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Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Firms 'weighing costs of Brexit dithering'


    Scottish firms are putting off investment because of uncertainty over the UK's future relationship with Europe, according to a survey.

    Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) found firms were struggling to grow, amid political deadlock over Brexit.

    Firms reported a rise in costs as they prepared for Brexit, with manufacturers stockpiling raw materials.

    Most sectors also saw wage bills rise in the second quarter, as firms paid more to retain staff.

    SCC said businesses were "weighing the costs of the chaos caused by more dithering over Brexit".

  2. How much do you give your kids?

    On average, parents give their children around £7 a week in pocket money. Is that too much or too little? How much do you give your kids?

    We're interested to know and will include some of your comments on Business Live.

    Just email:

    Infographic showing that the average boy receives £6.91 per week in pocket money, while the average girl gets £7.09.
  3. Sainsbury's stuck in the 'murky middle'

    Quote Message: Sainsbury’s has seen its brand equity take a hit over the last decade as discounters Aldi and Lidl have emerged on the scene. These discounters have come with new business models and brands that hit all the right notes. The Sainsbury’s business model and brand are now caught in the ‘murky middle’ - squeezed between the discounters and more ‘premium’ supermarkets positioned at the higher end of the market, such as Waitrose and M&S. from Gary Bryant Executive director at branding agency Landor
    Gary BryantExecutive director at branding agency Landor
  4. London shares edge up after open

    London Stock Exchange

    The FTSE 100 edged up by 0.3% to 7,581 as the London Stock Exchange opened this morning. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250, which is often considered to be more representative of the UK economy, was up 0.1% at 19,682.

    Shares in Sainsbury's were trading down by around 2% after the supermarket chain revealed that like-for-like sales had fallen in the first quarter. Online estate agent Purplebricks, meanwhile, was up around 1.4% despite reporting a £52.3m full year loss.

  5. Sainsbury's conundrum

    In its first quarter results, Sainsbury's said: "We reduced prices on over 1,000 every day food and grocery products and improved our relative performance."

    But, it complained: "Retail markets remain highly competitive and promotional and the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain."

    Retail watcher, Steve Dresser, had this analysis:

    View more on twitter
  6. 'Sport outpacing other parts of the leisure economy'

    USA v England women's football match

    The average time spent participating in and consuming sport has grown by 22% over the last 10 years - almost double the rate of overall leisure time growth (12%), according to data from sports agency Two Circles.

    In the same period, global leisure time increased at an average growth rate of 1.1% year-on-year or 12% across the decade, it said.

    "Data shows that as technology and growing disposable income increases the amount of free time the average person has to pursue recreational activities , the global population is turning to sport over other pastimes," they added.

    This is due to a greater emphasis being placed on health and fitness, a greater supply of sports media, and sport’s growing cultural relevance.

    "The successes of the major US leagues’ international expansion strategies; the Premier League’s continued global viewership growth; and the exponential growth of women’s sport - seen with the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup - are just three prominent examples of sport’s continued penetration into everyday global life."

    Last night England’s Women’s World Cup semi-final match against the US delivered a record broadcast audience for a women’s football game in the UK.

  7. Purplebricks losses almost double

    Purplebricks for sale sign

    Losses at online estate agent Purplebricks have almost doubled to £52.3m as the firm announced plans to exit the US and Australia.

    Purplebricks boss, Vic Darvey, said: "We have taken the difficult decisions to exit our businesses in both Australia and the US as it is very important that we now focus our resources on the UK and Canada, where we have a strong established presence and where there are significant opportunities to grow market share and deliver profitable growth for shareholders.

    "Both exits will be conducted in an orderly manner with the expectation they will be completed by the end of 2019."

  8. Strong revenue growth at The Works

    The Works website

    Cut price books and gift shop chain The Works has seen its revenues grow by 13% during the past year, compared with the previous 12 months.

    But profit before tax was down 10% to £2.3m.

    The chain opened 50 new stores in the period, taking total store estate to 497

  9. BreakingSainsbury's sales slip

    Like-for-like sales at supermarket giant Sainsbury's slipped by 1.6% in the first quarter.

    Grocery sales fell by 0.5% and general merchandise, which includes things like white goods and batteries, fell by 3.1%. Clothing sales were down 4.5%.

    Sainsbury's boss, Mike Coupe, said: "We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits and made good progress in a challenging market."

  10. Draghi 'leaves big shoes to fill'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Mario Draghi

    The outgoing head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi leaves big shoes to fill, according to Sue Noffke, UK equities fund manager at Schroders.

    She told Radio Five Live that Christine Lagarde, who is currently head of International Monetary Fund and who has been tapped to replace him, does not have his monetary policy experience.

    Draghi had a "whatever it takes moment" to deploy a range of monetary policy tools during the financial crisis, Ms Noffke said.

    But Ms Lagarde does not have that experience and her nomination comes at a time that the eurozone faces challenges around growth and inflation, Ms Noffke explained.

    Nevertheless, Ms Lagarde does bring "very fine" negotiating skills and she played a key role in negotiating bailouts during the financial crisis, Ms Noffke said.

    "[Draghi] does leave a very strong legacy and pretty big shoes for Christine - if she ultimately does take that join - to fill."

  11. UK warehouses already 'full' ahead of Brexit

    A warehouse

    UK warehouses are "full", raising doubts about the ability of UK firms to stockpile goods ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

    "There is no available space," Peter Ward of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) told BBC Newsnight.

    The estimated vacancy rate for warehouses of over 100,000 square feet nationwide for the second quarter is 6.8%, data seen by Newsnight shows.

    In the "inner M25" area the vacancy rate has fallen to just 2.2%.

  12. Nike caught in a 'story war'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Nazi rally in the US
    Image caption: The Betsy Ross flag was used by the American Nazi Party as a symbol

    Nike is caught in a "story war" over its trainers that feature on old version of the American flag that has been linked to the country's history of slavery, according to Dr Renee Richardson Gosline, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Massachusetts.

    She told Radio Five Live the original flag, known as the Betsy Ross flag, is well known, however the more complete history of its symbolism is not. "What we're dealing with here is a battle of stories - this is a story war where whoever can craft the narrative of what their intent was and what the meaning was ... in a way that's persuasive, will win. And that's what we're seeing happening."

    "You have battling perceptions, I think you have a lot of hurt feelings and here in the States, this is part of a crescendo where we have really an intense amount of anger around a variety of issues.

    "From a business perspective, Nike's decisions are interesting - and they've made some controversial decisions. But part of Nike's brand has been standing behind their athletes regardless."

  13. Funding Circle is still a 'successful niche business'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Funding Circle, which allows people to lend money to small businesses, saw its shares dive after it halved forecasts for revenue growth.

    The peer-to-peer lender said the "uncertain economic environment" had damaged demand for loans.

    As a result, the company now expects revenues to grow by 20% this year, down from its previous forecast of 40%.

    "They are growing, but growing more slowly than in the past. It is the stock market investors who feel they are losing out at the moment," says Alistair Milne of Loughborough University.

    "They are a niche but a successful niche, they are making great efforts to expand."

  14. Tesco faces Brexit deadline headache

    shopping trolley

    More from Tesco.

    Planning for the new Brexit deadline is "more difficult" because the supply network will be full of Christmas stock, Tesco's boss Dave Lewis has warned.

    He told the BBC that the new deadline of the end of October meant there would be "less capacity" for stockpiling longer-life items.

    A no-deal Brexit could mean tariffs and delays at the border that interrupt supplies of some food, he said.

    But Mr Lewis said leaving the EU could also provide opportunities for the UK.

  15. Tesco boss defends salary

    BBC Breakfast

    Dave Lewis

    Tesco boss, Dave Lewis, has defended his salary - which was £4.6m last year, including bonuses and share options - in an interview with BBC Breakfast's Steph McGovern.

    "People will talk about the ratio of the CEO to a colleague on the shop floor - and I get that. That’s a very particular thing about the retail business," he said.

    "There are other ways of looking at it, which is: five years ago the cost of the executive as a proportion of the total remuneration was significantly higher than it is today. And we’ve not increased executive pay but we have increased salaries of colleagues by more than 25% over that period of time."

    "We have to respect the market. We have to respect that skills command a certain amount of return in the marketplace and we’re very happy with market forces driving the way we think about remuneration."

  16. Nike trainers row rumbles on

    Nike trainers

    Arizona has pulled a $1m grant to help Nike build a new factory in a dispute over the firm's withdrawal of a trainer featuring a historic US flag.

    The state's governor had condemned Nike's decision, which was prompted by complaints from Nike-sponsored NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

    He claimed the flag was linked to the nation’s early history of slavery.

    But Arizona governor Doug Ducey said Nike had bowed to political correctness

    The special edition Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July trainer features the The Betsy Ross flag.

  17. Good morning

    Welcome to today’s Business Live page.

    Sainsbury’s is set to release its first quarter results, which will give an indication of how the business has fared since the failed Asda takeover bid.

    Meanwhile, the boss of rival supermarket giant Tesco has been speaking to BBC Breakfast and we’ll have all the highlights from that interview.

    And later today, Monsoon Accessorize will vote on a restructuring plan that could result in rent cuts on as many as 135 of the 258 stores that it currently leases.