Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:
Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) swung to a pre-tax loss of $275m (£209.5m) in the six months to the end of June, as the group’s finances were “significantly impacted” by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The hotels group said on Tuesday, however, that it was “well positioned” to take advantage of a potential recovery in the travel and tourism industry.
“The impact of this crisis on our industry cannot be underestimated, but we are seeing some very early signs of improvement as restrictions ease and traveller confidence returns,” the company said, citing its “resilient” business model and leading brands.
“This gives us confidence in our ability to meet the needs of our guests and owners, and to emerge strongly when markets recover,” it said.
Revenue during the six-month period fell by 45% to $1.25bn (£950m), largely due to a a 52% decline in average room revenue.
The official UK unemployment rate remained near all-time lows in June, confounding expectations for a rise in jobless numbers and “lag[ging] behind the reality on the ground.”
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Tuesday that the 3-month unemployment rate remained near record lows at 3.9% in June. The single-month rate fell from 4.1% in May to 3.8% in June.
Economists had expected unemployment to rise to 4.2% in June, up from 3.9% in May.
However, more experimental real-time data released by the statistics body showed a worsening outlook for the jobs market. Payroll data pointed to another 80,000 jobs lost between May and July.
The number of people moving from unemployment to “inactivity” also reached a record high, suggesting many people who were out of work had stopped looking for new jobs and were therefore missed by the official headline unemployment statistic.
Hotly tipped banking startup Revolut lost £100m ($131m) last year even as customer numbers and revenue surged.
Accounts filed with Companies House this week show Revolut lost £106.5m in 2019, up from a loss of £32.8m in 2018. Revenue grew slower than losses, rising 180% to £162.7m.
Revolut saw customer numbers surge from 3.5 million to 10 million last year and now has around 13 million users globally. The company also has 220,000 business customers. Customers held £2.2bn on its cards by the end of 2019, up from £1bn at the end of 2018.
Revolut is a financial technology startup founded in London in 2015. The startup began life as a cheap foreign exchange card linked to an app but has expanded into everything from stock trading to savings and even cryptocurrencies.
Management say the company’s goal is to build “a single global platform to serve all the financial needs of the modern consumer.”
The startup has grown rapidly and quickly become one of Europe’s most valuable private tech businesses. It was valued at $5.5bn in a funding round earlier this year.
The coronavirus lockdowns that confined people across the EU to their homes in the second quarter proved to be a boon for online fashion retailer Zalando (ZAL.DE).
The Berlin-based e-commerce company said in its quarterly report on Tuesday that sales had grown by just over 27% to €2.03bn ($2.38bn, £1.82bn ) in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year.
The e-fashion platform said it gained around three million new customers in the first half of the year, a boost of over 20% from the year before. It now has 34 million active customers across Europe.
“In the first months of 2020, and during lockdown, Zalando saw significant growth of strategically relevant categories like leisure clothes, fashion for kids, sports clothes, and accessories,” a Zalando spokesperson told Yahoo Finance UK via email. “The beauty category more than tripled year-over-year, with customers looking to bring the spa to their home.”
The number of fashion retailers selling their products through Zalando has also soared — 180 new brands joined the platform in the second quarter.
Zalando’s gross volume of goods rose by around 25% in the first six months of 2020. Profit — reported as adjusted EBIT — rose from €108m to €111.3m in the first half.
Hungry Brits stuck at home due to lockdown placed bigger Domino’s Pizza (DOM.L) delivery orders, the takeaway business said on Tuesday.
Domino’s said the value of delivery orders rose by 22% between April and June. Across the first six months of the year, sales rose 5.5% in the UK and Ireland, showing lockdown drove a significant uplift in business.
Domino’s said the value of orders rose as people splashed out on more sides and desserts.
The pizza chain was forced to suspend pizza collection during the pandemic and the rise in delivery didn’t offset the loss of collection business. Total sales declined by 11% during lockdown.
The number of orders also fell even as the value rose. Some 32.6 million orders were placed in the first six months of 2020, down 4.7% on the same period last year.
“We view it as a privilege to have been able to stay open throughout the period,” new chief executive Dominic Paul said in a statement.
Stocks in Europe climbed on Tuesday as investors brushed off China’s decision to sanction US lawmakers for criticising the country’s crackdown on Hong Kong.
China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the 11 lawmakers and organisation leaders that it chose to sanction — a list that includes senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz — had “performed badly” on Hong Kong-related matters.
The move follows the decision from US president Donald Trump’s administration last week to sanction the same number of Chinese and Hong Kong officials.
What to expect in the US
Futures were pointing to a higher open for stocks in the US amid signs of progress on a stimulus deal.
US lawmakers and officials in the Trump administration said they were ready to resume talks about the package.