City News

Costa sales keep Whitbread on boil

Coffee shop chain Costa's continued strong growth helped boost half-year profits at Whitbread by 18% to £256 million.

Coffee shops to budget hotel owner Whitbread has lifted profits by nearly a fifth after seeing Costa and Premier Inn go from "strength to strength".

China growth slowest for five years

Chinese women walk past a luxury fashion boutique at a shopping mall in Beijing (AP)

China's economic growth waned to a five-year low of 7.3% last quarter, raising concerns of a spillover effect on the global economy but falling roughly in line with Chinese leaders' plans for a controlled slowdown.

Blow to Osborne as deficit grows

The widening deficit will make it harder for Chancellor George Osborne to offer pre-election giveaways, according to economists

George Osborne suffered a fresh blow today as the six-year squeeze on earnings growth was blamed for the latest official figures showing a widening hole in the public finances.

Carpetright founder steps down

Carpetright boss Lord Harris of Peckham is to leave the business he founded 26 years ago

Carpetright boss Lord Harris of Peckham has called time on more than 50 years in the carpet trade by announcing he is to leave the business he founded 26 years ago.

ASOS upbeat despite profits slide

Asos has posted a 14% fall in profits

Online retailer ASOS has posted a 14% fall in profits after a torrid year in which it was hit by a major warehouse fire and tough overseas trading.

Total oil boss dies in runway crash

Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie has been killed in a plane crash (AP)

Christophe de Margerie, the charismatic CEO of Total who dedicated his career to the multinational oil company, was killed at a Moscow airport when his private jet collided with a snowplough whose driver was drunk, Russian investigators said.

New iPhones ring tills for Apple

The new iPhone 6, left, and 6 Plus have helped Apple make a £5.3bn final quarter profit for 2014

The record-breaking launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus means that technology giant Apple has reported net profit of 8.5 billion dollars (£5.3bn) for the final quarter of 2014.

Stock market edges higher

The US stock market has moved quietly higher

The US stock market moved quietly higher today as investors decided to step back into a market that was rattled by white-knuckle turbulence last week.

Bank glitch delays house moves

A 'technical issue' at the Bank of England has hit payment transfers

Thousands of property purchases were thrown into turmoil today as the Bank of England system used to transfer hundreds of billions of payments between lenders was hit by a technical glitch.

Mortgage market 'on a plateau'

Mortgage lending is "sitting on a plateau", analysts said

The housing market may be "sitting on a plateau" after lenders reported a slight fall in the amount handed out to borrowers last month.

Comparison sites 'hide best deals'

The cheapest energy deals may not show up on price comparison websites, it has been claimed

Consumers are missing out on the best energy deals because comparison sites filter out the tariffs which do not pay commission, it was claimed today.

Blaze fuels 'energy crunch' fears

Fire crews spray water at the scene of the fire at Didcot B Power Station

Half of a power station supplying a million homes will remain out of action indefinitely following a fire, it was announced today - putting further pressure on the UK's squeezed electricity network.