Carpetright warns of £9m annual lossStruggling floor covering chain Carpetright has warned it expects to make losses this year of between £7m-£9m, compared with a profit of £14.4m last year. It gave the warning on the day it asked shareholders to back a rescue plan, which includes closing 81 stores. Investors backed the plan, […]


Exclusive: U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s oil refinery 

 EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s oil refinery 


NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, exempting the Oklahoma facility from requirements under a federal biofuels law, according to two industry sources briefed on the matter.


Germany wants wider trade talks with U.S. even if tariffs hit

Germany wants wider trade talks with U.S. even if tariffs hitBERLIN (Reuters) – Germany on Monday dampened hopes that an exemption from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum could be extended for European Union countries, but called for trade negotiations to continue regardless of whether the levies are applied.

The United States imposed import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March, but it provided a temporary exemption until May 1 for the EU.

Peter Beyer, Germany’s transatlantic coordinator, said an extension of the exemption would be a success. “But we should not put too much hope in that,” he told the daily Rhein-Neckar Zeitung.

U.S. treasury chief: ‘Cautiously optimistic’ on China trade talks

U.S. treasury chief: ‘Cautiously optimistic’ on China trade talksWASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese officials will hold highly anticipated trade talks in China on Thursday and Friday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business Network, saying he was “cautiously optimistic” about the meeting.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin arrives for the State Dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macon at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Mnuchin said in an interview that aired on Monday that American officials planned to raise intellectual property rights, joint technology and joint ventures with Chinese officials.

Allergan tops estimates as Botox drives gains

Allergan tops estimates as Botox drives gains(Reuters) – Botox maker Allergan Plc (AGN.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday and raised its full-year forecast for adjusted net income, driven by higher sales of its medical aesthetics products including the blockbuster wrinkle treatment. The company’s shares rose about 2.4 percent to $166.7 in premarket trading.

Sales of Botox, its biggest drug by revenue that is also used in treating chronic migraine and overactive bladders, jumped 14.5 percent to $817.3 million in the first quarter. The company’s aesthetics unit, which also sells products to remove excess body fat, posted a near 30 percent jump in sales. The Dublin, Ireland-based company has been conducting a strategic review of its business and considering acquisitions and divestitures.

Exclusive: Volkswagen in talks to manage Didi fleet, co-develop self-driving cars

Exclusive: Volkswagen in talks to manage Didi fleet, co-develop self-driving carsBEIJING (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), the world’s biggest automaker, is in talks to form a joint venture with China’s Didi Chuxing to manage part of the ride-hailing company’s fleet of cars and help develop “purpose-built” vehicles for Didi’s services. As part of the deal between Volkswagen and China’s biggest ride-hailing service, expected to be signed early next month, the German automaker will initially manage a fleet of about 100,000 new vehicles for Didi, of which two-thirds will be Volkswagen Group cars, said a senior executive at the carmaker.

Volkswagen will also jointly buy some new cars with Didi to allow the Chinese company to expand its fleet. The two eventually plan to collaborate to design and develop dedicated vehicles, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the details are still private. The executive did not give financial details of the deal but said that Volkswagen will get a slice of the revenue once the venture develops.

WPP operating boss says no sense in breaking up group

WPP operating boss says no sense in breaking up groupThe joint boss of advertising giant WPP says a full break-up of the group does not make sense.But Mark Read, who became joint chief operating officer (COO) in the wake of founder Martin Sorrell’s departure, said he would look at restructuring the group built up by Sir Martin. His comments came as WPP announced better-than-expected quarterly results.

WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, had been seen as unmanageable by anyone apart from Sir Martin. Net sales were almost flat, down 0.1% in first-quarter trading. Analysts were relieved as they had expected a fall of 1%.Investors greeted the release by marking the shares up 9% in morning trading.

TSB computer fiasco enters second week

TSB computer fiasco enters second weekFrustrated TSB customers are continuing to be locked out of their accounts as the bank’s IT fiasco enters a second week. Some have suggested the system is “going from bad to worse” as they are denied access to online banking and the bank’s mobile app.

Worries over payments also remain as error messages are shown to some customers trying to move money. The bank said it was “working around the clock” to fix the problems.