Business digest: Housebuilder bucks Brexit trend

Shaping up: Victoria Gate development in Leeds. Picture: James Hardisty
Shaping up: Victoria Gate development in Leeds. Picture: James Hardisty
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Brexit continues to dominate the business agenda with contrasting updates from housebuilder Taylor Wimpey and broadcaster ITV. There’s also an update from Skipton Building Society this morning and we go behind the scenes of the new landmark John Lewis development in Leeds city centre.

Skipton Building Society has reported another strong year of growth, with its interim results showing increased savings balances by £1.1bn. The mutual said it’s “a testament to the range of competitive savings accounts” it offers. Business editor Mark Casci reports.

Housebuilders have taken a bit of a shellacking post-Brexit. However, Taylor Wimpey, Britain’s third largest housebuilder, says it’s business as usual, with the firm reporting trading in line with normal patterns. Taylor Wimpey was helped by Government incentives. Pete Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, said: “We are monitoring customer confidence closely across a number of metrics, including appointment bookings, and these continue to be solid.”

A business that is being affected by post-Brexit uncertainty is broadcaster ITV, which said it will slash £25m in costs next year as a direct result of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union. The broadcaster said against a backdrop of wider economic uncertainty following the EU referendum it has put in place a “robust plan” to meet the challenges Brexit is set to pose.

Leading boutique hotel chain Malmaison has submitted plans for a major hotel development in the heart of York, The Yorkshire Post understands. Malmaison is planning to transform the former Aviva building on Rougier Street, in the city centre, into a 124 bedroom hotel. The building will also contain 49 serviced apartments. The development, which is subject to planning approval, would see between 80 and 90 jobs created. Read our exclusive here.

Continuing with commercial property, Leeds’ landmark John Lewis development is taking shape nicely. The YP managed to get inside access to the Victoria Gate development. You can see a video of how things are looking behind the scenes here.

ARM Holdings has been making headlines with a mega-takeover by Japanese firm Softbank in the pipeline.The British technology firm has reported rising revenue and profits for the second quarter, this morning. The chip maker said sales jumped 17 per cent to £267.6m while pre-tax profits rose 5 per cent to £130.1m in the period.

There’s positive news on the economy, which picked up pace in the second quarter of this year following a robust performance from industrial production and the services sector. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.6 per cent in its initial estimate for the second quarter of 2016, up from 0.4 per cent in the first quarter. The next quarter’s figures though will make for interesting reading, as they will provide a snapshot of how the UK is doing post-Brexit vote.