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You are with business life.
You are with business life. Taking
action over Russia, the British
Government prepares its response to
the nerve agent attack on a former
spy. Live from London, that is our
top story, Wednesday the 14th of
Theresa May weighs up sanctions and
seeks international support as
Moscow ignores a deadline to explain
how a highly dangerous weapon ended
up on British streets. Also in the
programme, some of the biggest names
in the world of technology are
paying tribute to the renowned
British scientist Stephen Hawking,
who has died at the age of 76.
Despite a downbeat day in Asia,
markets in Europe is mixed. Adidas
one of the biggest movers to the
upside and we will explain why. And
a blooming idea. Canon Floom
standout? And 1p and 2p coins could
be scrapped. Australia and Sweden
have done it. Would you like to see
the end of copper coins, get in
2p or not 2p, that is the question.
One of the many we are asking today
on business life. Welcome to the
programme. Let's start with the
British Prime Minister considering
what action to take against Russia
after failing to receive an
explanation over how energy -- nerve
agent thought to be Russian-made was
used to poison a former spy. Russia
has failed to meet a deadline to do
so. They have denied any
involvement. The backing of Donald
Trump and the EU have also said
Britain can count on its support.
The trading relationship going back
many years, with quite a bit. If you
look at 2016, it came in as $40
billion. Sanctions could hurt links,
including with oil giant BP, for
example, metals company EN. And
money flowing into Premier League
football clubs through Chelsea and
Arsenal through Russian backers. The
US and UN would have to do follow
suit as they did when the annex on
the Premier in 2016 happen. Further
damaged by restrictions and
sanctions, many remain in force.
Freezing assets such as bank
accounts and property. Travel bans
and export on equipment that could
be used by the oil industry or
military. Russian diplomats could be
expelled, cut off from the Swift
system, international banking
system. It is thought that is
unlikely. What will happen, Ben?
Philip is with me. With the business
advisory firm GDW. Potential
targets, when you are advising
business, what are you telling them?
Increased compliance risk. Let's
look at the options. Balancing not
hurting business, alienating the
Russian population, hitting the
Russian... Asset freezing on
high-ranking officials. One has a
flat overlooking the Ministry of
Defence in London. Confiscate that,
you can. Things haven't been
sanctioned like banning Russian
media. Like Russia Today. Could lead
to a ban on media organisations like
the BBC. Make it harder for
companies to pass the due diligence
test. Use the unexplained wealth
orders to hit large properties owned
by Russians in London. The list is
long. The trick is to get it right
without hurting UK business.
pick that time. Two things, one is
how to approach the sanctions to
have sufficient impact. And not to
damage UK interest. Sanctions would
need collaboration with the US?
is not there at the moment,
collaboration. Lukewarm statements.
We have seen lack of cohesion
between UK and EU partners. I think
what we had posed Premier has
dissolved. It would be hard to build
a coalition to impose broad new
What about protecting UK
interests? We know business is
intertwined. Russia trades with the
UK. How do you impose sanctions that
are not going to come back and hope
You have to be surgical.
Sanctions are an inconvenience for
Russia. The drop in oil prices has
been the biggest problem. If you go
after Russians on sanctions you face
a backlash from the Russian
Government itself. Russian
companies, UK companies in Russia,
VP, possibly vulnerable to counter
sanctions. They are preparing mirror
measures. -- BP. There is a risk
backlash from Russia that could hit
UK and US companies.
We will watch
closely. You, Philip. Some comments
coming from the European Parliament.
The European Commissioner for trade,
Cecilia, who was on the programme 80
weeks ago, talking to Parliament and
said EU and US trade Representative
is an intense dialogue at the moment
about the proposed tariffs on steel
and aluminium. The EU is looking for
an extension for the carriers signed
off by the White House last week.
Australia has an exemption. The EU
pushing hard to get some as well.
The US trade representative due to
publish details soon about how the
exemptions might work. That is just
coming through from the European
Parliament. And a line related to
the death of Stephen Hawking. We
have had a comment from the Prime
Minister Theresa May. She says,
Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and
extraordinary man, one of the
greatest scientist of his generation
whose courage consumer,
determination to get the most from
life was an inspiration. A common to
there from Prime Minister Theresa
May, talking about the death of
Stephen Hawking announced this
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
Sportswear giant Adidas says sales
and profit will slow this year.
The firm which has seen its shares
fall 15% in the past six months,
says it plans to buy back up
to $3.7 billion worth of its shares
over the next three years -
that's almost 9% of its share
Last year operating profits grew
to just over $163 million.
The French Finance Minister says
he'll take legal action
against Google and Apple
for what he called
In a radio interview,
Bruno Le Maire said he would take
action over the way the tech giants
unilaterally impose prices
and other contractual terms
on software developers.
Neither company has yet responded.
And a gender pay row
concerning the Queen -
that's the fictional monarch.
British actress Claire Foy,
who played Queen Elizabeth
in the Netflix drama The Crown,
was paid less than her
co-star Matt Smith,
who played Prince Philip.
The producers said it was
partly because Matt Smith
was better known at time of casting.
More tributes to Stephen Hawking a
little later. Coming in as you would
expect from right around the world.
Before that, news this morning from
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong flagship
airline, first back-to-back annual
losses since founded back in 1946.
The airline revealed last year it
made a loss of about 161 million US
dollars. Suggested intense
competition from local rivals is to
blame. Felicia in Asia, the airline
competition is pretty tough. Eating
I who survive the airline of the
Taking a beating. Asia's
biggest international airline.
Double the amount it lost in 2016.
The big reason is it is paying for
one-way bets in fuel contracts. The
largest expense for airlines. Has to
do with not just premium carriers
from the Middle East, Singapore
airlines for example, but budget
airlines. It was the only way for
Chinese travellers to travel to the
rest of the world but now the budget
airlines and other carriers are
expanding to other parts of Asia and
the US. Overall, Cathay has seen an
improvement in its overall business
more covered a man.
-- more cargo demand.
There is Australia and Hong Kong.
Jitters in Asia today. About the
joys of the new Secretary of State,
the concern he is much more on the
same page as Donald Trump when it
comes to tariffs as Rex Tillotson
was. That was the sentiment in Asia.
In Europe, all the main markets are
higher. Some stocks doing well like
Adidas. They have announced up 5%
today in Europe. Now, Wall Street.
On Wednesday, it is all about US
shoppers. In January, the holiday
hangover worse than many analysts
expected as Americans chose to stay
home instead of spending. The hope
is that retail sales will recover in
February after hitting an 11 month
low last month. Car sales is a
headwind. US car-maker said they saw
sales decline in February. Partially
due to the fact that interest rates
for car loans have been rising. A
big industry research firm said the
February interest rates on loans for
new cars should hit eight year high.
That shows efforts by the US Federal
Reserve to raise interest rates as
the US economy continues to grow
could finally be having the intended
effect. Chief investment officer...
Allsorts of data, today US retail
sales will give us an indication.
Yesterday, really sank when
Lower-than-expected wage growth. --
sanguine inflation report. Some
quite good news from the US. Now, we
have trade friction, Donald Trump
issues making markets volatile.
revolving door at the White House.
The Secretary of State sacking by a
tweet was shocking. We knew they
didn't get on. The Pennsylvania
result, the Democrat winning, a
strong Republican seat in the run-up
to the midterms. Mark its time to
weigh up what this means?
down to what will happen with
policy. Rex was a moderate voice.
Now, more hardline. Stronger against
Iran, for instance, trade
protectionism stronger stance.
Potential tariffs on Chinese
imports, consumer goods, for
example. Big news and that is why
Asia was unsettled.
uncertainty, what are you advising
clients? How can you navigate?
managing client portfolios, what is
the long-term picture looking like?
The global economy is doing well. A
lot is noise. Every year, the US
comes out on new things on tariffs,
calling China a currency
manipulator. This is normal for
markets. What is happening next, is
the thing. We are keeping a steady
ship and looking at the
Acceleration in at the group --
output growth. Really helpful to
show the global economy is doing
More later in the
programme from you. Including copper
in our pockets or wallets. Down the
back of the sofa? Charities would
occasionally benefit from the odd
bits of coins and change. A lot of
you getting in touch they could
potentially lose out. As promised,
much more coverage on the news this
morning that Stephen Hawking has
died. All the tributes being paid to
him on the BBC live page. A number
of videos, talking about his
greatest achievements. By Minister
Theresa May paid tribute to what she
describes as a brilliant and
extraordinary mind. You can see.
Right around the world, giving an
indication of how many people he has
touched. Pretty appropriate.
Much more on the website.
Still to come...
The smell of success?
We meet the woman behind a flower
delivery service that's taking
on the established players
in a crowded market.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
It's a tough time to be
in the supermarket business,
with rising costs and increased
competition squeezing margins.
But Morrisons, the UK's fourth
has announced an 11% rise
in its full year profits.
However, like many of its rivals,
it is cutting jobs, with 1,500
middle management roles set to go.
Patrick O'Brien is UK
Research Director at the market
research firm Global Data.
Patrick, what do you make of the
numbers from Morrisons?
Morrisons has had a good year. It
has been on a good run now for about
two years. It's its tenth quarter of
positive like-for-like growth. David
Potts has done a really good job in
In terms of the
output them, because there is this
bitter rivalry between the likes of
Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's, etc,
what does it say about what is
ahead? It is restructuring with
middle management going.
competitive environment. You have
the big four, of which Morrisons is
probably doing the best. It one
Christmas ahead of Tesco,
Sainsbury's and Asda. It's also
competing with the discount shops
like Aldi and liberal. Efficiencies
need to be made and we have seen a
lot of jobs go across the big four.
Morrisons are cutting jobs in the
store warehouse. They are looking to
do automated ordering, so they don't
require as many shop roles.
Morrisons were quite late to be
online game which set them back for
a number of years. It seems they are
finally on boards, but they always
They have been playing
catch up before David Potts claiming
they were very slow on the two areas
of in supermarket retail,
convenience and online. They have
struggled, but since David has come
in, they have rejig their strategy
on convenience. They have a
partnership with petrol station
forecourts and they have also
developed their online business in
partnership with Amazon.
talk to you, Patrick. Thank you for
your insight this morning. More
details on Morrisons and the other
companies reporting on our website.
You're watching Business Live.
The top stories. The Prime Minister
is due to announce sanctions against
Russia after the poisoning of a
A quick look at how
markets are faring.
Some uncertainty around the world,
particularly relating to the United
States and China.
And now let's get the
inside track on flowers.
The global flower industry
is worth some $105 billion.
But 80% of all cut flowers
are bought by women.
That surprises me because so many
men will buy them as gifts. If you
include the ones that are bought
from a petrol station, it should be
higher. You really are digging
yourself a whole!
But consumption habits are changing
and instead of visiting
the traditional florist,
like with everything else,
an increasing number
order their flowers online.
Floom is an online florist
marketplace hoping to make
the process more simple.
I caught up with the boss Lana Elie,
and asked her what she's
Sometimes it's a time issue. Also,
ordering over the phone. There are
so many elements when you are
sending to different places it
becomes difficult, so it's that the
going on one platform, knowing they
have been vetted and seeing a
variety of styles from different
You make it sound easy,
setting up a new firm, but how
daunting is it?
At no stage did I
question whether it was going to be
huge and I still don't. I have
complete conviction in it and I get
this question about fear a lot.
Where it -- I always thought, why
would this not work? To an extent it
is a bit of insanity, but it pushes
You are essentially the
middleman, you connect buyers with
Where do you make money?
It's not as if the customer is
coming to us paying a commission on
top of they are buying. They are
paying the same they will pay if
they went directly to an
independent. For example, if you
went to an independent and spend
£30, without it would still be £30.
We are sharing the margin there with
the florist which is 20%.
you are creating more business for
the florist, they will take a cut on
what they make?
Exactly. They are
aware that 20% is going to customer
acquisition and the site. The more
they sell, the higher quantities
they will buy and the more they will
save on wholesale.
How do you stand
up in a market like this?
content because I come from a
content background. One of our first
hires was a content creative person.
We do video in-house, we should
photography in-house, everything we
do is about the content. Our website
launch with a magazine section with
Everything we do is about
storytelling. What has been the
biggest hurdle for you? You make it
sound easy, but what has been the
biggest challenge you have faced?
guess fundraising and hiring. I have
hired before, but not in the way
that you do when you hire someone
for your own company. That took a
lot to learn, how to hire well and
find the right people in the first
place, let alone then interview
them. Funding is not something I
have done before. We have done well,
we've always got the money we needed
at the right time. It's never really
been a huge issue, but there have
been moments of trying to figure out
how to do five-year projections, all
these things I have never
experienced and I was a bit out of
my depth. But now I have an
incredible team and you don't feel
those limitations any more. You hire
the right people and you overcome
The founder and chief
Executive of Floom speaking to me
earlier. There's talk about some of
the tributes coming in from
Professor Stephen Hawking. Stephen
Wozniacki said that he is above pure
brilliance. The chief Executive of
Microsoft said we lost a great one
today. He will be remembered for his
contributions to science. He made
concepts and theories more
accessible to the masses. He did
definitely translate cosmology and
physics to the masses.
Sean has rejoined us. Let's talk
about is the Treasury wanting to
scrap copper coins. How would you
feel about losing them?
Well I have
been sitting on my shelf. So there
was this statistic that copper coins
are only used once.
Just once by
millions of people though. No one
was carried around because they are
so heavy. Australia and Sweden have
done it already. A lot of people are
getting in touch. Chris says how
will I paid the penny slots with my
kids? A lot of you are worried about
charities, whether they will lose
Quite often the charity boxes by the
till and when you pay say £2 99 for
something, the penny goes in the
pot. We all have piles of them. John
says it's about time they were
scrapped. Trevor says people
normally use car payments now.
Anything less than 50p goes in a
coffee jar. Thank you for