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Newspapers today: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 010216

The Times

Apple breaks losing streak with record iPhone sales: Record iPhone sales helped Apple to beat Wall Street expectations last night and end a miserable run of three straight quarters of falling revenues.

Growth ‘will outpace Eurozone and most of G7’: The economy will grow at a faster rate than that of the Eurozone and will be beaten only by the United States out of the G7 nations this year, 18 months after the vote to leave the European Union, a leading forecaster has predicted.

Eurozone celebrates hat-trick of rising inflation, growth and jobs: The Eurozone bounced back to life at the end of last year on all the three economic measures that have bedevilled the single currency bloc.

Spending binge fears ease as borrowing hits the brakes: The splurge in consumer borrowing showed signs of moderating in December as Britons went only £1 billion further into the red on credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.

Lawyers count cost of £1 million fraud ruling: Insurance rates for dealmaking lawyers could soar after a court ruled that a leading London firm must pay more than £1 million to a client who was the victim of fraud, even though its lawyers were not negligent or irresponsible.

Japan plays down talk of trade war: The Bank of Japan has raised its forecast for growth and left its negative interest rates unchanged as it waits to see what impact President Trump will have on the global economy.

Carpetright hits the ground running: It may have had a tough six months but things are looking up for Carpetright after a return to quarterly sales growth as its turnaround programme gains ground.

American buy is the perfect filling for sandwich maker: Greencore has recorded a strong first quarter, only months after the convenience food group struck a “transformational” deal to buy an American rival.

The Independent

Nintendo profits double thanks to Pokemon Go: Japanese video game maker Nintendo’s third-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier on healthy sales of Pokemon game software, the company said Tuesday.

More than a million London housebuyers gazumped: More than a million people in London trying to buy property have experienced being gazumped by a rival buyer after their offer was accepted, according to new research.

Soon you could buy a stake in Nando’s: Nando’s, the South African fast-food company known for its spicy chicken and fries, is considering an initial public offering, according to sources.

Facebook is trying to bridge the gender gap in business: Facebook is ramping up efforts to bridge the gender gap among U.K. business owners.

Trump backers call for Starbucks boycott after pledge to hire refugees: Getting your coffee at Starbucks might be becoming a political statement.

Donald Trump divisive policies continue to roil global markets: The dollar remained under pressure and investors on edge on Tuesday, after U.S. president Donald Trump fired acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates in response to her publicly questioning whether his refugee and immigration ban was constitutional.

Apple misses deadline to pay €13 billion to Ireland in illegal tax benefits: Apple has missed the deadline to pay €13 billion (£11 billion) it owes to the Irish government in tax benefits, the European Union’s competition said on Tuesday.

Banks must plan for ‘hard’ Brexit, PwC report warns: Global banks must plan for a “hard” Brexit or risk breaching regulatory requirements and disrupting business, according to an industry report seen by Reuters, the first since Prime Minister May said she would take Britain out of the single market.

Financial Times

Bullish Siemens raises 2017 profit target after strong quarter: Siemens, Europe’s biggest industrial conglomerate, on Tuesday increased its profit forecast for this year after booking higher-than-expected earnings for the quarter ending on December 31.

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Exxon says it can more than double output in Permian Basin: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest listed oil company, has said it will be able to more than double its output in the Permian Basin region of the U.S. and maintain it at that level for decades, in a vote of confidence in the outlook for North American shale production.

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Largest Arconic shareholder seeks to oust Kleinfeld as Chief: Elliott Management, the activist investment group, has called for the removal of Klaus Kleinfeld as Chief Executive of Arconic, the specialist metals and components company created last year by the break-up of Alcoa, arguing that “current management’s persistent failure, has destroyed considerable shareholder value”.

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U.S. investor class action cases against companies hit 20-year high: Class action lawsuits filed by investors in U.S. federal courts hit their highest level in 20 years in 2016, propelled by a fourfold increase in complaints related to mergers and acquisitions.

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Pioneer of robo-advice industry opts for human touch: “Robo-advisers” promised to upend the world of wealth management by relying on computers, rather than people, to manage money.

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HSBC appoints customer service manager as head of First Direct: HSBC has appointed an Executive who has worked in finance for just two years to run its telephone and online banking business First Direct.

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Pharma stocks rally on Trump pledge to speed drug approvals: Donald Trump has said his administration will significantly cut the length of time it takes to win regulatory approval for new medicines, prompting a rally in pharmaceuticals stocks.

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Mercedes and Uber plan network of self-driving cars: Mercedes-Benz plans to run a network of self-driving cars that can be booked through Uber’s app, in the latest step in the evolution of autonomous technology in the auto sector.

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Two ex-Leighton Executives charged after Asic probe: Two former Executives at Leighton Holdings, Australia’s biggest construction company, face criminal charges in a case linked to a corruption investigation into its past activities in the Middle East.

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Super Bowl ad lands Budweiser in U.S. immigration debate: One of America’s largest advertisers has found itself caught in the country’s deep political divisions with a Super Bowl ad whose message jars with President Donald Trump’s controversial clampdown on immigration.

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Under Armour suffers as shoppers shed their gym clothes: Under Armour shed nearly a quarter of its value on Tuesday after the athletic wear maker reported a dramatic slowdown in sales growth during the fourth quarter and sharply scaled back its revenue outlook for 2017.

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Sub-postmasters fight back over Post Office accusations of fraud: Almost 200 sub-postmasters will pursue collective legal action against the Post Office over what they claim was a defective IT system that led to accusations of theft, fraud and false accounting.

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Dropbox and Slack adapt services for cloud connection: After riding a wave of viral adoption that has made them familiar tools for millions of office workers, Dropbox and Slack, two fast-growing cloud software services, have this week doubled down on their attempt to enter the mainstream of business technology.

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Lyft downloads surpass Uber on anti-Trump backlash: Lyft, the U.S. transportation company, has surged past its rival Uber in iPhone downloads for the first time, as anger over Uber’s perceived ties to the Trump administration have fuelled a backlash.

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Sprint hooks lucrative mobile customers: U.S. wireless group Sprint signed up the highest number of lucrative mobile-phone customers in a quarter in four years, sending shares up 4% on Tuesday.

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Apple: data day: During Wednesday’s results, Apple announced that it had sold 78.3 million iPhones in the final quarter of 2016, about 800,000 more than expected and the first quarter in four to show year-on-year growth. The good news earned the company a 3% share price boost.

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Under Armour: under pressure: Under Armour, the once-high flying sports clothing maker, on Tuesday reported weak fourth-quarter earnings along with a meagre 2017 outlook. Kevin Plank, its Founder and Chief Executive, while candidly describing Under Armour’s self-inflicted wounds, said that this moment could be an “inflection point” — a juncture where the company could reinvent itself.

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Pfizer: Trump tonic: Donald Trump’s populist broadsides may be aimed at perceived elites — but not the kind who dominate U.S. industry. Pfizer, the 168-year-old pharmaceutical company based in New York City, missed expectations for the fourth quarter and had to lower forecasts for this year. But despite worries about the president’s potentially rough attitude towards pharma, he may be offering them an escape route from the dilemma of falling sales that the industry already faces.

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Ocado makes investors wait in for an overseas delivery: Nowadays the likes of Ocado have revolutionised home delivery. Their cheery van drivers arrive promptly in one-hour time slots from 5.30am, achieving 94.9% punctuality and 100% diplomacy when met by customers in unfortunate pyjamas. But, for shareholders, waiting for Ocado to deliver on its strategy is still a lot like sitting at home in the 1990s for the van that never beeps. On Tuesday, Ocado reported that average grocery orders per week had risen 18%, pushing revenues up 15% to £1.3 billion.

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Whiskey don’t go-go: Diageo, the world’s largest distiller, clearly knows the feeling. Just over two years ago, it entered into a deal to swap its Bushmills Irish whiskey brand for a full measure of Don Julio, the premium tequila that it had previously shared with Mexico’s Casa Cuervo. On Tuesday, the group gave the impression that it should have stuck to the whiskey. It coughed up £18.6 million to return to its old favourite, by setting up a new distillery in Dublin.

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The Daily Telegraph

O2 urges Ofcom to impose tighter limit on BT control of the airwaves: O2 has called on telecoms watchdogs to impose tighter restrictions on the proportion of the mobile airwaves BT can control ahead of a crucial auction.

Energy suppliers trial loyalty schemes for ‘sticky customers’: Britain’s largest energy suppliers may start offering special deals to their loyal customers as chronic concerns over the retail market continue to stump the Government.

Joules targets international sales as customers buy online: Patterned jumpers, stripy knitwear and colourful wellies are proving a hit with shoppers in America and Germany, as fashion brand Joules revealed it was enjoying international success.

Severn Trent in line for £25 million regulator reward: Water firm Severn Trent is on track to clinch a pay-out of almost £25 million from the industry regulator for over-delivering on its performance targets.

Pound surges after Donald Trump’s trade Chief Peter Navarro accuses Germany of abusing euro for own gain: Sterling completed its best January against the dollar in six years after Donald Trump and a key adviser renewed an attack on countries that “exploit” their weak currencies.

Bidders tune into sale of £6 billion mast monopoly Arqiva: A multibillion-pound bidding war over the monopoly on Britain’s television masts, as well as thousands of mobile phone masts, is about to get underway as bankers gear up for the sale of Arqiva.

Warning future success of defence and security sector is up to government: Britain’s aerospace and defence companies are in “rude health” but their continued success is dependent on the Brexit deal the government thrashes out, the president of the industry’s trade body has warned.

Discovery and Sky reach eleventh-hour deal to stop Eurosport blackout: Discovery, the U.S. media giant behind Eurosport and TLC, has reached a truce with Sky after threatening to pull its 12 channels from Sky in a bitter row over fees.

The Questor Column:

Don’t be put off by the Aim listing – this family firm has no debt and a yield of 4.8%: The company floated on Aim in March last year and has just delivered a very solid set of maiden full-year results. Sales rose by 9% and operating profits advanced by 17%, excluding the costs that came with the stock market quotation. Better still, there is good visibility of future earnings as the forward sale of five developments, notably in Cardiff and Belfast, means that around 70% of this year’s forecast profits are covered, according to analysis from Zeus Capital, an investment bank. This should reassure Aim sceptics, as should three other features. First, the company’s balance sheet has net cash. Second, it is a ninth-generation family-run business, so the Chief Executive, Mark Watkin Jones, is unlikely to do anything daft to threaten this heritage. Finally, the 4p-a-share dividend paid in the last fiscal year is forecast to rise to 6.3p for the year to September, enough for a 4.8% yield. Questor says ‘Buy’.

SSP Group: Last week’s trading statement from SSP, which runs station and airport food outlets, read well but after a rapid 20% run in the shares since our October tip it may be worth locking in some profits. The company is well managed, a beneficiary of any further slide in sterling and well positioned. However, a forward p/e of nearly 23 for this year and 20.5 for next factors in a lot of good news at a stock where first-quarter like-for-like sales growth was 2.4%, even if total revenues grew by 18.7% once acquisitions, space growth and the weaker pound were accounted for. Questor says ‘Sell’.

The Guardian

U.K. and EU heading for economic cold war, says Italian Minister: A senior Italian official has warned that the U.K. and the European Union are heading into an “economic cold war” over Brexit that could wreak havoc on the west and weaken the continent.

Deutsche Bank fined $630 million over Russia money laundering claims: Deutsche Bank has been fined more than $630 million (£506 million) for failing to prevent $10 billion of Russian money laundering and exposing the U.K. financial system to the risk of financial crime.

Hand delivered: will Ocado’s robot soon be picking your shopping?: Ocado is testing a robot hand that can pick and pack fruit and vegetables in a move that could reduce its reliance on thousands of warehouse workers.

VW risks new pay row as compliance Chief lands €10 million payoff: The former judge brought in to shake up Volkswagen’s compliance and culture after it was struck by a diesel emissions scandal is to receive a payoff of more than €10 million (£8.6 million), despite working for the German carmaker for just 13 months.

Criminal inquiry begins after battery is found in Co-op chocolate bunny: A criminal investigation has been launched into suspected product tampering after the discovery of a battery inside a hollow milk chocolate Easter bunny sold at the Co-op.

Daily Mail

Pepsi Max sparkles and lifts Britvic shares by 6% as firm reports a 4.3% rise in sales to £351 million: Booming demand for Pepsi Max and 7UP has helped offset dwindling demand for still drinks at Britvic. The company reported a 4.3% rise in sales to £351 million in the first quarter of the year, which ended on Christmas Day.

Net closes on Barclays Chiefs over £7 billion deal involving glamorous financier: Former Barclays Bosses have been hauled in again for interviews as investigators weigh up charges over an alleged £2.3billion fraud, the Mail understands.

BT Bosses and wives buy £500k of shares after price slumps 20% in wake of Italian accounting scandal: BT Directors and the wives of top Bosses have splashed out more than £500,000 on shares in the company just days after an accounting scandal in Italy plunged the group into crisis.

Anchor butter maker Arla Foods invests £37 million in U.K.: Anchor butter’s owner is investing more than £37million in its U.K. business in a bid to position itself as the champion of British dairy.

Diageo brings back historic Irish whiskey to take on Jameson-maker Pernod Ricard: Diageo is taking on Jameson-maker Pernod Ricard with an Irish whiskey. The drinks giant is investing £18.6million in a Dublin distillery to produce Roe & Co.

Property listing website Zoopla snaps up housing data specialist Hometrack for £120 million: Property listing website Zoopla will buy leading housing data specialist Hometrack for £120million, it was revealed.

Daily Express

Shell sell-off heralds ‘generational change’ in North Sea dawn: A “generational change” in North Sea oil and gas production was signalled after Shell sold a large chunk to private equity-backed exploration group Chrysaor in a £3 billion deal.

Dow plunges again: U.S. Index drops 150 points to post worst two-day loss in three months: The DOW Jones Industrial Average has dived sharply again, plunging another 150 points in morning trading.

EU banks crumbling under £910 billion bad debt as toxic loans threaten crisis: The European Union’s banking system has £910 billion worth of bad debt; an independent regulator has revealed as it lays out emergency plans for a “bad bank” contingency.

The Scottish Herald

Islay veteran McEwan toasts his dream job at Ardnahoe: Jim McEwan, the Scotch whisky veteran who was instrumental in bringing the Bruichladdich malt back to life, has been tempted out of retirement to head production at the first ever distillery to be built by Hunter Laing & Co, the Glasgow-based bottler and blender.

Skyscanner legal Chief: Ctrip deal is a career high: Leading the legal team that helped her employer – travel price-comparison website Skyscanner – secure a £1.4 billion takeover by Chinese travel agency Ctrip at the end of last year was, said Carolyn Jameson, career defining.

Total income from farming increases, after decline: The Scottish Government this week released figures indicating that Scotland’s Total Income from Farming (TIFF) is estimated to have increased by £96 million in 2016, up to about £749 million, after two years of decline.

Major boost for Loganair with eight-figure five-year Royal Mail contract: Loganair has won a contract worth about £10 million with Royal Mail to make air freight deliveries in Scotland and the rest of the U.K.

CYBG sees its shares drop amid Brexit uncertainty: Shares in CYBG, the Clydesdale Bank owner in the midst of closing 40 branches in Scotland, have dropped by 5% after it highlighted the uncertainty brought by the Brexit vote.

Kettle Produce harvests record revenue: Kettle Produce, the Fife-based fresh food supplier has grown turnover by 12.5% to £114 million as it celebrates its 40th year in business.

Former Cairn Energy Bosses join Soco International: Former Cairn Energy Directors Mike Watts and Jann Brown are joining Soco International to lead the oil and gas firm’s new business development group. Mr Watts and Ms. Brown led the exploration and finance functions at Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy respectively before leaving in 2014 to found Magna Energy, which is focused on India.

City restaurant mulls closure: A Glasgow city-centre restaurant could be closing after trading for just over two years. The owner of the Trading House confirmed “discussions” are ongoing about the future of the St Vincent Place site. It is understood that up to 70 staff could be affected, but the firm said employees could be redeployed.

Edrington adds business veteran Gillies to its board: Scotch whisky giant Edrington has appointed former Scottish Enterprise Chairman Crawford Gillies to its board as a non-Executive Director.

Profits rocket at S&W Financial: The financial advisory arm of law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn saw both turnover and pre-tax profits rise in the year to April 2016.

The Scotsman

Flybe facing headwinds after slow start to year: Regional airline Flybe has blamed “uncertain customer confidence and poor weather” for a slow start to 2017.

Just the tonic for relaunched Bon Accord brand: Bon Accord, the iconic soft drink brand, has been revived and is launching a new tonic water to the market.

Glasgow builds more satellites than any other European city: Scotland’s space industry is growing thanks to a combination of private and public sector investment centred around Glasgow, a tech conference will hear this week.

SSE loses 50,000 customers to rival power suppliers: SSE has seen 50,000 customers desert it in favour of rival energy suppliers as the Perth-based group flagged a “volatile” energy market.

Call for financial services to get post-Brexit priority: Pressure is mounting on the U.K. government to prioritise financial services in any new trade deals struck in a post-Brexit world as it faces renewed calls to safeguard the lucrative industry.

City A.M.

U.K. consumers are set for a big hit as inflation spikes this year: Inflation is set to spike this year with the hit to consumer spending denting U.K. growth, according to an influential group of economists.

Star manager Neil Woodford set to launch new higher-yielding fund: Britain’s best known fund manager Neil Woodford is set to launch a new fund focused on higher returns for investors, according to reports.

Deutsche Boerse Boss wants London Stock Exchange merger to bring Anglo-Saxon spirit to Europe: Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter wants his company’s merger with the London Stock Exchange to help introduce a more Anglo-Saxon attitude to Europe.

£3.5 million share bonus for outgoing Burberry CEO: Outgoing Burberry CEO, Christopher Bailey, has received 215,000 shares in the business, with a total value of £3.5 million.

MasterCard profits up 6% in Q4: MasterCard, the world’s second largest payments processor, saw revenues decline but profits increase during the final quarter of last year.

UPS shares down 6% on Q4 loss: The package delivery giant United Parcel Service reported a final quarter net loss of $244 million in 2016. Revenue increased by 5%, up to $16.93 billion.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.