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Fortnum & Mason boss lashes out at fresh lockdown measures

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fortnum mason boss lashes out at fresh lockdown measures

The boss of Fortnum & Mason said the Government’s decision to extend harsher lockdown measures will cause ‘a whole generation to suffer’.

From midnight tonight, areas including London, Essex and York will be placed into ‘tier 2’ lockdown, meaning different households cannot mix indoors. 

Hospitality industry leaders have warned the measures will decimate businesses and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk.

Fortnum &Mason boss Ewan Venters said restricting the economy with harsh lockdown measures  is 'dangerous for the health of society' and will cost 'real jobs and skills'

Fortnum &Mason boss Ewan Venters said restricting the economy with harsh lockdown measures  is ‘dangerous for the health of society’ and will cost ‘real jobs and skills’

Fortnum boss Ewan Venters said restricting the economy is ‘dangerous for the health of society’ and will cost ‘real jobs and skills’. 

He lashed out at the 10pm curfew calling it ‘a nonsense’ that is failing to do the job it was intended to do, and is actually increasing cases by ‘forcing people out onto the transport system at the same time’.

He said: ‘Simply closing London down is deeply dangerous for all of our prosperity and the health of the nation.’ 

Fortnum has been hit hard by the collapse in tourists and commuters and in July it axed 50 staff.

Watch Fortnum’s boss Ewan Venters at www.mailplus.co.uk

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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SMALL CAP MOVERS: AIM tops full-year 2019 fundraisings in nine months

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small cap movers aim tops full year 2019 fundraisings in nine months

The junior market has enjoyed a formidable year for fundraisings despite the pandemic weighing on stocks worldwide.

Some £4billion funds have been raised in the nine months to September, which tops the £3.9billion raised in the whole of 2019, according to broker Allenby Capital.

Most of these funds have been raised for existing listed companies, though there has been 15 initial public offers so far.

Just this week lab services specialist SourceBio International started trading after raising £35million to scale up Covid-19 testing capacity as well as paying off shareholder and bank loans.

Lab services specialist SourceBio International started trading after raising £35million to scale up Covid-19 testing capacity as well as paying off shareholder and bank loans

Lab services specialist SourceBio International started trading after raising £35million to scale up Covid-19 testing capacity as well as paying off shareholder and bank loans

Lab services specialist SourceBio International started trading after raising £35million to scale up Covid-19 testing capacity as well as paying off shareholder and bank loans

Verici Dx, a developer of advanced clinical diagnostics for organ transplant, will make its debut next week though it has already completed a £14.5million placing.

In terms of secondary fundraisings, many companies tapped the market to survive major downturns in trading during lockdown, such as airline Jet2, but investors were also eager to back success stories.

The pharma sector was the star of the show, raising £679million or 18 per cent of the total in 2020 so far to support both Covid-19 and existing projects.

The top three largest share issues were conducted by Hutchison China Meditech, Renalytix AI and Tiziana Life Sciences.

The market was also interested in companies that benefitted from the online shopping surge, such as retailers Asos and Boohoo and warehouse operators Urban Logistics REIT and Warehouse REIT.

This week, Angle raised a further £19.6million to propel its breakthrough liquid biopsy into the commercial phase, while Advanced Oncotherapy tapped the market for £7.7million to support its next-generation proton beam therapy technology.

Turning to the wider market, the AIM-All Share slipped 3 per cent over the week to 946, but still outperformed the FTSE 100, which dropped 5 per cent to 5,574.

Among the risers, Chariot Oil & Gas soared 36 per cent to 6p after financial institutions expressed interest in financing the development of its offshore Moroccan gas assets.

Meanwhile, model train maker Hornby steamed 20 per cent higher to 43p after flagging that sales continue to be ahead of last year while it looks forward to the key Christmas period.

Sensyne Health jumped 17 per cent to 123p following an extension of its relationship with Microsoft to collaborate on clinical artificial intelligence and health-related cloud technologies. 

The enhanced tie-up is set to deliver the latest ‘cloud-first’ healthcare systems and cutting-edge predictive machine learning algorithms. The junior biotech also signed a research agreement with Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Elsewhere, language courses provider Malvern International shot up 12 per cent to 0.1p after its half-year report allayed investors’ fears about its survival prospects, since it now has enough funds to continue operating.

Model train maker Hornby steamed 20 per cent higher to 43p after flagging that sales continue to be ahead of last year while it looks forward to the key Christmas period

Model train maker Hornby steamed 20 per cent higher to 43p after flagging that sales continue to be ahead of last year while it looks forward to the key Christmas period

Model train maker Hornby steamed 20 per cent higher to 43p after flagging that sales continue to be ahead of last year while it looks forward to the key Christmas period

Among the fallers, Omega Diagnostics lost 24 per cent to 74p after revealing its food intolerance business had been hit by the effects of the pandemic. Traders took the opportunity to bank some profits after the shares rose from around 10p at the beginning of April on expectations of the diagnostics company making a lot of money from the fight against the coronavirus.

In the retail space, clothing chain QUIZ shed 19 per cent to 6p after admitting increased sales in its casual ranges are not making up for losses in occasionwear revenues, leading to a 73 per cent slump in half-year revenue to £17million.

Completing the outfit, Shoe Zone tripped 13 per cent to 39p after ruling out dividends for five years and warning the reintroduction of business rates might bring to the closure of a fifth of its stores.

In the oil sector, Lekoil tumbled 18 per cent to 1p after its interim loss widened 34 per cent to $7.9million, while the cash balance dropped to $2.9million at the end of September from $4.6million in June.

Finally, escape room operator Escape Hunt fell 15 per cent to 9p after announcing the opening of its next owner-operated site in Basingstoke, perhaps not a great timing considering the rising infections in the UK.

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Electrified cars outsold diesels in Europe for the first time last month

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electrified cars outsold diesels in europe for the first time last month

It’s official, electrified cars are now more popular than diesels in Europe.

That’s according to the latest data from industry analysts Jato Dynamics, which today reported that registrations of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and conventional hybrid cars overtook diesel for the first time on record in September.

One in four new models bought in 27 European nations were alternative-fuelled vehicles, though petrol remains well ahead with almost half the market share of registrations last month.

Changing of the guard: Electrified vehicles - which includes battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and conventional hybrid cars - outsold diesel in September

Changing of the guard: Electrified vehicles - which includes battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and conventional hybrid cars - outsold diesel in September

Changing of the guard: Electrified vehicles – which includes battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and conventional hybrid cars – outsold diesel in September

The September report said there had been ‘clear signs that Europe is all set for an electric revolution’, with the caveat: ‘In fact, this revolution has already started.’   

It marks the first time in the modern era that alternative-fuelled vehicles have outsold one of the two internal combustion engine types but also signifies the substantial fall from grace for oil-burning engines.

Just five years ago, around the time the Dieselgate scandal hit headlines, diesel cars were the dominant force in Europe. 

Overall, registrations climbed by 1.2 per cent year-on-year in September, with 1.3 million passenger cars bought across nations.

That’s despite petrol and diesel suffering double-digit drops compared to September 2019.

In September, diesel made up just 24.8 per cent of vehicles registered on the continent, while petrol accounted for 47 per cent. 

Industry analysts said European passenger vehicle registrations in September were a clear sign that the 'electric revolution has already started'

Industry analysts said European passenger vehicle registrations in September were a clear sign that the 'electric revolution has already started'

Industry analysts said European passenger vehicle registrations in September were a clear sign that the ‘electric revolution has already started’

In contrast, electric vehicle demand spiked by 139 per cent to a records 327,800 units – the first time that EVs have broken the 300,000 units monthly mark, and only the second time that they have counted for more than 20 per cent of registrations. 

Commenting on the change of guard for fuel types, Felipe Munoz, global analyst at Jato Dynamics said: ‘The shift from ICEs to EVs is finally taking place. 

‘Although this is largely down to government policies and incentives, consumers are also now ready to adopt these new technologies.’

In the UK, demand for BEVs and PHEVs is surging, while diesel continues to decline. In September alone, some 60,647 pure electric and hybrid cars were purchased compared to just 46,996 diesels

In the UK, demand for BEVs and PHEVs is surging, while diesel continues to decline. In September alone, some 60,647 pure electric and hybrid cars were purchased compared to just 46,996 diesels

In the UK, demand for BEVs and PHEVs is surging, while diesel continues to decline. In September alone, some 60,647 pure electric and hybrid cars were purchased compared to just 46,996 diesels

The report reflects a similar shift already taking place in the UK market.

So far this year, battery electric vehicle demand is up a massive 165 per cent, while plug-in hybrid sales are ahead by more than 80 per cent.

In September alone – which is traditionally a big month for car retailers with the arrival of a new registration number and deals to incentivise sales of models with the fresh plates – some 60,647 pure electric and hybrid cars (both plug-in and conventional) were purchased.

That compared to just 46,996 diesels.

It means alternative-fuelled vehicles (not including ‘mild hybrids’) had a market share of 18.5 per cent, overtaking oil burners which accounted for just 14.3 per cent of all new cars bought last month.

The launch of the new ID.3 has made VW the brand with the second highest electrified vehicle registrations in Europe, ironically after its Dieselgate scandal sparked the decline in diesel demand in 2015

The launch of the new ID.3 has made VW the brand with the second highest electrified vehicle registrations in Europe, ironically after its Dieselgate scandal sparked the decline in diesel demand in 2015

The launch of the new ID.3 has made VW the brand with the second highest electrified vehicle registrations in Europe, ironically after its Dieselgate scandal sparked the decline in diesel demand in 2015

A year ago, electrified cars made up just 11% of vehicle registrations. Now they account for one in four

A year ago, electrified cars made up just 11% of vehicle registrations. Now they account for one in four

A year ago, electrified cars made up just 11% of vehicle registrations. Now they account for one in four

The car brands taking advantage of the electric switch

While Dieselgate is the moment earmarked as the beginning of the downfall for diesel, Jato Dynamics said Volkswagen has ‘overcome the scandal to become a new protagonist in this chapter of vehicle electrification’. 

Last month, the German car maker registered 40,300 electrified vehicles in Europe, with the all-new ID.3 racking up 7,897 sales last month to become the third most-bought battery electric car in Europe.

Only the Tesla Model 3 with 15,702 registrations (which made it the most-bought of all electrified cars last month) and Renault Zoe (11,023) outsold the ID.3 hatchback.

In fact, VW was the second largest electrified vehicle seller in September behind only Toyota, which continued its dominance from within the hybrid segment.

The Tesla Model 3 is the most-bought battery electric vehicle in Europe. That has also been the case in the UK during 2020

The Tesla Model 3 is the most-bought battery electric vehicle in Europe. That has also been the case in the UK during 2020

The Tesla Model 3 is the most-bought battery electric vehicle in Europe. That has also been the case in the UK during 2020

35005350 8893829 image a 74 1603987507413

35005350 8893829 image a 74 1603987507413

‘Like with its SUVs, Volkswagen Group arrived late to the EV boom, but its competitive products are catching up quickly, and it is now becoming a leader’ Munoz said.  

SUVs continue to top the sales charts, grabbing 41.3 per cent of the market, with the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Ford Puma most in demand. 

Despite the dominance of utility vehicles, the most registered overall car in Europe was the VW Golf with 28,731 bought last month. It was closely followed by the Vauxhall Corsa (26,269).

The VW Golf was the best-selling car in Europe in September, with over 28,700 registered

The VW Golf was the best-selling car in Europe in September, with over 28,700 registered

The VW Golf was the best-selling car in Europe in September, with over 28,700 registered

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I have had intermittent internet signal over the past few weeks. How can I get compensation?

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i have had intermittent internet signal over the past few weeks how can i get compensation

A car crashed into the broadband cabinet at the end of my road a few weeks ago and since then my internet has been cutting out intermittently.

I am working from home so this has been frustrating. On one day, I had no internet at all as Openreach tried to fix the issue.

I am hoping it is now resolved but I am looking to get compensation as I have been without full internet usage for weeks. What can I do to get this?

Getting compensation for a faulty broadband connection has to come from the provider

Getting compensation for a faulty broadband connection has to come from the provider

Getting compensation for a faulty broadband connection has to come from the provider 

Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: Being without properly working internet for many is now like losing a vital utility, such as electricity or water, especially with the rise of home working. 

On the days when the internet cut out multiple times, and one day when it didn’t work at all, you had to go to a family member’s home nearby to work.

We’ll point out here this was earlier in the month and you live in a Tier 1 coronavirus area. 

You have been speaking to Openreach about the issue on and off for the last few weeks, hoping to get the issue resolved.

They have sent engineers several times to rectify the issue but work was unable to proceed due to ‘technical issues’.

Due to these technical issues, the damaged cabinet was left to be powered by batteries. 

These were changed every few hours, but in that time, households nearby, including yours, experienced broadband dropouts as the batteries ran down.

Fortunately, your internet is now working and the issue has been resolved but you are looking for compensation for the time you spent without it.

You contacted Openreach directly about this but were told it would not be able to help and instead you would need to speak to your internet provider – despite the fact they had not been involved in the failure of the connection.

While this may seem strange, when looking for compensation, customers have to go through their internet supplier.

Openreach said that even though they are fixing an issue, they don't provide compensation

Openreach said that even though they are fixing an issue, they don't provide compensation

Openreach said that even though they are fixing an issue, they don’t provide compensation 

The internet providers own the end-customer relationship and are responsible for communication with their customers and billing matters including compensation.

Openreach will only pay compensation to suppliers when it doesn’t meet agreed standards.

It is advised that anyone experiencing any problem with their broadband or home phone service should report it to their internet supplier in the first instance.

They will carry out checks to try to identify where the issue lies and if they think it needs further investigation by Openreach they will arrange for an engineer to visit and keep their customer up-to-date.

A spokesperson for Openreach replies: Openreach provides a wholesale service to over 600 service providers and those companies are responsible for communication with their customers, billing and compensation.

Openreach pays compensation to Service Providers when we don’t meet agreed standards, but we also have to observe and respect industry-agreed processes and protocols.

Anyone with ongoing issues should speak to their provider so that further investigations can take place.

Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: Fortunately, you have since spoken to your internet provider which is giving you six months free internet by applying a monthly credit to your bill each month, leaving you with a total of £0 to pay. 

For other households who have struggled with their internet connection, they can speak to their supplier for more information or to Ofcom.  

The telecoms watchdog introduced a compensation scheme in April last year, which is what you managed to claim under. 

Under this customers who haven’t had their service fixed after two full working days of a fault not being repaired will be compensated £8 for each day it is still ongoing.

If an engineer doesn’t turn up for a scheduled appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, customers will receive £25 per missed appointment.

Similarly, if a provider promises to start a new service on a particular date but fails to do so, customers will receive £5 for each calendar day of delay, including the missed start date. 

Compensation should be paid no later than 30 calendar days after a delayed start of a new service is resolved or the service is cancelled, 30 calendar days after the loss of service is resolved or the service is terminated or 30 calendar days after the date of the missed appointment. 

Unless you agree otherwise, compensation will be a credit on your bill.

However, if the loss in service is caused by equipment or activity within your home, you are not entitled to compensation under the scheme.

Similarly, you won’t receive compensation if you breach your contract, if you caused the service failure or if you prevent it from being resolved – for example if you ask for a later engineer appointment than the one offered and delay repairs to the service.

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