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What to watch: Heineken plans job cuts, stocks sink, and Next sales outlook brightens

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·3-min read
Cans of Heineken beer in a supermarket. Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty
Cans of Heineken beer in a supermarket. Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching on Monday in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Heineken plans job cuts

Heineken (HEIA.AS) has announced plans to cut jobs as part of cost-cutting measures.

The brewing giant said on Wednesday it planned to “streamline its head office and regional offices with an expected reduction of around 20% in related personnel costs.” The company didn’t give numbers on how many jobs could be affected.

News of the job cuts came as Heineken reported falling beer sales in the third quarter. Beer volumes fell by 1.9% in the period and are down 8.3% so far this year. Profit in the first nine months of 2020 is down 75%.

Heineken said sales had begun to pick up over summer but the company said the COVID-19 second wave sweeping the world was likely to end that recovery.

Heineken had pledged not to make any COVID-19-related job cuts in 2020. The cost cutting announced on Wednesday will only begin at the start of next year, the company said.

Shares in the company fell 4.6% in Amsterdam.

Stocks sink

Global stock markets looked set for a third day in a row of heavy selling on Wednesday, as anxieties around the worsening COVID-19 second wave in Europe and the upcoming US election continue.

COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise across most of Europe and new restrictions look set to ramp up across France and Germany, Europe’s two biggest economies. Stock markets across the continent suffered heavy losses at the start of trade.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) fell 1.5% in London, while the DAX (^GDAXI) dropped 2.3% in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 (^FCHI) lost 2.6% in Paris. In Milan, the FTSE MIB (FTSEMIB.MI) fell 2.5% and in Madrid the IBEX 35 (^IBEX) lost over 2%.

WATCH: European stock index down by 2%

Futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) were 0.9% lower, Dow Jones futures (YM=F) were off by 1%, and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were down by 0.7%.

Stock had been mixed during the Asian trading session. Japan’s Nikkei (^N255) and the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) both lost 0.3%, but mainland Chinese markets rose. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) closed half a percent higher and the Shenzhen Component (399001.SZ) rallied 0.9%.

Next sales outlook brightens

Next (NXT.L) continues to upgrade its forecasts for full-year performance as sales continue to beat its gloomy forecasts.

The clothing retailer on Wednesday said third quarter sales were ahead of forecasts, rising by 2.8% compared to 2019. Online sales surged by 23%, while in-store sales fell by 18%.

Next upgraded its forecast for full-year profits — its second upgrade in as many months. The company said it now expects pre-tax profit for 2020 to be £365m, £65m more than it predicted just a month ago.

Shares were unchanged in a falling market.

WATCH: What are negative interest rates?

Deutsche Bank returns to profit

Deutsche Bank (DB) on Wednesday reported a €182m (£164m, $214m) net profit in the third quarter, the first quarterly profit since Q1 2019, amid a strong performance in its investment bank arm and ongoing restructuring.

In the same quarter in 2019, Deutsche posted a net loss of €832m. The German lender said that group net revenue grew 13% year-on-year to €5.9bn in the third quarter, with investment bank net revenue growing by 43% to €2.4bn.

Deutsche Bank’s provision for credit losses came to €273m in the third quarter, following allocations of €761m in the second quarter, and €506m in Q2.

Shares fell 3.2% in Frankfurt (DBK.DE).

WATCH: Deutsche Bank records Q3 profit