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May 17, 2016

Banks rally fails to keep FTSE in black

©AFP A strong performance by banking stocks was not enough to keep the FTSE 100 in positive territory on Friday as losses by energy and housebuilding companies dragged it into the red. Royal Dutch Shell slipped 1.8 per cent to 1707.5p while BP fell 0.7 per cent to close at

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Wesfarmers profit hit by Target, coal woes

©Bloomberg Wesfarmers, the Australian conglomerate that owns British DIY group Homebase, has reported its biggest annual profit drop in more than a decade, on the back of writedowns at its coal division and struggling retailer Target. The Perth-based group on Wednesday reported an 83 per cent year-on-year slide in net

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Lots on offer at Savills May regional auction

Following a successful March sale, Savills has released its catalogue for the next regional auction, which will take place on the 19th May 2016 at the Centenary Suite, Nottingham Racecourse at 2.30pm. Up to 48 lots offer a wide variety of opportunities across the residential and commercial property market to

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Rental growth picks up slack as capital value growth slows

Average prime commercial property yields rose to 4.69% in April 2016, up from 4.62% last month; the largest upward movement since June 2010, according to Savills latest Commercial Market in Minutes report. Average prime yields are now at their highest level since July 2015. Whilst this movement is small, Savills

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How much is the London Marathon property price per mile?

Fresh data released from eMoov.co.uk looks into the London Property Marathon 2016. Some 38,000 people will take to the streets of the capital this Sunday to tackle the 26.2-mile course, taking in a number of London’s iconic landmarks along the way. However, for many this is as close as they

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VAT fraudster gets two years

The director of an Edinburgh construction company, who lied about her business expenses in a VAT fraud, has been jailed for two years. Avril Jane Elliott, 49, from Gilberstoun in the Brunstane area of Edinburgh was prosecuted after an investigation into her company’s finances by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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Administrators Called in at Specialist Piling Firm

Commercial Marine & Piling has entered administration         Above: Past projects include cofferdam work at Canary Wharf The company’s registered address is in Poole in Dorset and it has two principal trading addresses, one at Ringwood in Hampshire and the other at River Thames Wharf in Northfleet

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MEDLOCK REVENUES SURGE TO £25M

Leisure contractor Medlock FRB is celebrating a record year which saw revenues soar 35 per cent. Its turnover in the year to December 2015 was £25m, up from £18.54m in the previous 12 months. The construction and fit-out firm bolstered its customer base with the addition of new clients including

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024

May 17, 2016

Banks rally fails to keep FTSE in black

©AFP A strong performance by banking stocks was not enough to keep the FTSE 100 in positive territory on Friday as losses by energy and housebuilding companies dragged it into the red. Royal Dutch Shell slipped 1.8 per cent to 1707.5p while BP fell 0.7 per cent to close at 359p on the back of a slide in the price of crude oil, which was down 0.4 per cent at $41.37. More On this topic IN UK Equities Housebuilding stocks gave back some of their gains from earlier in the week when they were given a boost in chancellor George Osborne’s budget. Barratt Developments slipped 1.8 per cent to 574.8p, Persimmon shed 1.2 per cent to 2,088.7p, and Berkeley dropped 2.2 per cent to 3,175.5p, even after it published its interim management statement saying that profits are anticipated to be near the “upper end of expectations”. Berkeley warned that housing supply could be hit by complex policy, reducing public sector resources and “one of the world’s highest property taxation regimes”. Despite the warning, analysts remained bullish on the housebuilder. “We are confident that Berkeley should be capable of maintaining a level of profit of at least the £500m that it should deliver this year in the longer term and that its record argues still for a material premium rating over the peer group,” said Robin Hardy, analyst at Shore Capital. “This still supports a fair value of around £35 per share and, having recently dropped below £30, there is currently some value here,” he added. London-listed banks were the day’s best-performing stocks as they bounced back from yesterday’s losses. Standard Chartered recovered from yesterday’s 1.3 per cent fall to close up 7.6 per cent at 497.1p. RBS rose 2.3 per cent to 236.4p, Lloyds climbed 0.9 per cent to 70.0p while HSBC slipped 0.1 per cent to 451.9p. “Standard Chartered was boosted as one of its key risk exposures is Essar Oil in India,” said Chirantan Barua, analyst at Bernstein. “Yesterday Rosneft closed a deal to acquire 49 per cent in Essar Oil with a massive sweetener deal to pump significant oil through Essar’s refinery. What was a negative for the bank has just turned positive. Add to that a weaker dollar, strong EM trade and options expiries, and it’s been a good day for banks,” he added. Lloyds and RBS were helped by a bullish note from Japanese financial group Nomura, which raised its target price for RBS from 275p to 280p and restated its “buy” rating for Lloyds. Mining stocks added to yesterday’s gains, boosted by a 0.9 per cent rise in the price of iron ore. Glencore rose 1.8 per cent to 160.8p, BHP Billiton gained 1.1 per cent to 831.3p and Anglo American rose 2.7 per cent to 546.2p, though Antofagasta slipped 4.3 per cent to 514.5p after RBC cut its rating from “sector perform” to “underperform”. Life insurance stocks also rallied on Friday. Aviva rose 0.4 per cent to 486.4p after Barclays upgraded its price target and reaffirmed its overweight position on the stock. Prudential rose 1.2 per cent to 1,373.5p, and St James Place rose 1.2 per cent to 939.7p. Sports Direct outperformed the benchmark index ahead of its demotion to the FTSE 250 next week, adding 5.9 per cent to 413.8p, with some traders attributing the rally to forced short covering before its move. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Source link

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Wesfarmers profit hit by Target, coal woes

©Bloomberg Wesfarmers, the Australian conglomerate that owns British DIY group Homebase, has reported its biggest annual profit drop in more than a decade, on the back of writedowns at its coal division and struggling retailer Target. The Perth-based group on Wednesday reported an 83 per cent year-on-year slide in net profit after tax to A$407m (US$310m) for the 12 months to June 30 — its worst bottom-line result since the 2001-02 financial year. More On this topic IN Retail & Consumer Excluding significant items, net profit after tax fell 7.7 per cent to A$2.25bn, undershooting analysts’ consensus expectations of A$2.29bn, although group revenue rose 5.7 per cent to A$66bn. It has been a troubled year for Wesfarmers subsidiary Target, with an accounting probe in April uncovering that the department store group had inflated earnings by A$21m in the final six months of 2015. The conglomerate’s Curragh coal mine in Queensland also weighed on Wesfarmers’ figures, with the group booking a A$1.84bn post-tax writedown for both businesses. One bright spot for Wesfarmers was the performance of Bunnings, the group’s Australia market-leading home hardware business, which saw earnings before interest and tax at the division rising 11.5 per cent year-on-year to A$1.21bn. Wesfarmers in January agreed to buy Homebase for £340m with a view to replicating the success of Bunnings in the UK. The company said it hoped to open four to six pilot Bunnings Warehouse stores in the UK and Irish market by the end of June 2017, noting that their success would be crucial to further investment. “Proof of concept is a critical step,” said John Gillam, Bunnings chief executive. Wesfarmers has invested £60m to clarify Homebase’s “poor and confusing offer”, Mr Gillam said, adding that “the offer is now very firmly focused on the home improvement and garden market”. In Wesfarmers’ first four months of owning the business, like-for-like sales at Homebase rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year, with that trend continuing into July, Mr Gillam said. Ian Chitterer, an analyst at ratings agency Moody’s said: “Wesfarmers’ track record in retail, and more specifically with Bunnings, is strong and we believe that they should be given the time needed to focus on the turnround of the Homebase business.” Earnings at Australian supermarket chain Coles, which accounts for more than half of Wesfarmers’ earnings before interest and tax, grew more slowly, up 4.3 per cent year-on-year to A$1.86bn — the weakest pace of growth since Wesfarmers acquired the group in a top-of-the-market acquisition in 2007. Although Coles’ rival Woolworths has ceded its position as Australian market leader, competition in the supermarket sector has been heating up as Aldi, the European group, gains a foothold in Australia. Wesfarmers’ board cut its final dividend, taking the overall per-share payment for the year to A$1.86 — down from a payout of A$2 last year. Richard Goyder, Wesfarmers chief executive, said: “A majority of the group’s businesses were offset by challenging trading conditions and restructuring activities in Target, and the impact of low commodity prices in the resources business.” Management said it would assess its options for its struggling coal business. Wesfarmers shares were down 2.4 per cent in afternoon trade in Sydney at A$42.56. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Source link

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Lots on offer at Savills May regional auction

Following a successful March sale, Savills has released its catalogue for the next regional auction, which will take place on the 19th May 2016 at the Centenary Suite, Nottingham Racecourse at 2.30pm. Up to 48 lots offer a wide variety of opportunities across the residential and commercial property market to include: Lot 1, 28 Regent Street in Nottingham. A rare opportunity to acquire a freehold period office building in the heart of the city’s professional quarter. The property is being offered at a guide price of £350,000 – £400,000. Lot 8, 10a Plumtree Road in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire. A unique opportunity to acquire a substantial period cottage in a sought after village location, which is being offered at a guide price of £310,000 – £335,000. Lot 15, 37-39 Kirk Gate in Newark, Nottinghamshire. The chance to purchase an historic Listed building in Newark town centre, which has established planning consent for both retail and leisure use. The freehold is being offered at a guide price of £125,000 to £150,000. Lot 26, a former grain store and land in Barnetby Le Wold in North Lincolnshire. The site, which totals 0.42 acres (0.16 hectares), lies in close proximity to Humberside Airport and is guided at £10,000 – £20,000. Lot 35, 23-25 Station Street in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottingham. A substantial Grade II Listed former chapel, previously used as office accommodation, with the possibility of converting it to residential use subject to consent. The property is guided at £60,000 – £80,000. Lot 47, 21 and 21a Ashworth Avenue in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire. A strong investment opportunity, comprising two retail units and two self contained ground and first floor flats, which also offer the potential for future development. The property is being offered at a guide price of £200,000 – £225,000. Bob Crocker, director and auction co-ordinator at Savills Nottingham, comments: “We have continued to receive considerable interest in the upcoming May auction, despite the recent increase in stamp duty for buy to let and second home buyers. As a result, we still expect to see plenty of investors and developers looking to secure a quick and efficient purchase via the auction process.” Paul Giles, head of commercial auctions at Savills Nottingham, comments: “Once again the May auction offers a diverse number of opportunities across a wide geographical spread. Following the changes to stamp duty in April, we anticipate that a number of smaller investors may now start to consider commercial lots in order to avoid charges and diversify their portfolio.”   Source link

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Rental growth picks up slack as capital value growth slows

Average prime commercial property yields rose to 4.69% in April 2016, up from 4.62% last month; the largest upward movement since June 2010, according to Savills latest Commercial Market in Minutes report. Average prime yields are now at their highest level since July 2015. Whilst this movement is small, Savills says that it is significant as it is most likely due to a mix of investors broadly accepting that total returns on UK property are likely to be lower in 2016 and some pre-referendum uncertainty. Savills forecasts that total returns in 2016 will be approximately 7.5%; comparatively high compared to most asset classes, but lower than the average returns of 13% seen in 2015. As investors focus on income rather than capital growth, annual rental growth on commercial property continues to improve. Steady occupier demand combined with restrained supply is delivering rental increases across all the main commercial property sectors with growth no longer confined to London and the south east. Across the UK, standard UK office rents have risen by an average of 8.55% across the UK, industrial rents by 4.95% and retail rents by 1.5%. Mat Oakley, director of commercial research at Savills, says: “The UK remains one of the strongest performing developed economies with its GDP and consumer spending forecast to grow by two per cent this year. This positive economic backdrop is set to continue to support steady occupier demand, so, with supply generally unlikely to loosen in most regions, we should therefore continue to see consistent rental growth. Total returns may be lower this year, but commercial property is still a strong performer, particularly when compared to other assets, and it remains a favourite with investors.” Read Savills full April 2016 Commercial Market in Minutes here.  Source link

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How much is the London Marathon property price per mile?

Fresh data released from eMoov.co.uk looks into the London Property Marathon 2016. Some 38,000 people will take to the streets of the capital this Sunday to tackle the 26.2-mile course, taking in a number of London’s iconic landmarks along the way. However, for many this is as close as they will come to a piece of London property due to the increasing unaffordability of living in the capital. In fact, based on the current London average house price of £530,368, each runner would have to raise £20,243 for every mile ran, just to get a foot on the London ladder. Either that or each of the 38,000 participants could bring £14 each and joint own one London property. The Start: Greenwich As the runners gather at the start line in leafy Greenwich Park the price per a mile will have decreased slightly, as with an average house price of £532,208, Greenwich is marginally cheaper than the London average and would require £19,969 per a mile to secure a property there. Woolwich As the runners round mile markers, two through four, Woolwich will offer them the cheapest price per a mile across the entire route. Just £11,103 would be needed for each of the 26.2 miles in order to purchase a property in Woolwich. Rotherhithe At the ten mile mark, the property price per a mile shoots back up to £19,401, as the route winds its way through Rotherhithe, home to an average house price of £508,321. Bermondsey As the runners prepare to cross the Thames the last area south of the river they pass through is Bermondsey. With an average house price of £546,974, A Bermondsey property will set you back more than the London average and a hefty £20,876 for every mile of the marathon ran. Canary Wharf & the Isle of Dogs Unfortunately, things north of the river aren’t any better and a property in Canary Wharf will still cost you £19,367 per a mile. This does drop to £18,469 as the runners hit mile marker 16 and the Isle of Dogs, but this is still a substantial number of bake sales to secure a property in the area. Monument As each runner wearily makes their way towards prime central London and the finish line the property price per a mile starts to pick up the pace. With an average house price of £934,115, it would cost each runner £35,653 to secure a property in Monument for every painstaking mile of the route. The Finish: St James’s Park But as expected, nowhere across the entire marathon would cost more per a mile than the leafy finish line of St James’s Park. As they cross the finish legs and lungs will no doubt be screaming, but this pain is dwarfed by the realisation that for every mile they have just ran, it would cost just shy of £100,000 (£94,581) to afford the average property in St James’ (£2,478,034). Location Average House Price Property Price per Mile Greenwich £532,208 £20,313 Blackheath £599,549 £22,883 Charlton £408,331 £15,585 Woolwich £290,915 £11,103 Deptford £386,354 £14,746 Rotherhithe £508,321 £19,401 Canada Water £440,909 £16,828 Bermondsey £546,974 £20,876 Whitechapel £502,322 £19,172 Shadwell £426,592 £16,282 Limehouse £526,517 £20,096 Canary Wharf £507,420 £19,367 Poplar £467,838 £17,856 Isle of Dogs £483,908 £18,469 Monument £934,115 £35,654 Blackfriars £881,423 £33,642 St James’ £2,478,034 £94,581 London Average £530,368 £20,243 Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented: “Although the real obstacle of the day is the gruelling 26.2-mile slog across the capital, these figures paint a really clear picture of just how unobtainable a London property is for the majority of us. To think that for every mile of the route, each runner would need to raise close to the average UK salary just to get on the London ladder, is a little sickening. I for one am glad the money raised is going to worthy causes and not to further fuelling the London property bubble.” Source link

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VAT fraudster gets two years

The director of an Edinburgh construction company, who lied about her business expenses in a VAT fraud, has been jailed for two years. Avril Jane Elliott, 49, from Gilberstoun in the Brunstane area of Edinburgh was prosecuted after an investigation into her company’s finances by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). She pleaded guilty to submitting a string of fraudulent VAT returns between 2008 and 2013, when she appeared at Edinburgh’s Sheriff Court last month. These fraudulent returns overstated her business expenses, resulting in her receiving £275,000 she wasn’t entitled to. Elliott was sentenced to two years imprisonment when she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 25th August 2015. Cheryl Burr, assistant director at HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Elliott’s actions cheated the exchequer out of significant sums of money, which funded a lifestyle well beyond her legitimate income. She thought she’d found a way to exploit the tax system, putting her own greed above funding vital public services.” Elliott’s fraud started to unravel after an inspection of her company finances. Steps are now being taken to recover the money, HMRC said.         This article was published on 26 Aug 2016 (last updated on 26 Aug 2016). Source link

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Administrators Called in at Specialist Piling Firm

Commercial Marine & Piling has entered administration         Above: Past projects include cofferdam work at Canary Wharf The company’s registered address is in Poole in Dorset and it has two principal trading addresses, one at Ringwood in Hampshire and the other at River Thames Wharf in Northfleet in Kent. Commercial Marine & Piling Ltd (CMP) was founded in 1986, initially specialising purely in piling. Piling remains a core part of the business but the acquisition of Branford Civil & Marine Ltd in 1999 led to expansion and diversification into marine civil engineering and specialist marine piling. The company has said that it has the capacity to act as principal contractor for projects up to £7m, and as a specialist sub-contractor on larger projects. It carries out contracts across the UK, with its River Thames Wharf site used as a base from which to mobilise and co-ordinate marine construction works along the River Thames. The adminstrators are Benjamin Wiles and Geoffrey Bouchier of Duff & Phelps Ltd, based in the Shard in London. This article was published on 16 May 2016 (last updated on 16 May 2016). Source link

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Seymour boss believes UK industry will reap the benefits of apprenticeship schemes

A CONSTRUCTION chief believes the apprenticeship model is “back in fashion” – and feels the future of the sector is in good hands because of it. Kevin Byrne is Managing Director at Seymour Civil Engineering, and has worked his way to the top having started off at the other end of the ladder. Kevin, who has spent 27 years at Seymour, has seen steady stream of apprentices work their way through the ranks at his firm and says they form a key part of his team. Kevin, who moved the North East specialist to a new headquarters at Hartlepool Marina earlier this year, said: “The whole issue around apprenticeships is very interesting. “I think there has been a sea change. People are getting to the crossroads of further education and giving it some serious consideration rather than going to university. “Different people have different beliefs, but I think that a degree is nowhere near as valuable as it used to be. Why fund an expensive university degree – and pick up the debt at the end of it – when you can come straight into an organisation like ourselves, get on the job training and earn a professional qualification at the end of it? “Graduates are equipped for later life rather than the here and now, whereas apprentices have to learn quickly and within a couple of years they have been given a headstart.” Kevin thinks industry in general could be in a better position in the future if employers adopt the approach used by the likes of Germany. And he welcomes schemes such as National Apprenticeship Week to help spread the word about the benefits of apprenticeships. He added: “There was a big drive into IT in the 1990s when the recession hit. All of a sudden, it wasn’t credible to be a standard plumber or an electrician anymore, and everyone was pushed towards technology. “That, in my view, was the biggest political mistake this country ever made. If you look at somewhere like Germany, there is a model in place. People start on the shop floor, there is a mutual respect and appreciation and doors open along the way to allow them to progress. You will find that a lot of people in the senior positions up at the top have worked their way up from the very bottom. “But now, back in our country, it seems to be coming back into fashion. As I said, the financial aspect plays a big part. But employers are becoming more receptive now, they can see the benefits. “If that continues, and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t, then I think it benefits everyone. Campaigns like National Apprenticeship Week highlight the opportunities which are available to businesses and students, and I think that is very positive. “From my own point of view, at Seymour if we get an apprentice through the door then they learn from their very first day. They know the Seymour way, and pick up the good habits. It’s easier to give someone good habits than to try and take the bad habits they’ve learned away from them. “The other positive for me is that we are recognised as a local company, and we feel we have a responsibility to help people. The biggest asset to our business is our team, and the apprentices we have are a key part of that team.” Seymour is recognised as one of the North East’s leading civil engineering businesses, and employs a workforce in excess of 230 throughout the region. The firm specialises in drainage, urban renewal projects, restoration and development work as well as sea defence and coastal protection work.

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The Lighting Industry Association – Supporting a level lighting playing field in Europe

The Lighting Industry Association’s (LIA) new state of the art, 12,500 sq ft purpose built Laboratories have bid successfully and are undertaking testing as part of LightingEurope’s Compliant Lighting Initiative. The objective of the Initiative is to support the placing of compliant lighting products on the European market through effective market surveillance, safe and good quality lighting products for consumers in Europe; as well as a level playing field and fair competition for industry players. A significant number of lighting products, including those from LightingEurope members are being tested on behalf of the Initiative by various independent test laboratories in Europe including the LIA Laboratories. Not just a visually impressive build; the LIA’s Laboratories are purposely designed and ready to meet the global lighting industry’s practical testing and certification requirements and will be putting LED lamps from producers, importers or other label owners through their paces covering safety, photometric performance and life testing compliance, as part of this initiative. In the case of non-compliance, affected manufacturers and distributors will be informed of the results with the request to take appropriate action. Product related allegations raised in the LightingEurope initiative will also be communicated if needed to the relevant national market surveillance authorities. “The LIA are proud to be involved with such an important and respected initiative, which is pro-actively striving to protect the reputation and health of the European Lighting Industry and those involved” Steve K Davies, CEO, The LIA www.thelia.org.uk

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MEDLOCK REVENUES SURGE TO £25M

Leisure contractor Medlock FRB is celebrating a record year which saw revenues soar 35 per cent. Its turnover in the year to December 2015 was £25m, up from £18.54m in the previous 12 months. The construction and fit-out firm bolstered its customer base with the addition of new clients including Casual Dining Group, Thai Leisure Group, Mitchells & Butlers, Empire Cinemas and Langdale Leisure. Medlock also enjoyed strong repeat business with major customers such as Premier Inn, Enterprise Inns, Greene King, JD Wetherspoon and Joseph Holt. The firm, which has its headquarters in Oldham and operates nationwide, is on track for further strong growth this year. Revenues in the first three months of 2016 climbed 14 per cent compared with the same period last year, from £5.5m to £6.3m. Major contracts completed between January and March included the £1m fit-out of Dukes 92 bar in Castlefield, Manchester, and the £1.3m fit-out of the El Gato Negro restaurant in Manchester city centre. Medlock also fitted out a new All Bar One venue at the intu Trafford Centre for Mitchells & Butlers. Finance director Colin Drury said: “We are pleased to report that the company has achieved record sales and further progress against our business plan and strategy of continued long-term growth. “Repeat business with our major customers has been a tremendous success, accounting for 68 per cent of the sales total, while our customer base has been strengthened with the addition of further premium brands. “We have added key staff in the project delivery process, enabling us to deliver our projects safely, on time, to budget and to the highest quality, leading to further repeat business. “We will continue to work hard to drive value while consistently delivering customer service and quality across the business.”

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