BUSINESS LIVE: Capita cuts 900 jobs; Ofcom fines Shell; Workspace swings to a loss


The FTSE 100 opens at 8am. Companies with reports and trading updates today include Shell, Workspace, Capita, Avon Protection, CRH, Cranswick and AO World. Read the Business Live blog from Tuesday, November 21 below.

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You must do more NOW to help business: CBI boss strongly warns Hunt

The CBI boss has urged Jeremy Hunt to freeze business rates and overhaul tourist tax to kick-start the economy.

Rain Newton-Smith also argued that the overall corporate tax rate would have to fall in the long term to give Britain a boost.

Meanwhile, she insisted the lobby group has recovered after being plunged into crisis over sexual abuse claims.

Workspace is running at a loss

Workspace posted a loss of almost £150 million in the first half as the London-listed flexible office space provider suffered the impact of higher interest rates.

The FTSE 250 firm, which mainly serves small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs, posted a pre-tax loss of £147.9 million for the six months to September 30, compared with a profit of £35.8 million a year earlier.

“During the first half of the year, we continued to actively manage our portfolio to meet changing customer needs. We have completed a wide range of smaller unit renovations and subdivisions, and have also made good progress on our larger projects.

‘As expected, valuations have fallen due to movements in market yields. However, we have maintained a conservative level of debt, with continued sales of non-core properties having further strengthened our balance sheet and we expect more over the next six months.

‘We are entering the second half of the year with good momentum. Our scalable operating platform gives us a competitive advantage and we have a clear path to deliver short- and long-term revenue growth, both through leveraging returns on our like-for-like properties and through active asset management capabilities.”

Ofcom fines Shell Energy

Communications regulator Ofcom has fined Shell Energy £1.4 million for failing to get more than 70,000 phone and broadband customers to review their contracts or tell them what they could save through a new deal to sign.

Ofcom said 7,750 customers received an end-of-contract notice with incorrect information about the price they would pay once their minimum term expired.

Of these customers, 6,054 had to pay higher charges than originally quoted, which amounted to £398,417.67 – an average of £65.81 each, Ofcom added.

Shell Enegy, Shell’s UK consumer gas, electricity and broadband businesses, is expected to be acquired by Octopus Energy at the end of this year.

Shares of Microsoft hit an all-time high after it hired co-founders of OpenAI

Shares of Microsoft hit an all-time high yesterday after it hired the co-founders of OpenAI to lead its artificial intelligence team.

The tech giant, which owns about 49 percent of OpenAI, signed Sam Altman and Greg Brockman – just days after leaving the company behind ChatGPT

San Francisco-based OpenAI ousted Altman before Brockman resigned.

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Capita will cut up to 900 jobs

Capita will make up to 900 roles redundant as part of a cost-cutting effort that outsourcers say will save £60 million a year from the first quarter of next year.

Affected staff, who mainly work in indirect support and overhead roles, will soon be consulted on the job losses.

According to its latest annual report, Capita employed around 50,000 people in 2022.

Former NatWest fraud boss leaves after moonlighting for a law firm… which specializes in suing banks on behalf of fraud victims

NatWest’s fraud prevention boss left his job after working at a law firm and filing fraud victims’ claims against banks like NatWest. This is Money can reveal this.

Jason Costain was head of fraud prevention at major bank NatWest and was often quoted in the press as a high-profile employee.

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