Asos swings towards first half loss; Longer trucks to be allowed on UK roads to reduce journeys – Business Live

key events

Intro: Asos swings towards first half loss; Longer trucks to be allowed on UK roads

The online fashion retailer asós It has turned to a first-half loss amid slumping sales, but said it was confident it would turn a profit again in the second half.

Sales fell 7% year-on-year in the six months to February 28 as the shift to online shopping was partially reversed, though Asos said it remained “notably higher” than before the Covid pandemic. Sales in the UK were down 10%, while Europe was flat, the US was down 7% and the rest of the world was down 12%.

Asos has also lowered its ranges to “right-sized shares”, after a massive £100m share write-off last October. The company, which then announced a major restructuring, posted an adjusted pre-tax profit loss of £87.4m compared with a profit of £14.8m a year earlier.

The UK government will approve the use of longer trucks despite warnings that this will increase the number of fatal road accidents.

The Department of Transport announced that trucks up to 18.55m long, which is 2.05m longer than the standard size, will be allowed from the end of the month under legislation that is before parliament today.

Ministers argue that longer trucks will increase efficiency and reduce emissions.

Longer trucks can haul more in fewer trips, but have a longer overhang and extended blind spots, and road safety groups have warned of dangers to pedestrians and cyclists and potential damage to road infrastructure.

Longer trucks have been tested since 2011 and there are already around 3,000 on the roads. From May 31, any business in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to use them.

In Germany, inflation eased to an annual rate of 7.2% last month from 7.4% in March.according to Destatis, the statistics office.

ruth markDestatis’s president said inflation had weakened for the second month in a row, but remained at a high level.

Food continued to be the main driver, up 17.2% year-on-year, while energy prices rose 6.8%. Dairy, bread, fish, sugar, jam and honey registered the largest increases.

The main event in financial markets today is the US inflation numbers for April.

michael hewsonChief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK, says:

With the Fed raising rates again last week by 25bps, today’s April CPI numbers are the next key benchmark that fuels whether the Fed will hit the pause button at the next meeting and hold rates. rates unchanged after several meetings of consecutive increases.

While headline CPI fell to 5% in March from 6% in February, the core price outlook did little to encourage inflation to continue to fall sharply, and it is this area that the Fed wants markets to focus on. your attention. in.

In the March core measure, prices increased on an annual basis by 5.5% to 5.6%, putting core inflation above headline inflation for the first time since January 2021.

It is this stickiness in core prices, as well as the resilience in the US labor market, that is making the job of the Fed so difficult, even allowing for the fact that we have seen the US central bank. .raise rates at every meeting for the past 12 months.

Also today, the boss of John Lewis will face a vote of confidence from members of staff. as the company considers the option of attracting outside investment in a change that could threaten the decades-old employee ownership model.

Chairman Sharon White is considering radical ways to contribute up to £2bn to help secure the group’s future, including diversifying into building rental flats above shops, after reporting heavy losses at its large chain Waitrose department stores and supermarkets.

The agenda

  • 9am BST: Italy industrial production for March

  • 13:30 BST: US Inflation for April (Forecast: 5%, Previous: 5%)

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