Five tips to look more professional on a video conference

Alternative Data Show Slow Recovery in Europe, U.S. Lags

Economic activity is stabilizing across most advanced economies, though still far below pre-Covid levels, according to Bloomberg Economics gauges that integrate high-frequency data such as credit-card use, travel and location information. Norway, Germany and Japan remain at the forefront of the recovery. After a temporary downturn in France, Italy, and Spain on concern about fresh outbreaks, activity there has increased in the past two weeks. Sweden has recently joined the group of the laggards — the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

Playtech H1 Adj. Pretax Profit Declines; Revenues Down 23% – Quick Facts

Playtech plc (PTEC.L) reported that its first half profit before tax from continuing operations declined by 71% to 10.5 million euros. Reported earnings per share from continuing operations in euro cents was 1.5 compared to 8.1. Adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations decreased by 45% to 52.4 million euros. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations in cents was 14.4 compared to 22.7.

First half revenue declined to 564.0 million euros from 727.8 million euros, last year. The Group said the the adverse impacts of COVID-19 between mid-March and June led to the total reported revenues decreasing by 23% and down 22% on a constant currency basis.

Next Plc Posts HY Loss

Next Plc (NXT.L) reported that its loss attributable to equity holders of the parent company for 26-week period ended 25 July 2020 was 11.5 million pounds or 9.0 pence per share, compared to profit of 266.9 million pounds or 203.3 pence per share in the prior year.

Loss before taxation for the period was 16.5 million pounds, compared to profit of 327.4 million pounds in the prior year.

Revenue for the period dropped to 1.29 billion pounds from 2.01 billion pounds in the prior year.

Brand full price sales in the first half of the year were down 33% on last year and total sales were down 34%.

The company has revised its central scenario for full year profit, up from 195 million pounds to 300 million pounds.

The company said, over the next five years, it expects to spend 625 million pounds on capital expenditure, an average of 125 million pounds per annum. The warehouse expenditure totalling 370 million pounds covers an extensive expansion programme to increase Online capacity.

The company believes the expenditure will increase online warehousing capacity by 80% from where it was during the year ended January 2020.

WHILL Personal Electric Vehicles Recalled For Crash, Injury Risks

WHILL, Inc. (USA) is recalling WHILL Personal Electric Vehicles, Model Ci citing crash and injury hazards, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall involves about 1,160 units of WHILL Model Ci vehicle, a personal mobility device that is powered by a lithium ion battery, and is occupant-controlled and motorized. It was manufactured in Taiwan by WHILL, Inc. (Japan), of Japan. The serial number of the recalled device ranges from C_1711188_US to C_1909011_US.

The vehicles were sold online at,, and and other online retailers from November 2017 through September 2019 for about $4,500.

The agency noted that the vehicle’s control pad can malfunction causing the power to turn on/off and the speed to increase/decrease, causing risks of crash and injury.

The recall was initiated after the San Mateo, California-based company received 15 reports of device malfunctions, but no reports of any injuries.

Consumers are urged to contact WHILL for a free replacement control pad.

In similar incidents, CFMOTO Powersports Inc. on September 3 recalled around 500 units of 2020 ZFORCE 950 Sport recreational off-highway vehicles citing fire risk.

Polaris Industries Inc. in July called back about 13,200 units of Ranger Off-Road Vehicles and PRO XD and Bobcat Utility Vehicles for crash hazard.

Oxford BioMedica H1 Loss Narrows, Revenues Up; Sees Growth In FY20

Oxford Biomedica plc (OXB.L), a gene and cell therapy group, Tuesday reported that its first-half net loss was 6.7 million pounds, narrower than 10.2 million pounds last year.

Operating loss was 5.8 million pounds, compared to loss of 6.1 million pounds last year.

Operating EBITDA loss narrowed to 0.4 million pounds from loss of 1.4 million pounds a year ago.

Revenue increased 6 percent to 34.0 million pounds from 32.1 million pounds in the prior year.

Looking ahead, the company said it continues to target improved financial performance in 2020. Operating EBITDA for the Group is expected to be in the low to mid-single digit million range for the year.

The company expects a stronger second half to the year.

The partnership with AstraZeneca for their potential COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222) is likely to boost revenues in the year in excess of 10 million pounds subject to successful scale up and regulatory approval of the fourth bioprocessing suite within Oxbox early in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Five tips to look more professional on a video conference

New York (CNN)Stripe is paying employees $20,000 if they relocate from expensive cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and New York, where the company has offices. But workers who make the move will have to take a 10% pay cut.

“We want our employees to be able to make whatever life choices they feel are best for them without barriers,” a spokesperson for the financial services and software company told CNN Business.
Leaving big cities has become increasingly popular since the pandemic hit. Signed contracts for sales of condos and co-ops in Manhattan, for example, plunged nearly 60% in July, while contracts for single-family homes in areas outside of New York City have skyrocketed, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm.

    Some commuting Americans are already saving money during the pandemic. Americans traveled nearly 37 billion fewer miles on the road in June, compared to the same month last year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
    Fewer miles translates into money saved. Employees who once commuted by car but now work from home are saving a total of $758 million per day, according to research from freelancing platform Upwork. Over the months since the pandemic hit the US, that figure amounts to more than $90 billion.