Seat Arona FR Limited Edition, via PASeat Arona FR Limited Edition, via PA

News Round-Up

Mar 14: Morrisons’ £1.09bn loss; Musk at arson-hit Tesla plant; Arona FR launched

  • Here are the headlines for Thursday, March 14

Time 6:41 am, March 14, 2024

Morrisons posts £1bn+ loss amid pressure from debt pile

Supermarket chain Morrisons made a loss of more than £1bn last year, driven by soaring financing costs as the firm’s debt also grew.

The Bradford-based retailer, which was bought for £7bn by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2021, reported the heavy loss for the year to October 29 in freshly filed Companies House accounts.

The £1.09bn pre-tax loss came after it paid out £735m of financing costs, which were partly linked to the firm’s mammoth debts. It recorded a £1.52bn loss in the previous year.

Musk visits Tesla plant near Berlin after arson attack

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk visited the electric car maker’s first European plant yesterday as production resumed at the factory just outside Berlin, more than a week after an arson attack cut its power supply.

Musk was expected at a ‘team huddle’ with employees at the plant in the Grünheide municipality, employee council chief Michaela Schmitz told regional broadcaster RBB’s Inforadio channel. Reporters at the scene could see him arriving from a distance and he turned their way, shouting: ‘Deutschland rocks’.

Production came to a standstill on Tuesday last week, as reported by Car Dealer, and tens of thousands of residents and nearby hospitals were among those also initially affected. The electricity supply to the plant was restored on Monday evening. A far-left militant group admitted the attack.

Both parties failing to tackle racism, says Abbott as Tory donor row continues

Diane Abbott has accused the Conservatives and Labour of failing to tackle racism as the prime minister remains under pressure to hand back £10m to a major donor.

Businessman Frank Hester is alleged to have said Abbott, Britain’s first black female MP, made him ‘want to hate all black women’ and that she ‘should be shot’, in comments Rishi Sunak finally described as ‘racist’ after initially refusing to do so.

In a series of newspaper articles published yesterday evening, Abbott said the ‘reluctance to call out racism and sexism’ was ‘shocking, but hardly surprising’, and warned the Conservatives would ‘play the race card…ruthlessly’ at the next election.

Alstom plans new train services between London and Wrexham

New train services between London, the Midlands, Shropshire and north Wales have been proposed.

Train and rail infrastructure supplier Alstom said its planned operation will offer passengers new direct links, quicker journeys and ‘more competitive fares’.

Services are proposed to run between Euston and Wrexham up to five times per day in each direction from next year. It’s been 13 years since train company Wrexham & Shropshire – which operated between Marylebone and Wrexham via Shrewsbury – ceased trading due to mounting losses.

More than 700 investigations launched after calls to Met anti-corruption line

More than 700 investigations have been launched by Britain’s biggest police force after nearly 3,000 contacts to an anti-corruption hotline in the first 18 months of operation.

The figures for the Metropolitan Police were revealed yesterday as the police anti-corruption and abuse reporting service was rolled out nationally.

A series of harrowing scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, led the Met to be the first force to start using the service in November 2022. It is now available for reports about all UK police forces, either online or by calling 0800 085 0000.

Record-setting Concorde set to return to museum home after restoration

The retired Concorde airliner that belongs to New York’s Intrepid Museum will return to its home on a Manhattan pier today after a seven-month restoration, museum officials said.

The supersonic jet will travel by barge up the Hudson River and be lifted by a crane on to Pier 86, with public tours set to resume on April 4.

Concorde is the only supersonic commercial jet that ever flew, and the Intrepid’s British Airways Concorde still holds the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing by a passenger aircraft: two hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds from Heathrow to JFK in New York.

Star Wars C-3PO head from actor Anthony Daniels sells for £660k

A C-3PO head from the private collection of Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels has sold for $843,750 (£660,000) at auction.

The light-up prop from 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi was sold as part of the Anthony Daniels Collection in Los Angeles.

The C-3PO head, which had an original price estimate of between $500,000 to $1m (£391,000 to £782,000), had eight bids but it is unknown who placed the winning bid.

Seat Arona FR Limited Edition, via PA

Limited-edition Seat Arona launched

Seat has launched a limited-edition FR model of its popular small crossover, the Arona.

The Arona FR is available with a 113bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, with both six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes on offer.

Inside is a premium BeatsAudio sound system plus a 10-inch digital cockpit, park assist, keyless entry and go, and rear-view camera. A pair of sports seats completes the look. Prices start at £27,480 and orders are now being taken, with the new model arriving later in the year.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 24.36 points up yesterday to end the day on 7,772.17. The Cac 40 was up 50.10 points at 8,137.58, the Dax was down 3.73 points at 17,961.38, and the Dow Jones was up 37.83 points at 39,043.32.

Weather outlook

Today will be mild and breezy, says BBC Weather, with rather cloudy skies and heavy, scattered showers, especially across Wales and western England, but it’ll be brighter to the south-east. There’ll be lengthier spells of rain further north.

Friday will start generally cloudy, with outbreaks of rain easing for much of Scotland. Elsewhere will see scattered showers, but it’ll turn drier and brighter for many in the afternoon from the north and west.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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