Friday newspaper round-up: Selfridges, energy prices, Treasury

by | Dec 24, 2021

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The family owners of Selfridges have sold out to a Thai retailer and an Austrian property company for an estimated £4bn ($5.36bn) in a deal which sees the return of the luxury department store’s former boss Vittorio Radice. Thailand’s Central Group and Austrian real estate company Signa Holding already jointly own major department stores in Italy, Germany and Denmark via a division run by Radice, who left Selfridges in 2002, the year before Canada’s Weston family bought it for £628m. – Guardian
Energy bosses are dialling up the pressure on ministers to shield consumers from soaring gas and electricity bills, with calls on the government to set up a multibillion-pound scheme to help spread the cost to households over a number of years. Amid warnings that energy bills could rise by 50% next year, triggering a “national crisis”, suppliers such as EDF have called on the Treasury to follow other European countries by cutting VAT and green levies to bring down bills. – Guardian

The Treasury missed £18bn of borrowing from a key table in its Budget document, it has admitted. The typographical error, which does not affect the Government’s overall finances, is unfortunate for Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, who has described controlling the deficit as his “sacred duty”. A table in the first chapter of the Budget missed out the estimated £25.3bn of additional borrowing incurred in 2022-23, replacing the figure with the following year’s prediction. – Telegraph

Nearly all of Britain’s smaller housebuilders expect that the planning system will hamper their efforts to build more homes in 2022, because local authorities do not have the staff to handle their applications. In a nationwide survey, 94 per cent of the developers that responded predicted that delays in securing planning permission would be a barrier to building more homes in 2022. – The Times


RSM UK, Britain’s seventh-largest accountancy group, paid out bumper bonuses to its staff last year as it posted a rise in revenue and profits after pinching audit customers from its “Big Four” rivals. RSM bosses were worried at the onset of the pandemic but conceded that, by the end of its last financial year, which ran through to March 2021, “we had achieved a better outcome than we could have hoped for”. – The Times

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