Good morning. Police in Telford have been on what's arguably the biggest ever Easter egg hunt - after a thief stole 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs. Around £40,000 worth of the chocolate Easter treats were stolen from an industrial estate over the weekend. The spring-time treat is the UK's best-selling chocolate between New Year's Day and Easter, with annual sales of 200m eggs.
Renters exit London
40% of renters moving home in London last year chose to leave the city due to expensive monthly payments squeezing their budgets. More than 90,000 rental households left London in 2022, according to a report from broker Hamptons International. That’s the most in more than a decade and more than double the amount that moved from the city in 2012. Areas that directly border London, such as Epping Forest, Sevenoaks and Broxbourne were popular relocation spots.
The exodus of tenants marks a reversal of 2021, when more homeowners fled London than renters for the first time in a decade. Renters are at the sharp end of the UK's cost-of-living crisis, with 8% of private tenants falling behind on housing costs in the three months to November.
Brexit cost UK ‘£29bn’
Yesterday a Bank of England economist said that Brexit has cost the UK economy £29bn in lost business investment or £1,000 per household. In an interview Jonathan Haskel, an external member of the monetary policy committee that sets interest rates, said that the UK had suffered a “productivity penalty” compared to other countries since the 2016 referendum because investment had stalled leading to a 1.3% drop in economic growth. The government said it did not recognise Mr Haskel's figures. It’s the latest analysis that has estimated the impact of Brexit on the UK. The government’s independent economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, said GDP would be 4% lower in the long run than it would be had the UK remained inside the EU.
Vodafone attracts US investor
Yesterday US telecoms firm Liberty Global announced it had bought a nearly 5% stake in Vodafone. Liberty is already an investor in Virgin Media O2 and ITV and owns the rights to Formula 1. The investment in Vodafone is driven by the belief that the FTSE 100 company is undervalued. Vodafone’s stock, which peaked at over £5 shortly before the dotcom crash in 2000, has fallen by more than 30% over the past 12 months to 94p, valuing the company at £26bn. It’s the latest international investment in Vodafone in the past year: French billionaire Xavier Niel acquired a 2.5% stake and UAE telecoms operator e& owns 13%.
More Meta cuts
After slashing 11,000 jobs, or 13% of its global workforce, in November, Facebook’s parent company Meta is preparing for more layoffs, as soon as next month. Last year’s cuts were the largest in the tech giant’s nearly 20-year history, affecting every department. It’s part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy to make 2023 the company’s “year of efficiency,” and has left project managers uncertain about what their budgets are going to look like (which, ironically, has slowed down work).
Walking out: Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Coventry will walk out for seven further days in an escalation of a dispute over pay.
Merging screens: Shares in the embattled cinema operator Cineworld jumped on reports of a takeover offer from rival company Vue.
Slow off the mark: Goldman Sachs' CEO David Solomon told executives that he should have cut jobs and slowed the investment bank’s hiring of new staff earlier in 2022.
Pension push: NatWest has bought workplace savings and pension provider Cushon for £144m as it seeks to grow its product offering to businesses.
End of an era: Lilt has been axed by Coca-Cola after nearly 50 years on UK shelves.
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Number Of The Day
The number of the top 1,000 Twitter advertisers in 2022, including major brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and Jeep, which have pulled their ad dollars as of January.