Alfa Romeo Giulia Super Sport, via PAAlfa Romeo Giulia Super Sport, via PA

News Round-Up

May 18: Asda sales up; Energy bills to fall; Exclusive Alfa Romeos revealed

  • Here are the headlines for Saturday, May 18

Time 6:19 am, May 18, 2024

Asda sales increase as supermarket targets Aldi and Lidl shoppers

Asda has revealed a rise in sales over the first three months of the year amid efforts to win more customers from discount rivals Aldi and Lidl.

The UK’s third-largest supermarket firm said growth was driven by the rapid expansion of its convenience store business and strong sales for its George fashion arm.

Total revenues, excluding fuel, increased by 6.6% to £5.3bn for the quarter to the end of March, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Average household energy bill set to fall by 7% in July, say experts

The average household energy bill is set to fall by 7% in July when the latest change to the price cap takes effect, according to experts.

Energy consultant Cornwall Insight said it expects the typical household’s energy bill to fall from the current cap of £1,690 a year to £1,574 on July 1.

This would be £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074. Energy regulator Ofgem will announce the energy price cap for July to September on May 24.

Boeing shareholders approve chief’s pay as company faces investigation

Boeing shareholders approved chief executive officer David Calhoun’s $32.8m (£25.8m) pay package yesterday and heard leaders explain what the troubled aircraft maker is doing to improve the quality and safety of its planes.

It comes after a door plug blew out of a Boeing 737 Max jetliner in January.

Calhoun said the company is finishing a 90-day plan for fixing its manufacturing problems — a report the Federal Aviation Administration demanded after the door-plug blowout.

Bodies of three hostages killed at October 7 music festival recovered in Gaza

The Israeli military said its troops in Gaza have found the bodies of three Israeli hostages killed by Hamas during its October 7 attack, including German-Israeli Shani Louk.

A photo of the 22-year-old woman’s body in the back of a truck spread around the world and brought to light the scale of the militants’ attack on communities in southern Israel.

The other two bodies found were identified as those of a 28-year-old woman, Amit Buskila, and a 56-year-old man, Itzhak Gelerenter. All three were killed by Hamas while fleeing from the Nova music festival near the Gaza border, where militants killed hundreds of people.

Higgins lays wreath to mark 50th anniversary of bombing of Dublin and Monaghan

Irish president Michael D Higgins yesterday laid a wreath in Monaghan close to the spot where a bomb devastated the town centre 50 years ago.

A ceremony was held to mark the anniversary of the deadly attacks on May 17, 1974 when three no-warning bombs went off across Dublin city centre and one in Monaghan town. A commemorative event also took place in Dublin.

Thirty-four people including an unborn baby were killed in the bombings and almost 300 people were injured. No-one has ever been convicted, but the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force admitted responsibility in 1993 for what was the deadliest attack of the Troubles.

Marks & Spencer set to ring up profits leap after impressive year

Marks & Spencer is expected to reveal a jump in annual profits on Wednesday when it reports back after a bumper year.

The retailer has enjoyed buoyant sales across its food halls plus clothing and home arm, having undergone a significant turnaround plan in recent years, including cost-cutting and store closures.

Most analysts are pencilling in a 35% rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £653m for the year to April on revenues 8.9% higher, according to investment platform AJ Bell.

Two people detained in Scotland as part of Rwanda scheme, says Somerville

Two people in Scotland have been detained in connection with the UK government’s ‘inhumane’ policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, the social justice secretary said.

Shirley-Anne Somerville has written to home secretary James Cleverly on the issue, as she again urged the Conservative government at Westminster to end the ‘morally repugnant’ scheme.

She said yesterday that it was ‘now clear that two people in Scotland have been detained as part of the UK government’s inhumane policy to send people to Rwanda’. Posting on X, she said the Scottish government had made clear its opposition to the Rwanda policy ‘right from the start’.

Rishi Sunak spotted at Southampton football match

Rishi Sunak was in the stands last night to watch his beloved Southampton FC take on West Brom.

The PM – a self-described ‘massive Saints fan’ who was born in Southampton and has previously said he would be a ‘very happy man’ if he could run the club – was seen standing and clapping.

Home team Southampton beat West Brom 3-1 in the duel for a place in the Championship play-off final.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Super Sport interior, via PA


Limited-run Super Sport models created for Guilia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo has revealed limited-edition Super Sport versions of its Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio models.

Both will be sold globally with the former limited to 275 units and the latter to 175. It’s unconfirmed how many allocations will be coming to the UK, but the Giulia will be priced at £82,815 and the Stelvio £91,835.

The two cars use the same 2.9-litre V6 engine that produces 527bhp and 443Nm of torque and can manage 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds for the former and 3.6 seconds for the latte

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 18.39 points down yesterday to end the week on 8,420.26. The Cac 40 was down 20.99 points at 8,167.50, the Dax was down 34.39 points at 18,704.42, but the Dow Jones was up 134.21 points at 40,003.59.

Weather outlook

Showery rain in southern England will push west this morning, according to BBC Weather. This will leave sunshine and scattered, heavy showers in the southern, western and central areas, while cloud will linger in the far north.

Sunday will see low cloud, mist and fog dissipate for most to leave sunny spells but low cloud will linger on eastern North Sea coasts and northern Scotland.

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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