United Kingdom

Jaguar Land Rover crashed to a £3.6 billion (€4.1 billion) annual loss as it was weighed down by a slump in Chinese sales, The Irish Times reported. The luxury car manufacturer, which announced 4,500 job cuts earlier this year, was heavily dragged down by a £3.3 billion (€3.7 billion) writedown in the third quarter. It slumped from a £400 million (€455 million) profit in the previous financial year as it was hit by the economic slowdown in China.

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Thomas Cook Group Plc’s crisis deepened as the debt-laden travel group warned of another tough summer and said it will get a 300 million-pound ($385 million) rescue loan only if it makes progress with the sale of its airline, Bloomberg News reported. The stock fell to the lowest since 2012 Thursday and the bonds hit a record low after the world’s second-biggest tour operator posted a 1.1 billion-pound writedown at a U.K. arm hurt by the Brexit saga.

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Landsec, the UK’s largest listed property company by assets, saw the value of its portfolio shed more than half a billion pounds in the year to March as a crisis in the retail sector took its toll, the Financial Times reported. The company, whose holdings include a stake in the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, said its assets declined in value by £557m to £13.8bn, led by a 15.5 per cent drop in the value of its retail parks and an 11.7 per cent fall for its shopping centres. The value of the group’s assets had slid by £91m in the previous year. The decline in retail, which makes up

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British Steel has asked the government for tens of millions of pounds in emergency funding as the UK’s second-largest steel producer battles to avoid a collapse that would lead to thousands of job losses, the Financial Times reported. The company blamed uncertainty caused by Brexit as it confirmed it was in talks with ministers about “a package of additional support”, which one person briefed on the discussions said was for £70m-£80m.

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Creditors of Debenhams, the UK department store group that went into a “pre-pack” administration last month, have approved proposals that will allow the group to close 22 stores and reduce rents on more than 100 more, the Financial Times reported. At a meeting held in central London, votes on the two company voluntary arrangements were passed by 95 per cent and 97 per cent majorities. The CVAs are the final part of a refinancing process that has seen the group’s equity wiped out and its creditors swap £100m of debt for new equity.

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Metro Bank has drawn up plans to sell more than £1 billion (€1.15 billion) worth of loans at the centre of a misreporting scandal that caused its share price to plunge and forced it into a rights issue, The Irish Times reported. The move would be a significant reversal of strategy for the former darling of Britain’s challenger banks, which won admiration from investors for its rapid growth but changed its approach after the discovery of an embarrassing accounting error.

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Thomas Cook’s bonds suffered heavy losses while the cost to insure against a potential default leapt higher on Thursday, amid mounting concern over the travel company’s ability to service its debt, the Financial Times reported. Investor angst deepened after at least one of the travel group’s lenders sold a loan it made to the company at a highly-distressed price. A revolving credit line was sold this week at around 59 pence on the pound, according to debt investors.

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Philip Green’s Arcadia Group is offering to pay for an adviser to its landlords as the retailer battles for their backing on its plan to avoid collapse through a complex restructuring of its store estate, the Financial Times reported. The fashion company, which owns chains from Topshop and Topman to Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, wants to cut its sprawling store portfolio and pay lower rents. It is proposing to fund investment bank PJT Partners to negotiate on behalf of the property owners, said three people briefed on the talks.

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UK manufacturing growth slowed in April as companies eased their stockpiling following the delay of Brexit and new export orders declined, according to a survey of executives, the Financial Times reported. The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to 53.1 in April, from 55.1 in the previous month, in line with the expectations of economists polled by Reuters. The survey covers last month, when the UK’s exit from the EU was delayed to the end of October after MPs repeatedly voted down Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

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