Monday newspaper round-up: Leon, Netflix, property prices, home working

by | Apr 19, 2021

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Leon has been sold for an estimated £100 million to the billionaire brothers who are buying Asda. EG Group, Mohsin and Zuber Issa’s petrol forecourt and convenience retail business, said that it planned to step up the pace of expansion of the self-styled “naturally fast food” chain by opening about 20 Leon outlets a year, including several drive-throughs. – The Times
A frenzy of activity has driven UK property prices to a record high this month, just as the government launches a mortgage guarantee scheme to help people with small deposits on to the housing ladder. Online property portal Rightmove said the average asking price jumped by 2.1% in April to a new all-time high of £327,797, an increase of £6,733 from March. – Guardian

Almost one in four workers hope never to set foot in the office again, with 7.5m people keen to permanently work from home every day of the week. At the same time slightly more (28pc) are desperate to get back and hope never to have to turn their kitchen or spare bedroom into a home office, according to a new survey by Deloitte. – Telegraph

Netflix is expected this week to report the lowest number of new subscribers in the first quarter for four years, perhaps signalling the end of the home entertainment pandemic boom. For Netflix, which passed 200 million subscribers last year as record numbers signed up to beat lockdown boredom, the first quarter is traditionally its strongest for new sign-ups, with families in key markets including North America and Europe looking to be entertained while stuck at home during winter weather. – Guardian

Several large audit firms will be blacklisted in this year’s annual shareholder meetings by Pirc, an advisory service that believes they are not doing enough to tackle corporate fraud. Pirc is recommending that investors vote against the reappointment of PwC, KPMG, EY and Grant Thornton at any British company where they are the auditor. It has adopted the position – which is likely to cause a stir during the annual meetings season and to be unpopular with companies – because it believes the firms have not made strong enough undertakings to improve processes to detect fraud. – Guardian

Private Covid tests for summer holidaymakers could fall below £50 under plans being considered by the Treasury to exempt them from VAT. In a partial climbdown, HMRC has already ruled that the gold standard PCR tests will be exempt from VAT when they are administered or overseen by a registered nurse. – Telegraph

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