras, safes and many other items can be seen by anyone using Facebook. Facebook said the decision followed a "Regular review" of its policies. Tech news site The Verge speculated that the move was connected to renewed focus on gun violence in the US following a spate of school shootings. Facebook said sales of...

Jun 18, 2018

Ryanair calls for restricted airport alcohol sales

Ryanair has called for more restrictions on alcohol sales at airports. The airline proposed a two-drink limit for passengers and a ban on alcohol sales in airports before 10:00. Referring to its own policy on alcohol sales in-flight, Ryanair said very little alcohol was actually sold on board as all of its flights were short haul. "Our cabin crew are fully trained to deal with customers' alcohol sales and intake," added the airline. A Dublin airport spokesman said that while the behaviour of...

Jun 15, 2018

China's ride-hailing giant Didi to launch in Australia

China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is set to launch in Melbourne, Australia, from 25 June as it continues its international expansion. Didi is the world's largest ride-hailing app and is best known for driving Uber off the streets in China. Didi says the service it will offer in Melbourne will be its core ride-sharing arm, Didi Express. "What I can say is that Melbourne drivers are continuing to respond exceptionally well to the product we are offering... in fact, nearly 100 drivers...

Jun 15, 2018

Tesco says growth 'on track' as sales rise again

Tesco says its growth plans are on track after it reported a 10th consecutive quarter of rising sales. UK like-for-like sales, which exclude sales from new stores, rose 2.1% in the 13 weeks to 26 May. The supermarket giant said sales had recovered after being affected by bad weather conditions in March. Tesco's performance has gradually improved since 2014, when it reported the worst results in its history with a record pre-tax loss of £6.4bn..

Jun 15, 2018

Tesco sales keep climbing despite snow disruption

Tesco has posted its tenth consecutive quarter of rising sales as Britain's biggest grocer continues to put its struggles of several years ago behind it and defy the wider gloom on the British high street. The company, which three years ago became embroiled in an accounting scandal while it was also battling intense competition from discount grocery chains Aldi and Lidl, said sales in its core UK business rose 2.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to May 26, compared to the same period last year. This...

Jun 15, 2018

Tesco food price cuts fuel sales rise for tenth consecutive quarter

Tesco on Friday reported its tenth consecutive quarter of rising sales as Britain's biggest retailer defied the wider gloom on the high street by cutting food prices. Across the group, like-for-like sales rose 1.8 per cent, boosted by a strong performance from Booker, the food wholesaler acquired for £4bn earlier this year. The UK sales rise in the most recent quarter was a touch lower than the 2.3 per cent sales gain Tesco achieved in the previous quarter. This came after Tesco reported a...

Jun 15, 2018

East Yorkshire factory wins £1.5bn Tube train deal

An East Yorkshire factory has won a £1.5bn contract to build new Tube trains for London Underground. The new trains are expected to start running on the Piccadilly Line from 2023. The Siemens contract is the first step in upgrading London Underground's four deep Tube lines, with improvements to the Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo and City lines to follow. TfL said it expected "a single manufacturer building the trains for all four Deep Tube lines". Work has yet to start on the new train...

Jun 14, 2018

Fewer people 'using Facebook for news'

Fewer people are using Facebook to discover and discuss news, as messaging apps such as WhatsApp gain in popularity, a study has suggested. The seventh annual Digital News Report said the fall in users accessing news on Facebook reflected concerns about privacy and the toxic nature of debate. "I've actually pulled back from using Facebook a lot since the whole political landscape changed over the last few years because I just find everyone's got an opinion," said one person, based in the UK....

Jun 14, 2018

Sony faces growing Fortnite backlash at E3

Gamers have discovered that if they had first played the title on a PlayStation console, they are unable to use the same Fortnite account with the newly released Nintendo Switch edition. Gamers were already unable to share a Fortnite account between Microsoft and Sony's platforms. Sony has yet to confirm it is responsible for the constraint, but it issued the following statement to the BBC. "We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming...

Jun 14, 2018

iPhone security loophole used by police closed by Apple

Apple says it is to change the default settings of its iPhone to stop hackers and others unlocking devices without proper legal authorisation. Apple denied the changes were designed to thwart US law enforcement. In 2016 Apple refused to help police unlock a phone used by a gunman who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. "We're constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their...

Jun 14, 2018

L&G strikes pensions and loan deal with Heathrow

Legal & General has signed a novel pensions deal with Heathrow airport, lending money to the company at the same time as taking on some of its pension promises. The insurer says that combining the two has made it cheaper for Heathrow to do the pensions part of the deal. Under the deal with Heathrow, Legal & General will take on £325m of pension promises covering 1,300 retired pension scheme members. Phil Wilbraham, chairman of the scheme's trustees, said that the deal "De-risks the position...

Jun 14, 2018

Unilever says shares ‘extremely’ unlikely to stay in FTSE 100

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever has said its plan to end its dual headquarters structure and move its main base to the Netherlands means its shares are unlikely to stay in Britain's FTSE 100 index. The Marmite-to-Dove shampoo maker's chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly told a conference hosted by Deutsche Bank on Thursday that after "Engaging very extensively" with listings group FTSE Russell, the company's new shares were "Extremely unlikely" to be included in the FTSE UK...

Jun 14, 2018

Unilever investors follow Brazilian trucks, not the blue-chip index

Unilever will not be included in the FTSE 100 index if it moves to a single headquarters in the Netherlands. Three fund managers with a mandate to hold FTSE 100 shares had already expressed concern about having to sell Unilever holdings at an unfavourable price if the company left the index. A FTSE 100 tracker fund would have to sell Unilever - but the whole point of passive trackers is that they do not make emotional judgments, they just match the index. Individual investors need not sell at...

Jun 13, 2018

Dixons Carphone reveals attempt to hack almost 6m card records

Dixons Carphone has disclosed that hackers attempted to steal millions of credit card records from payment processing systems at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. Some 5.8m of the cards affected had chip-and-pin protection to mitigate the harm arising from a data breach, according to Dixons. The data targeted by hackers did include the full card numbers although not pin codes or card verification codes typically used for authorising transactions, a spokesperson told the Financial...

Jun 13, 2018

Children exposed to horror film ads on YouTube

Children were left distressed after seeing ads for a horror film on YouTube, the Advertising Standards Authority has revealed. Three parents contacted the ASA after their children saw ads for Insidious: The Last Key - rated 15 in the UK. One ad for the film was shown before videos of songs from Frozen, instructions for building a Lego fire station and a clip from the cartoon PJ Masks. The video site added the ads had not appeared on YouTube Kids, an app aimed specifically at children that...

Jun 13, 2018

Ten-year-old Hermes Birkin handbag sells for £162,500

A second-hand Hermes Birkin bag has sold for £162,500 in London, a new European record for the most expensive handbag sold at auction. The record for a bag sold at auction - also a Hermes Birkin - is £253,700, set in Hong Kong in 2017. It measures just 30cm wide - smaller than the original Birkin handbag - and is made from nilo crocodile hide and features diamonds. The French luxury fashion house Hermes designed what became known as the Birkin in 1981. Ms Birkin had met the chief executive of...

Jun 13, 2018

Dixons Carphone admits huge data breach

Dixons Carphone has admitted a huge data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records. It has begun investigating the unauthorised access of data. It said 5.8 million of the credit and debit cards had chip-and-pin protection and that pin codes had not been accessed. As a result, about 105,000 non-EU cards, which were not chip-and-pin, had been compromised, it said. Dixons Carphone said it had no evidence that any of the cards had been used fraudulently...

Jun 13, 2018

Smart lock can be hacked 'in seconds'

On its website, Tapplock is described as the "World's first smart fingerprint padlock". In a blogpost, security expert Andrew Tierney from Pen Test Partners, outlined how he had hacked the lock. "You can just walk up to any Tapplock and unlock it in under two seconds. It requires no skill or knowledge to do this." Tapplock One owners, according to its creators, need no longer remember combination codes or keys to unlock a padlock, but instead can just swipe with a finger. Mr Tierney became...

Jun 13, 2018

Dixons Carphone hack explained: what happened and should you be worried?

The 2015 attack on TalkTalk involved 157,000 customers while a data breach at Carphone Warehouse the same year involved the personal data of 3m customers. The Information Commissioner's Office imposed a £400,000 fine in relation to the Carphone Warehouse incident, after finding "Multiple inadequacies in Carphone Warehouse's approach to data security". The company, which merged with Dixons in 2014, implemented several IT improvement programmes after that, but the latest hacking attempt was...

Jun 13, 2018

Plumber wins 'gig economy' rights court battle

Ruling against Pimlico Plumbers could influence appeal by Uber drivers

Jun 13, 2018

Institutional complacency exposes Dixons Carphone customers again

Dixons has been quick to reassure the 5.9m credit card users whose details were accessed by hackers, and the 1m customers whose personal information was viewed. Despite two serious customer data breaches - at its own Carphone Warehouse division in July 2015, and at Carphone's former telecoms business TalkTalk in October of that yea r - it only announced a significant increase in cyber security spending last month. C How and when was the data breach found? Dixons said it first determined there...

Jun 13, 2018

Comcast bids for Murdoch's Fox assets in Disney challenge

The US media conglomerate, has submitted another offer to buy parts of 21st Century Fox, after getting rebuffed last year in favour of Disney. The bid is a challenge to Disney, which announced in December that it would take over those assets in a stock transaction then valued at $52.4bn, or more than $66bn including debt. The deal, described by the two companies as a merger, was set to give Fox shareholders a roughly 25% stake in Disney. Fox, which is led by Rupert Murdoch and his sons,...