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Headlines
• Eat Out to Help Out scheme cost £849m
• UK unemployment is expected to rise to 2.6m by mid-2021
• UK economy back to pre-pandemic level in 2022, OBR
• El Paso, Texas announces a night-time curfew



Company news


Food, Drinks & Household

• Genus#
– “In the four months to 31 October 2020, further strong growth in volumes, revenues and adjusted operating profits was achieved by both PIC and ABS, our porcine and bovine businesses respectively. Encouragingly, royalty revenues in PIC continued to grow in Latin America, Europe and Asia. In the four months to 31 October 2020, the Group's trading was ahead of expectations, with adjusted profit before tax showing strong growth compared with the same period in the prior year.
Research and Development investment for the four months was lower than the prior year due to some collaboration activity with external research institutions being delayed due to the effects of Covid-19 lockdowns. We currently expect the timing of these activities to remain within the financial year 2021.”

Industrials
• AB Dynamics# – “The Group did not see any significant adverse impacts on its supply chain or manufacturing facilities, but many larger, capital equipment orders were initially deferred by our customers. Through the second half of the year, the Group saw orders increase, particularly in the fourth quarter, albeit these were still below pre-pandemic levels at the year end. At the end of the financial year, one of the anticipated larger capital equipment orders was received and the pipeline for further orders is strong, although we remain mindful of uncertainty relating to timing.”

Melrose – “Melrose is currently trading at the top end of the Board’s expectations for 2020. Your Board is encouraged by this, but clearly given the global uncertainty caution is required on any predictions for next year.
The performance of the Group in the Period reflected the faster than expected recovery in automotive markets, first seen over the summer, the continued strong performance in Nortek Air Management, and the more challenging, although currently stable, market conditions in Aerospace.”


Media

• Future
– “Despite the impact on retail, the lockdown period presented us with a valuable opportunity to trial new titles and launch into print media sectors that reflected the sudden shift in reader interests. Market data highlighted a surge in popularity of topics such as well-being & mindfulness, hobbies, puzzles and pastimes, and we were able to respond with a number of new bookazines that have proven to be popular with readers. The ability to respond to our readers’ needs has been further reflected in our bookazine sales channel, and as retail outlets globally have reopened these sales have recovered more quickly than magazines.”

Support Services
• De la Rue – “During H1 2020/21, all four of our UK sites, and our Malta and Kenya sites have continued to operate with minimal disruption and remained fully operational. Operations at our site in Sri Lanka were suspended for eight weeks between March and May 2020 due to island-wide governmental restrictions.
Our supply chain across both our Currency and Authentication divisions has remained materially unaffected since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to robust and Group led incident management framework.”

• G4S – “G4S to resume dividend for 2021 with clear potential for significant further cash returns to shareholders.”

Other
• HMRC said about 49,000 restaurants, pubs and cafes claimed £849m by the end of September through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, with 160m meals sold.
• New South Wales is easing lockdown restrictions after going nearly three weeks without a Covid-19 infection. Gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed outdoors and companies can bring employees back to the office from December.
• In Japan, bars and restaurants in the capital Tokyo are set to reduce their working hours, with residents urged to stay indoors as much as possible.
• Germany’s 16 state leaders are set to agree with Chancellor Angela Merkel an extension of the “lockdown light” until 20 December, with plans to allow two households with a maximum of five people aged over 14 to celebrate Christmas together.
• PPE stockpiles in England were inadequate for the Covid-19 pandemic and price rises earlier this year cost taxpayers about £10bn, the UK National Audit Office has said.