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UK plunges into worst recession as GDP shrinks by a fifth

The UK economy shrank by a fifth in the second quarter of 2020 as the country sank into the deepest recession on record because of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Northbridge H1 revenues dip on Covid-19 hit

Industrial services and rental company Northbridge said on Wednesday that overall trading had remained "resilient" in the first half of the year despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Spirax-Sarco hikes interim dividend; warns on weaker H2 sales

Spirax-Sarco lifted its dividend despite reporting a fall in half-year revenue and profits and warned of lower sales in the second half.

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Liberty Global to buy Switzerland's Sunrise Communications

US cable company Liberty Global has agreed to buy Swiss telecommunications group Sunrise Communications for CHF5bn (£4. 2bn) in cash, or CHF110 per share.

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Empire Metals to acquire controlling stake in WA gold mining licence

Exploration and development company Empire Metals has entered into an option agreement to acquire a 75% interest in Western Australia's high-grade Eclipse gold mining licence from Philips Exploration.

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M&G profit drops but dividend cheers investors

M&G's first-half profit more than halved as the savings and investments company suffered fund outflows but a chunky interim dividend pleased investors.

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Admiral reinstates special dividend as H1 profit beats views

Admiral reinstated its special dividend on Wednesday and reported a jump in first-half profit after motor claims fell as drivers stayed home during the coronavirus lockdown.

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Covid-19 lockdowns boost Just Eat earnings

Just Eat Takeaway said on Wednesday that its first-half earnings and revenue grew as it benefited from coronavirus lockdowns.

7digital inks music platform-as-a-service contract with Triller

Digital music solutions group 7digital has signed a new contract with Triller as part of an effort to power the world's fastest-growing social music video app with its music platform-as-a-service offering.

Europe open: Markets shrug off UK GDP horror; Sunrise deal provides boost

European shares shrugged off UK recession woes and weaker closes on Wall Street and Asia on Wednesday, opening higher as Liberty Global's takeover of Sunrise Communications boosted sentiment.

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Asos shares surge as FY profits, revenue to beat expectations

Asos shares surged on Wednesday after the online fashion retailer said full-year sales and profit were set to be "significantly ahead" of market expectations thanks to a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus lockdown and as customers return fewer items.

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Capital & Counties H1 loss widens on lockdown hit

Property group Capital & Counties posted said on Wednesday that first-half losses had widened as net rental income and property values slumped as a result of Downing Street's lockdown measures.

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London open: Stocks gain despite dire GDP data

London stocks rose in early trade on Wednesday despite confirmation that the UK economy has fallen into its worst recession on record.

CLS to pay unchanged dividend

CLS said it would pay an unchanged interim dividend as the value of shareholders' assets was boosted by earnings and the weak pound in the first half.

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Helios Towers to acquire 1,200 Senegalese sites

Telecommunications infrastructure company Helios Towers has agreed to acquire over 1,200 sites from African mobile operator Free Senegal.

Avast lifts FY guidance as work-from-home drives interims

Cybersecurity firm Avast said full-year organic revenue should be at the upper end of forecasts as it reported a strong first half driven by more people working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

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Balfour Beatty swings to loss on Covid lockdowns; HS2 boosts order book

Construction giant Balfour Beatty swung to an interim loss as the coronavirus lockdown shut down building sites, but increased its order book after the government gave the go-ahead for its second high speed rail line.

M&G profit almost halves, Balfour Beatty swings to loss

London open The FTSE 100 is expected to open 10 points higher on Wednesday, having closed up 1. 71% at 6,154. 34 on Tuesday.

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London pre-open: Stocks seen lower as UK GDP plunges 20.4%

London stocks were set to fall at the open on Wednesday amid fading hopes of a US stimulus deal and as figures showed the UK economy has fallen into recession for the first time in 11 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday newspaper round-up: Serco, Amazon, British Airways

The government has been urged to demonstrate there was no favouritism at play in awarding Serco a contact-tracing contract worth £108m, as a leaked memo revealed the outsourcing firm was enlisted to help with the Covid-19 response as early as January. Serco is facing growing calls to be axed from any future involvement in contact-tracing services amid concerns over the performance of private firms contracted to trace people who have mixed with infected individuals.