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New BP boss Bernard Looney preparing to cut jobs as part of his radical overhaul of energy giant

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Bernard Looney, the new chief executive of BP, is preparing to cut jobs as part of his radical overhaul of the energy giant to meet its net zero carbon ambitions.

Last week, he announced plans to replace BP’s existing business structure, which splits its producing arm and selling arm, with 11 new units. And now he has told the MoS that job cuts across BP’s 70,000 employees worldwide are ‘very possible’.

BP said its new leadership team will finish ‘defining their organisations’ by the summer.

Wielding the axe?: Bernard Looney has said that job cuts across BP's 70,000 employees worldwide are 'very possible'

Wielding the axe?: Bernard Looney has said that job cuts across BP's 70,000 employees worldwide are 'very possible'

Wielding the axe?: Bernard Looney has said that job cuts across BP’s 70,000 employees worldwide are ‘very possible’

A spokesman added: ‘Reducing staff numbers is not the objective of the reorganisation but, as it is put in place and BP transforms, there will be reductions over time over the next few years.’

Looney last week pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

He will set out targets for achieving that goal at a capital markets day in September.

BP’s challenge is to keep paying its £6 million dividend while also reducing debt and investing in renewable energy.

BP has cut its exploration budget by two-thirds since 2013, and will reduce its oil and gas production by 2050.

However, Looney added: ‘BP is going to be in oil and gas for a long time. That’s a fact.’

Former BP boss Lord Browne, who took a front row seat at last week’s presentation, admitted BP’s green energy transition has been ‘an uphill struggle’. 

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Coronavirus set to claim a series of corporate victims as Brighthouse and Carluccio’s near collapse

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The coronavirus is set to claim a series of corporate victims this week as Brighthouse and Carluccio’s near collapse. 

Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators today after the lockdown tipped it over the edge. 

And Italian-style restaurant chain Carluccio’s is working with administrators FRP to ‘consider all options’ in a move which could threaten more than 2,000 jobs. 

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

Carluccio’s chief executive Mark Jones said that his company is ‘days away from large-scale closures’ without state aid, while a group of 38 MPs have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to step in with an aid package to support the aviation sector as travel bans have decimated bookings. 

Research from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has revealed that the number of restaurant insolvencies last year climbed 10 per cent to 1,500, while the number of pubs which went bust also increased by 10 per cent, to 500. 

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Locked down zoo saved as Lloyds Bank stumps up £300,000

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A Somerset zoo that was forced to close its doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic has bagged £300,000 of funding to help it survive. 

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year, but was facing substantial costs to look after more than 1,000 animals. 

Lifeline: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

Lifeline: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

Lifeline: Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

However, the family owners were able to breathe a sigh of relief after agreeing a £300,000 package with Lloyds Bank which will allow them to retain their team of specialist staff. 

Lenders are under pressure from the Government and Bank of England to support businesses through the lockdown. Lloyds has worked with Noah’s Ark for the entire 66 years the Bush family has been on site. 

Managing director Larry Bush said: ‘Running a zoo is a huge undertaking and we were really concerned about our animals. 

‘But our catering suppliers donated fruit and veg that would otherwise have been delivered to local hotels and restaurants, and the public have shown their support.’ 

 

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Arcadia halts £2m pension top-ups as it tries to cling on to cash in face of coronavirus lockdown

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Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is suspending payments to its pension scheme as it desperately tries to cling on to cash in the face of the coronavirus lockdown. 

Arcadia, which owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins, will halt the £2m monthly contributions which were agreed with The Pensions Regulator last summer to reduce a shortfall in the pension scheme. 

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green's Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green's Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

The deal saw Sir Philip’s wife, Tina, who technically owns Arcadia, agree to plug the gap in the scheme by also making her own £25m per year contributions. 

She will continue to make those payments, despite the crisis hitting High Street sales. 

But pensions expert John Ralfe, who advised MPs investigating the collapse of Sir Philip’s High Street chain BHS, estimates that if Arcadia were to go bust the current shortfall in its pension scheme would be around £350m to £400m.

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