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Sky signs deal with O2 owner to offer mobile phone service

Sky has signed a deal with the owner of the O2 network with a view to providing a mobile phone service to complement its TV and broadband packages.

The deal will come into force in 2016 Credit: PA

The wholesale partnership with Spanish firm Telefónica means the firm will be able to provide voice and data services to all customers from 2016.

It comes after Telefónica agreed to sell its O2 network to Hutchison Whampoa, which operates Three Mobile in the UK, making it the biggest mobile operator in the country.

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Insolvency cases dropped to nine-year low in 2014

Insolvencies at lowest in nine years Credit: PA Wire

The number of people declared insolvent in England and Wales last year was at at its lowest level in nine years.

Some 99,196 cases were recorded last year, figures from the Insolvency Service showed.

It was the first time the annual total had dropped below 100,000 since 2005.

The latest annual total, which is made up of bankruptcies, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), also represents a 1.8% fall on the number of personal insolvencies recorded in 2013.

Royal Mail chairman who oversaw privatisation steps down

The man who oversaw the controversial privatisation of Royal Mail will be stepping down later this year, the postal firm has announced.

Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon is to step down later this year Credit: PA

Chairman Donald Brydon, who has been in the post since 2009, will continue work until at least the annual general meeting in the summer, but a statement from the company revealed the search for his successor had already begun.

I am proud of what Royal Mail has achieved as a company in the last six years.

Our transformation is well underway and we are now a FTSE 100 listed company. I feel that now is the right time for me to make this decision.

– Donald Brydon, Royal Mail chairman

Shell quarter four earnings up to $4.2 billion

Energy company Shell has confirmed that its fourth quarter 2014 earnings have risen to $4.2 billion compared with $2.2 billion for the same quarter a year ago. On a "current cost of supplies" basis, full year 2014 earnings were $19.0 billion compared with $16.7 billion in 2013. In the firm's Q4 results, which come despite the cost of oil plummeting recently, it also noted savings of over £15 billion in potential spending over the next three years.

Shell announced results. Credit: PA

Our strategy is delivering, but we’re not complacent. Weaker oil prices underline that there’s a lot more to do. The three themes of financial performance, capital efficiency and project delivery will remain as Shell’s priorities in 2015.

– Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

In it's full year update, Shell said it had options to further reduce spending, but was "not over-reacting to current low oil prices".

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List of Tesco stores set for closure

These are the stores that Tesco have revealed are set to close.

Superstores

  • Bedlington
  • Chatham
  • Connswater and Cregagh Road in Belfast
  • Doncaster
  • Kirkcaldy and Wrexham Dodds Lane

Homeplus shops

  • Bristol Cribbs Causeway
  • Chelmsford
  • Chester
  • Edinburgh
  • Southampton
  • Staines

Tesco Metro

  • Bicester
  • Bootle
  • Caerphilly
  • Crossgates
  • Devizes
  • Grangemouth
  • Mexborough
  • Morecambe
  • Ormskirk
  • Runcorn
  • Smethwick
  • Woodseats

Tesco Express convenience stores

  • Bearwood
  • Belvedere
  • Church Street, Ballymena
  • Heaton Chapel
  • Heybridge, Essex
  • Houghton Regis
  • Liverpool Kensington
  • Longbridge Road, Barking
  • Northfield, Birmingham
  • Raymouth Lane, Worksop
  • Sheffield Manor
  • South Tottenham High Road
  • Tredegar
  • Troon
  • Walsall Wood
  • Wealdstone
  • Whitley Bay
  • York Road, Hartlepool.

2,000 Tesco jobs at risk as store closure list revealed

Tesco Credit: PA Wire

Around 2,000 Tesco workers have been told their jobs are at risk after the supermarket giant announced the location of 43 store closures.

Seven superstores and six Homeplus outlets are among the unprofitable shops identified for closure by new chief executive Dave Lewis.

Mr Lewis said: "The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard-working colleagues, our customers and local communities.

"Our priority is to explain what this announcement means for our colleagues and, wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with Tesco."

Apple post 'biggest quarterly profit in history'

Apple has reported a quarterly profit of $18 billion in what is believed to be the biggest ever made by a public company.

Apple said huge sales in iPhones was behind the record profits. Credit: Roman Vondrous/Czech News Agency/PA

The technology giant said the sales of 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter ending 27th December, and a 70% rise in China sales had helped exceed expectations.

The profit of $18 billion was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt.

Revenue increased from $57.6 billion in the same period last year to $74.6 billion.

Apple shares rose around 5% in after-hours trading following the announcement.

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