Business breakfast recap_ grainger plc heralds transformational year, plus latest news – chronicle live

I’m Coreena Ford and I’m running the live blog all of this week, to bring you regular updates on all the breaking business news from across the North East and beyond.

The business breakfast live blog covers the latest big stories from the region’s business community, as well as national news, FTSE updates and stock exchange announcements from the Journal region’s listed companies and national firms – anything and everything from the world of business basically.

Newcastle’s Grainger Plc has issued its full year results after what it describes as a “transformational” year, having ploughed its efforts into PRS – the private rented sector. Low risk high profit business Shareholders will be smiling too: the dividend has been increased by 64%.

If you’d like to contribute tweet at @jnlbusiness to share your opinions, drop me a line at coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk or tweet me at @Scoopford

Darlington firm DeepOcean has won a multi-million pound contract to transport and install cables for the world’s biggest wind farm , protecting 150 jobs in the process.


Located 120km off the Yorkshire Coast, DONG Energy’s Hornsea Project One will be the first wind farm in history with a capacity of more than one gigawatt (GW), and will be capable of supplying electricity to in excess of one million homes.

Offshore work will be carried out in 2018 and 2019 with DeepOcean’s in-house fleet of dedicated vessels to install and trench 93 array cables.

DeepOcean’s commercial director for cables and trenching, Pierre Boyde, said: “After our awards on the Race Bank and Walney Extension projects we are delighted to be further developing our relationship with DONG Energy.

“This award will safeguard 150 jobs in Darlington and the surrounding area as well as enabling us to offer significant opportunities to the UK supply chain.”

Hornsea Project One director Duncan Clark said: “Throughout this project we’ve worked hard to ensure as much value as possible is realised by UK businesses.

“This announcement further demonstrates both the UK’s ability to supply the offshore wind industry, and DONG Energy’s continuing commitment to investing in the UK.”

The UK’s changing levels of temperature and rainfall could produce ideal conditions for sauvignon blanc and chardonnay in as yet unfamiliar wine areas such as Peckham and Milton Keynes, according to the University College London study for Laithwaite’s Wine.

Professor Mark Maslin and Lucien Georgeson used average temperature and rainfall conditions required for growing different grape varieties with predicted changes in climate to map changes to British viticulture over the next 85 years.

Professor Maslin said: “Climate is critical to successful grape cultivation. Business ideas with low investment and high profit This study could signal how we think long-term about British wine production and redraw the future wine map of the world. High profit business opportunities “However, exactly where would be best for particular grapes will depend on site, slope, aspect, soil and drainage as wine-making is as much an art as it is a science.”

“Now thanks to a changing climate, as well as passion and expertise, we could see wine buyers from all over the world coming to taste the latest UK vintages in a few generations.”

The study said malbec could be produced in the Thames Estuary area in places such as Romford, Southend and as far west as Slough, while the Severn Pocket would eventually be perfect for merlot. Business with high profit Changing conditions in the Midlands and Central England could see the Black Country cultivating a number of grape varieties such as chardonnay, Riesling, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, while the North East of England including Newcastle and as far north as Edinburgh are predicted to be the best place for pinot grigio.

A County Durham entrepreneur once responsible for caring for Harry Potter’s owl has flown the nest to open the latest office of his bird and pest control business.

Michael Taylor began his career working as an animal handler and trainer in the film industry, with his birds getting starring roles in the second and third installments of the Harry Potter movies, The Chamber Of Secrets and The Prisoner Of Azkaban.

A conversation with a colleague on the film set gave him the idea of how to use his skills commercially, and on returning to his native North East in 2004, he set up Contego Environmental Services.

Headquartered on the Chilton Industrial Estate in Ferryhill, the company quickly began to take on other aspects of pest control work before expanding into other parts of the UK.

Contego, which has grown to employ 22 people, now offers the full range of bird and pest control services, including population and site management, and pest proofing.

The business has offices in central Scotland and Aberdeen, and as part of national expansion plans it has acquired a rival with an office in central London from which clients across the south of England will be serviced.

Profits are often an all-important part of the region’s business community, yet there are numerous not-for-profit organisations which play a vital role in the North East.

That’s why the Journal and its sister paper, The Gazette in Teesside, are celebrating that crucial contribution through the North East Business Awards 2017.

The Not-for-profit Organisation of the Year is named at the grand final of our annual event as we do not have this category at our three regional heats.

All entries, from wherever they are based in the region, are considered for this award before a shortlist of three is announced ahead of the grand final.

Last year, the category winner was the International Centre for Life (ICFL), which opened in 2000, borne out of an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to creating a self-sustaining science village.

Based in the heart of Newcastle, almost 600 people from 35 countries work at the centre, where researchers, doctors and nurses work alongside people in the fields of education, public engagement and business.

The UK’s biggest energy supplier will keep its gas and electricity standard variable tariffs on hold until at least March. Today high profit shares British Gas said it would provide “peace of mind” for standard variable customers.

The move follows SSE’s price freeze last month until at least April and comes amid pressure on energy firms to treat loyal customers fairly, while a report recently accused Britain’s Big Six suppliers of overcharging families and making six times the profit they admit to publicly.

British Gas also said it will ensure all existing and new customers can access its best deals from next year and will launch an energy health check for standard variable customers to make sure they are on the right tariff.

In a Christmas message to customers, British Gas chief executive Mark Hodges said: “The commitments we’ve made today show British Gas has been thinking hard about ways to improve how the energy market works for all our customers, and is taking tangible action.

British Gas added that its standard variable tariff was already the second cheapest in the market. Best business ideas with low investment with high profit It has also launched a deal allowing households to fix energy prices for three winters, until March 2019.

Business Secretary Greg Clark recently met energy company representatives to discuss concerns that they were abusing customer loyalty following a report commissioned by industry lobby group Energy UK.

The report found the cost of supplying a home with gas and electricity “falls well below” what households pay, averaging around £844 while families pay as much as £1,172 with some suppliers – giving profit margins of up to 28%.

But wholesale energy prices have been rising, leading to the collapse of smaller provider GB Energy earlier this week. Low budget high profit business It had recently hiked tariffs by as much as a third, while other small suppliers have also had to increase prices.

GB Energy’s 160,000 customers have since been taken on by Co-operative Energy, which is honouring outstanding credit balances and tariffs for GB’s customers.

The firm shifted its focus towards investing in the private rented sector soon after Helen Gordon carried out a full review of the business when she took over as chief executive officer earlier this year.

Plans were announced to invest around £850m into the sector, and £389m has so far been invested, with a further £347m in the planning or legal process.

Helen Gordon said: “FY16 has been a transformational year, with significant progress made in delivering our private rented sector growth strategy which we set out in January.

“We have secured £389m of investment, disposed of our non-core businesses, improved the capital structure of the company and reduced operational costs following an internal restructure.

“We have delivered strong financial results alongside these changes, with adjusted earnings increasing by 69% to £53.1m and a total return of 10.6%.

“With capacity to invest and a repositioned business, we are well placed to significantly improve our income and shareholder returns as we achieve our strategic objectives. High profit products to sell “The new financial year started well, we have secured new investments, further developed our PRS pipeline and the benefits are starting to come through from the actions taken to reduce costs. Low investment high profit business in bangalore I am confident in our future prospects and Grainger’s new, simpler and more focused structure which has strengthened our business and competitive position. Low investment and high profit business I look forward to providing further updates on our progress throughout the year.

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