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BP suffers heavy losses amid oil price fall

BP has announced a drop in profits Credit: PA

BP has reported a £3.6 billion ($5.2 billion) annual loss for 2015, its largest in 20 years, and announced a further 30,000 job losses, following substantial writedowns and amid a collapse in the oil price.

The oil giant recorded a a £1.5 billion ($2.2 billion ) loss in the fourth quarter of last year, and said that underlying replacement cost profits - a key measure watched by financial analysts - dropped to £136 million ($196 million), well short of expectations.

Underlying profits for last year more than halved to £4.1 billion ($5.91 billion), but the company protected its dividend to shareholders.

The oil giant's figures come as oil prices hit a 13-year low earlier this month.

Bob Dudley, chief executive for BP group, said the company was attempting to "adapt and rebalance", amid challenging conditions.

We're making good progress in managing and lowering our costs and capital spending, while maintaining safe and reliable operations."

– Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive

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Sainsbury's tables £1.3bn bid for Home Retail Group

Sainsbury's is close to taking over Home Retail Group. Credit: PA

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has tabled a proposed bid to take over Home Retail Group - the owners pf Argos and DIY chain Homebase - in a deal worth up to £1.3 billion, the retailer said.

Sainsbury's had an initial approach for Home Retail Group rejected in November, but the two sides were locked in negotiations over the weekend.

Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe said a potential tie-up would create the UK's largest non-food store, a £6 billion giant.

But analysts question whether Sainsbury's might be biting off more than it can chew by taking on Argos.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reported that shareholders in Home Retail Group would receive a 12% stake in the new business once a deal is finalised.

Chief among Mr Coupe's plans will be to leverage the power of Argos's online business and strong customer appetite for its click & collect service.

He also hoped to launch a raft of Argos concessions in Sainsbury's supermarkets in an effort to boost footfall.

Welcome Break to pay staff living wage irrespective of age

Motorway service operator Welcome Break has it will pay the national living wage irrespective of age Credit: PA

Welcome Break, the motorway service operator, has said it will pay the new National Living Wage to all its workers, irrespective of age.

Companies are only obliged to pay the government's new rate of £7.20 an hour, which comes into force on April 1, to over-25s.

The company was recently 'named and shamed' by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills(BIS) for not observing minimum pay rules.

BIS published a list 37 businesses that had failed to pay workers minimum pay rules last year, which included Welcome Break and retail giant H&M.

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HSBC online banking 'fully recovered' after cyber attack

HSBC's internet banking facility has "fully recovered" following a cyber attack that disrupted service for most of the day.

A spokesman for the bank tweeted: "HSBC internet and mobile banking are now fully recovered. Thanks for your patience and again we apologise for the disruption."

HSBC says online banking services 'partially recovered'

HSBC said earlier it had successfully defended its internet banking service from a cyber attack Credit: PA

HSBC's online banking services have "partially recovered" after an earlier cyber attack, according to the company's UK chief operating officer.

John Hackett said the bank was working to restore "full service" but that attempted denial of service, or DDoS, attacks were continuing.

HSBC’s internet and mobile services have partially recovered, and we continue to work to restore a full service.

We are continuing to experience attempted denial of service attacks and we are closely monitoring the situation with the authorities.

– John Hackett, UK chief operating officer for HSBC

The bank urged customers unable to access its online services to visit a branch or contact Personal Telephone Banking between 8am and 10pm on 03457 404 404.

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