Good morning. Today we're talking about inflation taking an unexpected turn in March, customer appetite for Just Eat is slowing, FTSE CEO pay continues to rise and the Netflix password crackdown is on the way.
Inflation in the UK was unexpectedly strong in March, increasing the chances of further interest rate rises by the Bank of England. Headline inflation dipped to an annual 10.1% from 10.4%, but had been expected to cool more to 9.8%. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, held at 6.2% versus expectations of 6.0%. The slight fall in inflation was driven by lower petrol, furniture and clothing prices. This was partially offset by upward contributions from grocery bills which jumped 19%, a 45 year high. UK inflation has been stubbornly sticky staying at the same level compared to 12 months ago. In Germany, it has fallen from 9.2% to 7.8%, in France from 7% to 6.6%, in the eurozone from 8.5% to 6.9%, and in the US from 6% to 5%.
Just Eat’s orders drop
Europe’s largest takeaway app reported a 14% fall in order volumes in the first quarter of 2023 as consumers cut back in the face of cost of living squeeze. The company also announced it would buyback €150m worth of shares to improve shareholder returns. The news came just weeks after the company scrapped having employed drivers in the UK in favour of gig economy workers resulting in 1,700 job losses. Just Eat also said it was continuing to explore the partial or full sale of Grubhub, the US food delivery company it acquired in 2021.
CEO pay jumps
At a time when many employees are struggling under the pressures of the cost of living crisis, research by Deloitte has revealed that average total pay for FTSE 100 CEOs grew 12% to £4.15m last year. Deloitte expects executive pay rises this year to be more subdued as shareholders, meeting at company annual investor meetings, closely scrutinise remuneration given the tough economic backdrop. Other areas that are expected to draw attention at upcoming meetings include the level of incorporation of environmental, social and governance measures into incentive plans.
Netflix crackdown pushed back
The streaming giant’s highly anticipated threat to limit password sharing will be delayed until the summer. The crackdown was announced earlier this year and while Netflix did roll out new anti-password sharing rules in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain in February, these rules have yet to reach the UK and US. The news came as the company revealed it added 1.75m subscribers during the first quarter of 2023 which was 0.5m less than analysts expected. The total number of subscribers now stands at 232.5m and Netflix estimates another 100m people are watching on an account they don’t pay for.
Logo wars: Tesco may have to stop using a blue and yellow logo to promote its Clubcard loyalty scheme after the high court found it had copied a design by Lidl.
Slashing prices: Tesla cut prices for some of its US cars for the sixth time this year to juice demand as competition among electric-vehicle makers heats up around the world.
Sandwich sales: Some of the world's biggest buyout firms are exploring the possibility of a joint bid for Subway, the $10bn sandwich chain.
Less entertaining: Disney is reportedly planning thousands of job cuts next week, which will include slashing 15% of its entertainment division.
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