Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as high street chain M&S announces streamlining programme, and hefty job cuts
- Full story: M&S cuts 7k jobs in next three months
- Breaking: 7,000 jobs to go at M&S
- Jobs at risk in UK stores, central support and regional management
- Clothing sales down 30% since stores reopened
- Microsoft ‘helps cut management layers’
In the mining sector, BHP Billiton has pledged to sell its thermal coalmines within two years.
It’s part of the global mining giant’s push for a low-carbon future, following heavy pressure from investors to clean up its business.
Announcing a full-year profit of US$7.95bn on Tuesday, BHP chief executive Mike Henry also left the door open to supporting a resolution from activist shareholders that would require BHP to stop mining that would destroy Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in Australia until laws are changed to strengthen their protection.
Henry said BHP agreed with the intent of the resolution, which was to prevent “another Juukan Gorge” – a reference to rival miner Rio Tinto’s decision to blow up 46,000-year-old-caves in the Pilbara to get access to higher quality iron ore.
While retailers struggle, housebuilders are hopeful that conditions in their sector are improving.
Persimmon, the UK’s biggest home builder, restored its dividend this morning after reporting that business has picked up strongly this summer.
The Group has had an excellent start to the second half with a c. 49% year on year increase in average weekly private sales rates per site since the start of July and a current forward order book of c. £2.5bn, a 21% increase on last year.