BUSINESS LIVE: Wetherspoon’s returns to profit; CAA to probe August meltdown; GSK sells Haleon stake


BUSINESS LIVE: Wetherspoon’s returns to profit; CAA to probe August meltdown; GSK sells Haleon stake

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are JD Wetherspoon, GSK, De La Rue and AssetCo. Read the Friday 6 October Business Live blog below.

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Pandora sales sparkle amid booming demand for charms and bracelets

CAA to probe August meltdown

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has launched an independent review into the air traffic control technical issues experienced on 28 August that led to chaos over the bank holiday weekend.

The air traffic control services meltdown saw many hundreds of flights delayed and cancelled, and left many Britons stranded abroad.

Jeff Halliwell, who will chair the independent review panel, said:

‘This event had a significant impact on many passengers, businesses and the aviation industry and it is clear lessons need to be learnt.

‘I am looking forward to working with industry and passengers to tackle this review to really understand how the incident occurred, how it was managed and identify any recommendations.’

GSK raises £886m from selling Haleon stake

GSK has raised £885.6million from a stake sale in its spun-off consumer healthcare business Haleon at 328p a piece.

The London-listed drugmaker has sold around 270 million shares, bringing down its holding in the world’s largest standalone consumer healthcare firm to 7.4 per cent from 10.3 per cent.

HS2 train builder Alstom’s shares go off the rails as its finances are hit by project delays

Wetherspoon’s returns to profit

JD Wetherspoon has returned to an annual profit, thanks to easing costs pressures and strong demand for its lower-than-average priced drinks and food.

The pub group posted a profit before tax of £42.6million for the year to 30 July, swinging from a £30.4million loss in the prior 12 months.

Tim Martin, chairman of J D Wetherspoon:

‘Wetherspoon continues to perform well. In the first nine weeks of the current financial year, to 1 October 2023, like-for-like sales increased by 9.9%, compared with the nine weeks to 2 October 2022.

‘As we said last year, perhaps the biggest threat to the hospitality industry is the possibility of further lockdowns and restrictions.