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  • Today's business and finance round up 26th July 2022

Today's business and finance round up 26th July 2022

UK and French satellite firms eye space race merger

26th July 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond

Good morning Yesterday it was revealed that last week — on the hottest day on record — London came remarkably close to a blackout. National Grid paid almost £10,000 per megawatt hour - more than 5,000% higher than the usual price - to avoid an outage.The heatwave created a power system constraints amid high demand. A bottleneck in the grid added to pressures on the system, leaving the UK with no alternative but to pay its highest ever price for electricity.

Today's stories

  • UK and French satellite firms eye space race merger

  • Ryanair issues gloomy travel warning as it swings back into profit

TECHUK and French satellite firms eye space race merger

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Tory leadership debate: Five key moments from Truss-Sunak clash

  • KPMG partner banned from accounting after misleading regulator

  • Aldi ups workers’ pay for the second time this year

  • TSB to hand out £1,000 cost-of-living bonus to 4,500 staff

  • Amazon to increase cost of Prime membership for the first time since 2014

  • Vodafone’s biggest market Germany goes into reverse

  • Premier Foods pays £44m for meal kit brand The Spice Tailor

  • Walmart 'train wreck' profit warning sends shares down 10%

  • Lastminute.com: CEO and COO arrested over Covid fund misuse claims

  • Zimbabwe launches gold coins as legal tender to tackle hyperinflation

TRAVELRyanair issues gloomy travel warning as it swings back into profit

What happened? Yesterday Ryanair reported a €170m profit for the three months to the end of June, up from a €273m loss from the same period last year. But Europe’s largest airline, by passenger numbers, warned that it has “zero visibility” for the next 12 months and that rising fuel costs mean the days of cheap air fares could soon be over.Travel is back but the recovery is fragileAfter two years of Covid restrictions the travel industry has bounced back in 2022. In the past quarter Ryanair flew 45.5m passengers, 9% more than in 2019.Ticket pricing for bookings for the July-September, typically Ryanair’s most profitable period of the year, are tracking ahead of 2019 levels.But the industry is facing a series of headwindsAirports have struggled to recruit enough staff to cope with the rebound in travellers leading to flight cancellations and chaos at airports. This disruption could weaken consumer confidence for booking foreign holidays.The war in Ukraine and a resurgence in global demand following the easing of lockdown restrictions has caused an upswing in oil prices and as a result jet fuel. At the start of 2020 a barrel of crude oil was $40, it’s now around $100. Ryanair says a high fuel environment means the ‘days of the €9.99 fares are probably coming to an end’.Not forgetting that Covid isn’t over. Ryanair says it’s hopeful that the high rate of vaccinations in Europe will allow the industry to fully recover. But there is a risk of new variants in autumn that could derail the recovery like Omicron did last year.

Stat of the day

The UK will host the Eurovision Song Contest next year for the ninth time after organisers decided it could not be held in winning country Ukraine due to the ongoing war

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