Coronavirus latest: BioNTech and Pfizer in talks over EU supply of vaccine doses
A decline in Italy’s retail sales ended two months of improvement to raise fears for the fragility of recovery in the eurozone’s third-biggest economy that risks widening the region’s north-south gap. Sales fell 2.2 per cent in July compared with the previous month, marking a setback from June’s 12 per cent expansion. Sales in July were 7.2 per cent below the same month last year, official data showed.
Ireland will reopen more than 3,500 pubs that do not serve food on September 21, six months after they closed in the first wave of coronavirus restrictions with the loss of thousands of jobs. The resumption of the bar trade has already been postponed three times because of rising coronavirus infections, but pubs that serve food have been open since late June alongside restaurants and hotels. France’s health department said 39 people died in hospital of coronavirus in the latest 24-hour period, a daily record since the end of the country’s lockdown in mid-June.
The number of infections has been rising sharply in France and several other European countries in recent weeks, and the government has urged people to maintain hygiene and social-distancing rules to avert the need for more lockdowns. Scotland has registered three coronavirus-related deaths in one day for the first time in more than two months. There were 91 new cases in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, where restrictions on household visits were extended to two more council areas.
The proportion of positive tests has climbed from less than 1 per cent just two weeks ago to more than 2 per cent. Meggitt, the aerospace and defence supplier, on Tuesday displayed the depth of aviation’s crisis with a swing into loss in the first half due to charges and writedowns.
The group reported a pre-tax loss of ?368.4m for the first six months against a profit of ?72.6m a year earlier as orders fell by close to a third in a crisis that virtually halted all global air travel earlier this year. British Airways owner IAG has suffered a significant shareholder revolt over its plans to pay outgoing chief executive Willie Walsh and other executives large bonuses even as it struggles through the worst crisis in its history. A fifth of voting shareholders voted against the bank’s remuneration report, which includes a bonus of ?883,000 for Mr Walsh for his work in 2019, as part of a package worth ?3.2m.
Workplace messaging app Slack forecast a sharp revenue slowdown in the current quarter from the loss of customers due to the economic squeeze, highlighting the bumpier ride it had during the work-from-home boom than other software. Slack said it expected revenue of £222m-£225m in the current quarter, representing growth of 32-33 per cent compared with the 49 per cent of the latest quarter. Fever-Tree, the maker of upmarket mixers, signalled a cautious outlook for the remainder of the year as drinkers make a slow return to pubs, bars and restaurants after lockdowns.
The group, whose glass bottles of tonic water, ginger beer and soda have become a familiar sight in gastro-pubs and middle-class kitchens, said it expected full-year revenues of ?235 to ?243m — below last year’s ?260.5m.
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