Today’s news in brief-15/12/23

Amazon has emerged victorious in a £215m tax dispute with the EU Commission. The European Court of Justice dismissed the Commission’s claims that Amazon had entered into a deal with Luxembourg allowing it to avoid 75% of its EU tax. The court ruled that the Commission failed to prove that the tax ruling constituted state aid incompatible with the internal market. This outcome followed Amazon’s UK business paying £781m in direct taxes despite £24bn in sales. The retail giant has not yet provided a comment on the case.

Currys CEO Alex Baldock has expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to increase the minimum wage by 10% to £11.44 per hour. Baldock argued that this move would add more financial strain on the retail sector, especially as businesses like Currys are also anticipating a business rates hike. He emphasised the government’s lack of understanding and concern for the industry, stating that three million jobs in UK retail are at stake. Baldock called for a reconsideration of the decision, pointing out the irresponsibility of burdening an already struggling sector.

Consumer confidence in the UK improved by two points in December, reaching -22, as sentiment improved ahead of the holiday season. All five measures, including changes in personal finances, forecasts for personal finances, and expectations for the general economic situation, showed positive trends compared to the previous month. Despite the overall negative confidence index, the recovery in optimism for personal finances over the next 12 months is seen as a positive sign, reflecting household financial optimism and control over budgets.

Sosandar has announced the appointment of Nick Mustoe as its permanent non-executive chairman. Mustoe had been serving as interim non-executive chairman since March 16, 2023. Additionally, Jon Wragg, an independent non-executive director, has stepped down from his position to focus on other commitments. Mustoe expressed his excitement about leading Sosandar during a crucial growth phase, while the board thanked Wragg for his contributions. The company is looking to expand its unique product globally through various channels.


Naked Wines witnessed a 20% decline in total revenues to £132.3m during the first six months of the fiscal year, accompanied by a pre-tax loss increase from £200k to £9.7m. The decline in revenues was attributed to reduced repeat customer sales in all markets. Despite these challenges, the company expects a cash inflow of £40m to £50m over the next 18 months through inventory optimization. Executive Chairman Rowan Gormley acknowledged the period of sustained cash generation and expressed gratitude to employees, winemakers, and customers for their support amid efforts to restore growth through an enhanced customer proposition.

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