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GSKvaccine sales tumble as patients stay at home

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gskvaccine sales tumble as patientsstay at home

Shares in Glaxosmithkline fell after the British drugs giant warned that a drop in vaccinations during the coronavirus crisis could hurt profits. 

Lockdown made patients less likely to visit the doctor and get a jab for diseases such as shingles, hepatitis and meningitis, sending vaccine sales 29 per cent lower in the second quarter. 

If that continues, profits this year could fall by more than the 1 per cent-to-4 per cent already forecast. 

Looking for answers: Lockdown made patients less likely to visit the doctor and get a jab for diseases such as shingles, hepatitis and meningitis

Looking for answers: Lockdown made patients less likely to visit the doctor and get a jab for diseases such as shingles, hepatitis and meningitis

Looking for answers: Lockdown made patients less likely to visit the doctor and get a jab for diseases such as shingles, hepatitis and meningitis

The warning came just hours after Glaxo and French partner Sanofi agreed to supply the UK with 60m doses of a potential Covid-19 jab. Despite the initial buzz from that deal rallying its shares, they fell 3.2 per cent, or 50.8p, to 1553.8p yesterday. 

The drop in vaccine sales to £1.1billion was below even the £1.3billion expected by financial analysts. Booming sales of Glaxo’s shingles vaccine, shingrix, have been a persistent bright spot in recent years even as growing competition for older drugs has threatened to eat into its other sources of income. 

And while inoculation of children is now back to pre-Covid19 levels, adolescent and adult vaccination is not. 

Glaxo boss Emma Walmsley said: ‘In the second quarter, with lockdown measures, we have seen an impact on people’s willingness, or being able to access vaccines.’ 

Asked about the price for the Covid jab in Britain, she said Glaxo did not expect to profit from the product. 

Overall, group turnover fell from £7.8billion to £7.6billion in the three months to June 30. 

That included a 5 per cent drop in sales of pharmaceuticals, after a rush of customers early in the pandemic used up its stockpiles of medicines. 

Consumer healthcare products were up by 25 per cent, and second-quarter profits rose from £1.3billion to £2.6billion. However, for the full year, earnings are expected to fall. Walmsley said the numbers overall showed Glaxo remained ‘resilient’. 

The firm held its quarterly dividend at 19p per share.

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Billionaire brothers taking business by storm: Dones, Aroras and Issas

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billionaire brothers taking business by storm dones aroras and issas

It’s been quite a week for billionaire businessmen who just happen to be brothers. Three sets of fraternal entrepreneurs have been in the headlines: the Dones, the Aroras and the Issas. All are self-made, and all are from the North-West.

So who are these super-rich siblings, and is going into business with a brother – or sister – the way to a vast family fortune?

That has certainly proved the case for the Dones, gambling tycoons Fred and Peter, who founded Betfred.

Gambling tycoons Fred and Peter Done, who founded Betfred, stand to make £170m from the takeover of bookie William Hill by Caesars Entertainment of the US

Gambling tycoons Fred and Peter Done, who founded Betfred, stand to make £170m from the takeover of bookie William Hill by Caesars Entertainment of the US

The duo stand to make £170million from the takeover of bookie William Hill by Caesars Entertainment of the US.

Self-made petrol station moguls Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who built their EG Group empire from a single garage, are in pole position to take over supermarket Asda.

As for the Aroras from Sale near Manchester, they have become one of the UK’s richest business dynasties. 

Brothers Simon, Bobby and Robin are behind the extraordinary rise of discount store B&M Bargains, which has defied the gloom engulfing most of the High Street.

The chain has been around since the late 1970s but was in the doldrums when Simon Arora, 50, took it over in late 2004, with Bobby, 48. 

The much younger Robin, 35, joined in 2008. Shares in the bargain bazaar have soared so high that it is now valued at £5billion on the stock market – more than twice as much as Marks & Spencer.

The trio inherited their drive from their father, who came to the UK in the late 1960s as an immigrant from India with £10 in his pocket. 

The two elder brothers have worked together closely for decades and Simon has described their relationship as ‘one plus one equals 11’.

He adds: ‘I do believe we have both been more effective by virtue of that relationship’.

Far from shutting stores and shedding jobs, it plans to open up to 45 shops this financial year.

Brothers Simon (right) and Robin (left) Arora  are behind the extraordinary rise of discount store B&M Bargains, which has defied the gloom engulfing most of the High Street

Brothers Simon (right) and Robin (left) Arora  are behind the extraordinary rise of discount store B&M Bargains, which has defied the gloom engulfing most of the High Street

The siblings own around 18 per cent of the business. Since lockdown their holding has risen by £460million.

Billionaire brothers Fred and Peter Done have also come a long way from their beginnings in the North-West.

The pair, now in their 70s, grew up in what Peter describes as the ‘slums of Salford’. Both left school with no qualifications aged 15 and worked in their father’s illegal bookies business.

They run the Betfred chain and have a 6 per cent holding in rival William Hill. Already worth an estimated £1.3billion, they stand to make more than £170million when William Hill is taken over by Caesars, in a deal the board recommended this week.

They are eyeing the chain’s British assets and could snap up its betting shops to add to their own.

A similar tale of rags to riches is that of the Issa brothers, who are spearheading a bid for Asda.

Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, whose parents came to Britain from India with nothing, were brought up in a humble terraced house in Blackburn. 

The brothers worked their way up from those unpromising beginnings and have built a £9billion petrol station empire.

Their ambition is to buy Asda from its US owner Walmart for around £6.5billion.

Their achievement in building their EG Group from one site, bought for £150,000 in 2001, into a £9billion giant employing 44,000 staff, is undeniable. 

Asda bid:  Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, Issa ,whose parents came to Britain from India with nothing, have built a £9bn petrol station empire.

Asda bid:  Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, Issa ,whose parents came to Britain from India with nothing, have built a £9bn petrol station empire.

The pair are worth an estimated £3.56billion, with assets including a £25million Kensington townhouse and a private jet that is kept in a hangar at Blackpool Airport.

They are also building, to objections from some locals, five identical mansions just three miles from the £115,000 Blackburn two-up two-down where they were raised.

But there are concerns about the level of debt in their business empire. Some observers question whether they are ideal owners for Asda, particularly at a time when supermarkets are providing a vital service in the pandemic.

As these three stories prove, sibling partnerships can be extremely powerful. Together they can achieve far more than they would singly. 

Levels of trust and understanding are high, as is the incentive to succeed for the family as a whole. Their interests are aligned, as if they all succeed, the wider clan will be better off.

But of course not all brotherly relations in business – as in life – work out for the best.

Jealousy and sibling rivalry can come into play. And when a new generation of cousins emerges, it can create complications.

Take the Barclay twins, Sir Frederick and Sir David, whose empire includes the Ritz Hotel and the Telegraph newspapers. 

After years in business, they fell out spectacularly in a row that ended in the High Court.

Sir Frederick, 85, and his daughter Amanda claimed that Sir David’s three sons – Alistair, Aidan and Howard – and Aidan’s son Andrew were parties to the recording of their private conversations over several months.

Another pair of super-wealthy brothers in the spotlight recently were Lakshmi Mittal, 70, and his younger sibling Pramod, 64.

Lakshmi, despite being one of the world’s wealthiest steel barons, declined to help when Pramod was facing bankruptcy earlier this year, though he has bailed out his younger brother in the past.

Judge Catherine Burton served a bankruptcy order against Pramod over a debt of £139,786,656.43 – plus interest – in the Insolvency and Companies Court in London earlier this year.

Sister act: Siblings Rachel and Tom Grant run the UK’s largest pet food business, Fold Hill Foods

Sister act: Siblings Rachel and Tom Grant run the UK’s largest pet food business, Fold Hill Foods

At the time, a source said: ‘Lakshmi feels for his brother but thinks on this occasion that he should not step in and his brother should sort this out himself.’

A breakdown in any business relationship can be costly and painful, but when it is with a sibling, it can be far harder to stomach. And in the family business stakes, sisters have had a relatively raw deal, largely because of historic prejudices about women running companies.

In family businesses they are often left out of the succession, even if they are more talented than their brothers.

This may change as society becomes more equal and more women become entrepreneurs. 

Two young Welsh women who may be among the tycoons of tomorrow are Sophie and Hannah Pycroft from Barry, who set up Spectrum Collections, a brand of make-up brushes, in their garage in 2014.

It has net assets of more than £1million. Hannah, 31 and Sophie, 33, sell their brushes around the world through outlets including Boots, Superdrug and Amazon.

Brother-sister business partnerships are also rare. One exception is Tom and Rachel Grant, who are the third generation of their family business, Fold Hill Foods, the UK’s largest petfood business with a turnover of £41million and 140 employees. 

The farm, in Boston, Lincolnshire produces a number of ranges, including premium brand Laughing Dog.

Rachel, at 32, is the elder by two years. She says: ‘An advantage of working with my brother is that we trust each other. We can count on each other to be completely honest, which is really important.’

‘But we are siblings, and so naturally there is no filter.

‘We can find ourselves at times being overly honest and critical with each other, so it is important that we both stay in our lanes and areas of expertise.

‘Mostly, it’s great working with him – we laugh a lot.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cazoo sees an acceleration in trading as car sales go online

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cazoo sees an acceleration in trading as car sales go online

An internet marketplace for used cars has been valued at £2billion after seeing a surge in business during the coronavirus crisis.

Cazoo’s website and app let customers buy cars online and have them delivered to their home. 

The UK start-up was started two years ago by LoveFilm and Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman, 50.

Motor movers: Cazoo's website and app let customers buy cars online and have them delivered to their home

Motor movers: Cazoo’s website and app let customers buy cars online and have them delivered to their home

And after people flocked to the firm’s online platform during lockdown – when many physical car dealerships were forced to shut – Cazoo is raising £240million from investors to fund a major expansion.

Chesterman said: ‘Over the past few months we have seen an acceleration in the shift from offline to online car buying. 

‘This latest funding gives Cazoo the firepower to deliver on our plans to provide the best possible car buying experience for UK consumers.’

The fundraising puts the company’s worth at about £2billion overall, more than double its previous valuation.

Among the investors are Daily Mail & General Trust – the Daily Mail’s parent company – which owns a 22 per cent stake in the firm.

A spokesman for DMGT said ‘Cazoo has created significant value for DMGT since it launched its services to customers in December 2019 and DMGT remains a supportive investor.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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MARKET REPORT: Ocado roller-coaster as rival makes robot claim

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market report ocado roller coaster as rival makes robot claim

Ocado shares went on a roller-coaster ride yesterday as the online supermarket was accused of stealing robot technology from a Norwegian company.

The shares had been in positive territory until around midday, when Autostore launched a scathing public attack. 

The business revealed a lawsuit against Ocado in the UK and US, which alleges that its technology is actually the foundation of the British firm’s famous robot warehouses.

Ocado has been accused of stealing technology used in its robotic stock pickers (pictured) from a Norwegian rival

Ocado has been accused of stealing technology used in its robotic stock pickers (pictured) from a Norwegian rival

The robots at the heart of the dispute have revolutionised the grocery industry, as they allow supermarkets to collate online orders without paying costly staff to manually pick items off shelves.

Autostore’s lawsuit seeks financial damages from Ocado.

Karl Johan Lier, Autostore’s president and chief executive, said: ‘Our ownership of the technology at the heart of Ocado’s warehousing system is clear.

‘We will not tolerate Ocado’s continued infringement of our intellectual property rights in its effort to boost its growth and attempt to transform itself into a global technology company.’

Stock Watch – Iomart Group 

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Shares in cloud computing firm Iomart Group tumbled as profits were set to fall.

The stock dipped 3 per cent, or 10.5p, to 344.5p after it published an update on the six months to September 30.

Glasgow-based Iomart said it had ‘performed well’ in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to grow sales from £55.1million to £56million.

But profits would fall from £21.8million to £21million as newer, managed cloud computing products were less profitable than old ones managed by customers.

But Ocado hit back less than two hours later, turning the tables on Autostore. The company said its Ocado Smart Platform technology was protected by patents and it was now investigating whether AutoStore has, or intends to, infringe them.

‘We will always vigorously protect our intellectual property,’ the firm added.

The robot rumpus sent the firm’s shares into a frenzy, falling as much as 6.5 per cent before closing down just 1 per cent, or 26p, at 2718p.

It was a better day for medical equipment giant Smith & Nephew, which was on the rise after revealing that declines in its quarterly revenues had been arrested.

The firm’s shares closed up 2.1 per cent, or 31.14p, at 1536.5p after it said third quarter underlying revenues were expected to be down by 4 per cent compared to a year ago in a trading update.

That would normally sound like bad news, but S&N said it represented a ‘significant recovery’ across its businesses compared to the yearly decline of 29.3 per cent in the second quarter.

The firm, which makes hip and knee replacements, has been hurt by mass cancellations of elective surgeries during the pandemic, as hospitals have scrambled to free up capacity.

But it said its orthopaedics division had bounced back as ‘global levels of elective surgery continued to recover’.

However, analysts at Shore Capital warned there was still ‘a lot of uncertainty’ surrounding the company because of the pandemic.

‘Any second wave of the virus in the winter would likely stunt growth in elective procedures,’ they told clients. 

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 was little changed when the closing bell rang. The blue chip index edged up by just 0.23 per cent, or 13.35 points, to 5879.45 during the day, as the growing Brexit ding-dong between London and Brussels spooked traders.

Oil giant Shell was among the biggest fallers, dipping 3.5 per cent, or 32.9p, to 907.3p, with rival BP sagging 3.1 per cent, or 7p, to 218.2p.

At the same time, the FTSE 250 index of medium-sized firms made only modest gains, rising 0.39 per cent, or 68.16 points, to 17,383.46.

Shares in retirement homes builder McCarthy & Stone rose 6.3 per cent, or 4.4p, to 74.2p after the firm announced a partnership with a not-for-profit organisation.

The agreement with Anchor Hanover, which provides specialist housing and care services to the elderly, will see the pair team up to develop ‘affordable living communities for all’ in England.

They are initially planning 482 units across five sites already owned by McCarthy, worth about £125million.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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