Business news in brief
London office and retail landlord falls to half-year loss
Retail and office landlord Land Securities (Landsec) has slumped to a loss for the past half-year after the value of its London property empire tumbled. The company, which owns the Cardinal Place development in London’s Victoria, said it fell to a £192m pre-tax loss over the six months to September, compared with a £275m profit a year earlier. Landsec told investors its portfolio saw its value tumble by £323m, or 2.9 per cent, to £10.9bn, driven by weakness in central London. Valuations in the firm’s City of London office portfolio slid by
9.7 per cent, while it saw a 4.2 per cent drop in properties in the West End. PA
Job cuts looming for Vodafone in £880m cost-cutting exercise
Vodafone has unveiled plans to slash costs by £880m, which could lead to job cuts. The company said it will streamline and radically simplify the group, and accelerate the digitalisation of its operations. Chief executive Nick Read said: “In terms of redundancies, of course, when we drive efficiency, product improvements and digitisation, there are impacts on some job roles. But we are also creating jobs in other areas, such as DevOps, tech development and software engineers, which are growing significantly.”
The company lowered its full-year earnings guidance by £263m at the upper end of expectations as a result of the worsening macroeconomic climate. Last month, Vodafone said it was in merger talks with rival mobile network Three to accelerate the rollout of 5G in the UK. PA
Sat nav SOS launched for latest iPhones
Apple has launched an emergency SOS service that allows iPhones to communicate using satellites when they have no signal. The feature is intended to allow people to contact emergency services when they are outside of cellular or WiFi coverage. But users can also use it to keep their friends and family updated on their whereabouts when they are off grid, since it can send information to the Find My tracking app.
The new tool was introduced with the iPhone 14 line-up but was not turned on until now. Owners of those latest iPhones in the US and Canada can use the system, which will be coming to Ireland and the UK in December. The service is free for the first two years, Apple said. It has not confirmed how much – or whether – it will charge after that.
Huge online wait times for Tesco Christmas deliveries
Shoppers seeking a Tesco Christmas delivery slot have complained of long online wait times and a repeatedly crashing website. Delivery Saver customers were permitted to book a slot from 6am yesterday but one customer said they had logged on at that time only to find they were number 136,000 in the queue.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We’re currently seeing a high number of visits to our website and Groceries app and some customers are temporarily having difficulty logging on or placing orders. We’re really sorry about this. There are still slots available for both home delivery and click and collect over the Christmas period, and we’re working to get things back up and running as quickly as we can. In the meantime, we recommend that customers use our website to place their order.”
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