Total Business Magazine

This Week’s 5 Must-Read Stories You May Have Missed

Virgin eyes up struggling budget airline Flybe, General Motors is set to cut nearly 15,000 US jobs and Netflix announces plans to adapt Roald Dahl’s classics.

We caught up with our newest columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.

  1. Flybe takeover talks

It’s been a bumpy ride for Exeter-based airline Flybe, which, after significant losses – caused by volatile currency exchange rates and higher fuel costs – was forced to put itself up for sale. However, it’s not all sombre news as Virgin Atlantic has put its hat in the ring by confirming it is in talks for a possible takeover. With a lot of the smaller airlines struggling at the moment, it is great to see Virgin Atlantic putting a bid in for Flybe. The Virgin brand is synonymous with putting customers at the heart of everything it does, profoundly evident by its success in scooping up other domestic carriers such as Virgin Australia Airlines in Australia and Virgin America in the US. It will be interesting to see what it does, if successful in the takeover bid with Flybe. Since the announcement, Flybe has seen its shares soar, so all in all it is positive news for this British airline. After positivity using Flybe’s services on numerous occasions, I am glad to see it may survive.

  1. General Motors to cut nearly 15,000 jobs

The news that General Motors will cut 14,700 jobs across its workforce to restructure and reduce costs has hit the US hard. Even US president Donald Trump has stepped in to slam the manufacturer and is threatening to cut its subsidies in retaliation. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised by this news, as it has been a continued trend within the world’s manufacturing and motor industry for a few years now. With the rise of autonomous vehicles and new, innovative ways to produce cars, there is no doubt that the jobs of manual labour and knowledge workers will continue to be slashed. At the end of the day, organisations are seeking ways to use more robotic and AI processes to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Not even Trump’s ‘threats’ will be able to halt job cuts within this industry.

  1. Thomas Cook profit warning

Thomas Cook, one of Britain’s biggest holiday companies, has seen £175m  wiped off its value after a second profit warning in two months. It appears the summer heat wave has hit the UK economy again! I believe this story is very much black and white as less people decided to go away this summer because of the exceptional weather we had. Of course it is worrying to see Thomas Cook’s shares fall, the lowest since 2012, however, I think the way this holiday company has reinvented itself over the last few years, will see it through this turbulent time.

  1. Greggs profits on the rise

I am always happy to see a positive high street story in the news, and this week Greggs has taken the crown. The British bakery has reported a 9% rise in sales, following the introduction of shops in stations and airports. In response to this, the high street chain expects its pre-tax profit to come in at £86m, over £4m more than achieved last year. Greggs continued success comes from its understanding of the market and its customers. It adapts to buyers needs and trends, opening up shops in well-thought out locations, as well as persistently reinventing its menu. It was only announced this week that Greggs is on a mission to create the perfect vegan sausage roll, a clever move that taps into this growing trend. The bakery chain was the top FTSE 250 riser this week and with its Christmas range just launched, I expect we will see more positive news from this well-loved British brand.

  1. Netflix to adapt Roald Dahl classics

Netflix continues to be disruptive and expand its repertoire this week, as it announced it would exclusively be adapting the works of well-loved British author Roald Dahl. The streaming service revealed there would be an abundance of animated adaptations from many of Dahl’s iconic characters, with additional plans for a ‘story universe’ that goes beyond his published work. It’s a bold move from Netflix and you can’t do anything but take your hat off to the video demand giant. The way Netflix innovates and the pace at which it develops its offering will continue to keep it at the top of the game!

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