Geoffrey Cole & Co - Accountants In Reading

No quick fix at DIY firm Kingfisher as it plots exits

b&q diy storeshttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.37475983-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.37475983-10... 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.37475983-23... 230w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.37475983-e1... 850w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

B&Q owner Kingfisher warned there was “no quick fix” to its problems as it posted a slump in sales at the DIY chain, and said that it will exit Russia, Spain and Portugal to focus on its core markets.

Figures released on Wednesday show that B&Q in the UK saw a 2.9% fall in like-for-like sales in the three months to October 31.

It bemoaned a difficult retail market as total sales at B&Q also dipped 2.8% to £850 million, amid consumer belt-tightening in the UK.

In France, its troubled Castorama business saw comparable sales plummet 7.3%.

Chief executive Veronique Laury, who is overseeing a five-year strategic overhaul of the firm, said: “Transformation on this scale is tough, and we are operating in a difficult retail environment.

“We face challenges and we are addressing them.

“Our main challenge is Castorama France and we shared our action plan to fix it at the half year.

“Our action plan is now implemented for this year.

“We have accelerated our move to an everyday low-price strategy and have launched a new marketing campaign to make it visible to our customers, however there is no quick fix.”

Kingfisher added that it was exiting Russia, Spain and Portugal to focus on markets where it has or can potentially have a “market leading position”.

One brighter spot was Screwfix, which saw like-for-like sales rise 4.1% in the period.

Total Kingfisher group sales for the quarter came in at £3.05 billion.

Comparable sales in the UK and Ireland fell 0.7% to £1.29 billion and France sales fell 3.4% to £1.11 billion.

In the UK, B&Q’s turnaround has seen Kingfisher shut 65 shops and slash about 3,000 jobs in the UK and Ireland over the last two and a half years.

It has also been shaking up its ranges and improving its online offering, while the group recently announced it was investing £100 million as part of plans to lower everyday prices.

Kingfisher has nearly 24,700 staff in the UK and Ireland and more than 63,900 overall.

Read more:
No quick fix at DIY firm Kingfisher as it plots exits

TalkTalk to relocate HQ and hundreds of staff to Salford

https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.24524016-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.24524016.jpg 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.24524016-23... 230w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Telecoms group TalkTalk has confirmed plans to shift its headquarters from London to Salford in a move impacting hundreds of staff.

The firm said it would shift “several hundred” employees from its existing HQ to the new office in Manchester next year, while also creating new posts, including graduate and apprentice positions.

Around 500 staff work in the London HQ and all will be given the opportunity to relocate, although TalkTalk will be retaining a small satellite office in London with fewer than 100 staff.

It comes after TalkTalk opened a large, state-of-the-art office in Salford in 2017 to house its technology and business teams, which had previously been based in Warrington and Irlam.

Chief executive Tristia Harrison said: “We’ve always had a base in the North West, but we want to build on that heritage and create a world-class campus for the whole business.

“As with any change, we are committed to supporting all of our colleagues during this transition period.”

In half-year results also announced on Wednesday, TalkTalk reported pre-tax losses narrowing to £4 million in the six months to September 30 from £95 million a year earlier.

Interim underlying earnings rose to £101 million from £75 million a year ago.

It saw a slowdown in growth in broadband customers, with its overall broadband base increasing by 24,000 in the second quarter against 80,000 in the previous three months.

But it said it saw fibre customer additions on a net basis – those joining less those leaving – rise to 125,000 in the second quarter, up from 67,000 in the previous three months.

Its rate of so-called churn – customers quitting the group – fell to its lowest ever level of 1.1% in the second quarter as it continues to move on from the major cyber attack in 2015, which saw the personal data of nearly 160,000 people accessed by hackers.

It has since been restructuring and saving costs across the group.

On the HQ move, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Salford is already home to the second largest cluster of digital businesses outside London and the city is working hard to grow the digital skills and talent for the future.

“TalkTalk relocating their headquarters and executive team here and creating hundreds of new, high quality, technical, digital jobs speaks volumes for the success of our investment in a digital future.”

Read more:
TalkTalk to relocate HQ and hundreds of staff to Salford

Renault keeps Ghosn as chief executive despite arrest in Japan

https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39797778-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39797778.jpg 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39797778-23... 230w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Renault says it has decided to retain chief executive Carlos Ghosn despite his arrest in Japan on allegations that he misused assets of partner Nissan and misreported his income.

Renault’s board of directors announced that the number two at the company, chief operating officer Thierry Bollore, would temporarily fill in for Ghosn.

“Mr Ghosn, temporarily incapacitated, remains chairman and chief executive officer,” a statement from Renault’s board said. While Ghosn deals with his legal issues in Japan, Mr Bollore will have the same authority to run the company as the CEO, it added.

Renault’s board said its decision was made with an eye towards keeping the company on a steady course “to preserve the interests of the group and the continuity of its operations”.

Thierry Bollore
Thierry Bollore (Michel Euler/AP)

Ghosn runs Renault, Nissan and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance that he helped turn into the world’s biggest car-seller last year, and France and Japan want to keep it intact.

Renault’s move to appoint a temporary leader was in line with a demand by the French government, which owns a 15% stake in the firm. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire had said earlier that Ghosn was not in position to lead the Renault Group while fighting the accusations in Japan.

The French car maker said after an emergency meeting of its board of directors in Paris that it would further consolidate its alliance with Nissan. The two firms have a partnership with smaller car maker Mitsubishi.

Asked about reports that Nissan and Renault had been on the verge of merging, Nissan’s chief executive Hiroto Saikawa told reporters he had not heard of such a plan.

There was no update on Wednesday in Tokyo from prosecutors on Ghosn’s case, and no public word from Ghosn himself. It was unclear where he was being held following his arrest on Monday.

Nissan’s board of directors is due to meet on Thursday and expected to approve a proposal to dismiss Ghosn as its chairman and another executive, representative director Greg Kelly, who is alleged to have collaborated with his boss in falsifying financial reports.

Earlier this year, Ghosn signed a contract that would have run until 2022.

Renault’s board said it is requesting that Nissan pass along details of its investigation into Ghosn’s alleged wrongdoing. Mr Le Maire said authorities have examined Ghosn’s tax situation in France but have found no wrongdoing.

Japanese prosecutors said they were holding Ghosn, 64, for allegedly collaborating to falsify securities statements and underreporting 44.6 million dollars in income from 2011 to 2015.

Read more:
Renault keeps Ghosn as chief executive despite arrest in Japan

Accountancy watchdog to probe Grant Thornton over Patisserie Valerie audits

https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39043036-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39043036.jpg 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39043036-23... 230w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

The accountancy watchdog has launched an investigation into Grant Thornton’s audit of Patisserie Valerie, and will also probe the cake chain’s former finance chief Chris Marsh.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said on Wednesday that the investigation, conducted under the audit enforcement procedure, will examine audits of parent firm Patisserie Holdings for the years ended September 30 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The FRC has also commenced an investigation under the accountancy scheme into the preparation and approval of Patisserie Holdings’ financial statements and other financial information by the former finance chief Chris Marsh.

Last month Patisserie Valerie came close to collapse after the company found a black hole in its accounts and was forced to raise emergency funds to stay afloat.

Mr Marsh was arrested on suspicion of fraud following the discovery, but was later released. He has since left the group.

Paul May, the boss of the beleaguered cake chain, has also stepped down with the company opting to install a new CEO to lead its recovery.

His role will be taken up by Stephen Francis, who was recently CEO of pork producer Tulip, where he led a rapid return from significant losses

Chairman Luke Johnson, who loaned the company £20 million to save it from collapse in October, has previously said Mr Francis would assist with a “revival” of the business.

Read more:
Accountancy watchdog to probe Grant Thornton over Patisserie Valerie audits

SME employment growth three times faster than larger businesses

SMEhttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SME-82x55.jpg 82w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SME-e14372379... 650w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

UK SMEs have created three times more jobs over the past five years than larger businesses, according to the latest ONS data.

While firms employing more than 250 staff added around 650,000 net jobs over the five years from 2013 to 2017, those employing less than 250 added 1.7 million  – underscoring just how central SMEs are to the health of the UK economy and the country’s current record high employment levels.

While larger businesses continue to employ more people in absolute terms – 16.47 million people versus 13.96 million for SMEs – Santander’s analysis suggests SMEs will overtake larger businesses as primary employers by 2030 if the five-year growth trend continues at the same pace.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business said: “While there are many great roles available working for large companies across the UK, SMEs remain the life blood of the UK economy. There is strong demand from SMEs for staff and we would encourage people to look at the fantastic career opportunities that may be open to them outside of larger firms. As a bank focused on bringing much-needed competition to SME banking, we are supporting thriving SMEs every day who are hiring for brilliant roles across all regions of the UK.”

Opportunities with SMEs are also growing fastest outside London. Between 2016 and 2017, the West Midlands and East of England saw the greatest increase in number of SMEs of any UK region. In the East of England there were 8,400 new SMEs set up over the past 12 months while in the West Midlands, 6,900 new SMEs were founded over the same timeframe, equating to a 6.4% increase in both cases.

A quarter of young people said they plan to search for job roles in the capital, despite London being home to only 15 per cent of the UK’s jobs.

Greater Manchester is second in popularity, with one in 12 wishing to live there after leaving education, while Birmingham completes the top three, even though they account for only 4 per cent and 2 per cent of the nation’s jobs respectively.

Read more:
SME employment growth three times faster than larger businesses

A Guide to modern digital projectors for business

projectorhttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shutterstock_... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shutterstock_... 230w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shutterstock_... 850w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Projectors as we know them today have come to evolve into what they currently are with the advent of technology.

Modern digital projector can be easily connected to a computer or other device, in other to project an image or video from the computer or device on a wall or screen. They can either be fixated on the ceiling or placed on a stand while in use.

There are two main types of digital projector;

  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) digital projector
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP) digital projector

Both types of digital projectors have their own merits but the most commonly used one is the liquid crystal display projector. Howbeit in this write up, I’ll be pointing out the major features of a modern digital projector, as a guide for business.

Features

  • Color: The DLP projector projects alternating red, green and blue colors multiple times per second causing an optical illusion known as the rainbow effect. LCD projector on the other hand puts all the color on the screen at the same time. This makes the LCD projectors more suitable for business presentations especially among a relatively large number of people where it is more likely somebody will be affected by the rainbow effect.
  • Brightness: LCP projectors gives better, brighter and more saturated images and videos than the DLP projector. This is because the lamp’s light passes through the image elements to the lens, most of the light from the source gets to the screen and the amount of light lost is almost inconsequential. The DLP projector uses a rotating color wheel and a set of small mirrors and these reduces the brightness of the image being projected. A business projector will often require a brighter outlook, the higher the lumens of a projector, the brighter it is. LCP projectors generally have more lumens than the DLP projectors. this explains why they are brighter.
  • Sharpness: Although the DLP does not project blurry images, the light path of the LCD projector is simpler than the DLP’s. This gives the LCD an advantage in producing sharper images. This makes the LCD more useful for business presenters.
  • Cost: the LCD projector has always had the advantage of being the cheaper of the two digital projectors. Although the cost benefit has greatly reduced over the years, it is still slightly less expensive than the DLP projector. The LCD projector are also less expensive than the DLP projector, they have fewer parts and does not require a motorized color wheel like the DLP projector.

Based on common features LCD projectors are better than the DLP projectors. The manner in which the Liquid Crystal Display technology is developed gives it a significant advantage over the Digital Light Processing projectors.

Most of the LCD projectors have 3 small transparent panels for the red, green and blue lights and they have a bright light passing through them. They are very useful in making presentations especially to clients and customers or even to employees as well.

  • Resolution: In making a choice of projector, another key factor to consider is the display resolution of the projector. The display resolution refers to the total number of distinct pixels that can be displayed in each dimensions. A high display resolution means the image will be sharper, it generally increases the visual performance of the projecting device.

Few years ago, 4k resolution was introduced but they came at a huge cost. 4k resolution refers to a horizontal display resolution having approximately 4000 pixels. 4k resolution projectors were very expensive and almost unaffordable at the time, with prizes as high as $25,000 for some brands. More recently, there have been an introduction of cheap 4k projectors, even for as low as $1500.

That’s quite a price for a projector of such great resolution. You can now get your desired product and still save a huge chunk of money.

When you’re talking about projector for business, this definitely is a good deal. The more pixels a projector can display, the crisper and detailed the images will appear.

Other features to look out for in a projector

  • Portability: in getting a projector for business, this is a feature that must be put into consideration. The projector has to be small enough and light enough to ensure easy transportation between places as the need arises. As important as this feature is, it cannot replace the more important features such as the brightness, sharpness, color, and display resolution mentioned earlier. There’s no point in having a portable projector that is less than a projector. You must be able to find the right balance among all the features.
  • Durability: nobody really likes to spend unnecessarily especially on a device you think you have. It’s bad for business when you have to spend unnecessarily and regularly to repair or change a device when you should have get a durable one that will last longer and in the long run save you more money.
  • User interface: the projector have to be easy to operate. Like every other electronic device, it should have a user friendly interface that allows it to be easily operated to get the best out of it.
  • Contrast ratio: contrast is the amount of difference between the lightest and the darkest part of a picture. High contrast ratio in a projector adds a sense of depth and dimension to the picture by allowing you see the deep black levels and a well-defined shadow detail. This is a more important feature to look out for in home theatre projectors than in business projectors. this is because business projectors are used in a well lit room, so the contrast is not easily noticeable, unlike the home theatre projectors used in a dark room, the contrast is more noticeable. This is however a feature of any good projector.

Business projectors are mainly used for official purposes; meetings and presentations. They are primarily designed to project static images, it’s why they are best for power point presentation. They work better in a room with overhead lighting and windows.

Read more:
A Guide to modern digital projectors for business

Just 39% of people who have drawn up a will ‘plan to split assets equally’

willshttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39616418-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39616418-10... 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39616418-23... 230w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39616418-e1... 850w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Fewer than half of people who have drawn up a will plan to share out their assets equally between beneficiaries such as family members and friends, a survey has found.

Only two-fifths of those who have drafted a will plan to split their assets equally between beneficiaries, Direct Line Life Insurance found.

Settling old scores after death and evening up differences in wealth between loved ones could be behind people’s decisions to divide their assets into amounts of varying sizes.

Looking at why some people stand to receive more than others, the way they have behaved, how well-liked they are and how wealthy they already are may have an influence on how much they will get from a will, the research found.

Some people also plan to repay financial support that they were given back to people in their will, the survey of more than 2,000 people found.

Across the UK, people in Belfast who had drawn up a will were particularly likely to have split assets evenly, with 55% saying they had done so, compared with 30% of those in Brighton and Edinburgh, 31% in Sheffield, 32% in Newcastle and 34% in Cardiff, the survey found.

People in London were in line with the UK average, with 38% of people who had drafted a will there saying they had split assets equally.

The research also suggests that people’s current spouses or partners are the most likely people to benefit in a will, followed by first-born children, with younger siblings being less likely than older ones to benefit – perhaps because some people have not got around to amending their will to reflect their expanding family.

Older generations were more likely to say they wanted their assets to be shared out equally after they had died, with 49% of over-55s planning to split their estate evenly compared with a quarter (25%) of adults aged 34 and under planning to give beneficiaries an equal share of their estate.

More than half of those surveyed have not got around to writing a will – potentially meaning their assets may not end up where they would have wanted them to go. This included a third of over-55s surveyed who said they have no will in place.

Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, said: “Death is never an easy topic to discuss, but should the worst happen it is a conversation you are likely to have wished you’d had.

“Leaving a valid will is crucial, as intestacy rules do not take into account the various family dynamics people face in the UK and can be made more complicated by multiple marriages, divorces, children and step-children.”

Read more:
Just 39% of people who have drawn up a will ‘plan to split assets equally’

Black Friday spending expected to dip for first time

Black Fridayhttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.33868018-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.33868018-10... 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.33868018-23... 230w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.33868018-e1... 850w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Black Friday spending is expected to dip for the first time since its arrival in the UK as retailers brace for the start of a fiercely competitive Christmas trading period.

Consumers will spend £2.4 billion on deals in stores and online, down from last year’s £2.6 billion, according to the predictions from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk.

However spending across the weekend including Cyber Monday is expected to be up 6.4% on last year to £8.3 billion.

Predicted Cyber Weekend spending. Source: Centre for Retail Research and VoucherCodes.co.uk.
Predicted Cyber Weekend spending (Centre for Retail Research/VoucherCodes.co.uk)

Just over a quarter of Britons (27%) feel “positive” about Black Friday, with almost a third of consumers (31%) planning to buy clothing, footwear or accessories on Friday, 24% being in the market for gadgets and home technology, and 22% expecting to buy toys.

The survey comes as watchdog Which? warned shoppers to do their research ahead of Black Friday after finding nearly nine in 10 “deals” available last year had been cheaper at other times.

Which? tracked the prices of 94 products, including TVs, cameras and fitness trackers, on offer over Black Friday 2017 from six months before until six months afterwards, finding that 87% of the items were cheaper at other times of year and nearly half were cheaper in the six months after Black Friday.

Analyst Springboard said it expected the sales event to do “very little” to help the high street, anticipating Black Friday footfall would be down 3.7% compared with last year and 2.7% lower over the weekend as a whole, and predicting online transactions will be down 5% on last year.

It said footfall and spending activity over this year’s Black Friday period is likely to be affected by economic pressures such as high debt levels and significant living costs, compounded by the event taking place a week earlier this year – before many consumers are paid for the month.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “Whatever happens on Black Friday, our data over the past few years has established that it brings Christmas spending forward.

“This creates a magnet of spending activity at the beginning the peak trading period which then suppresses spending until the final week before Christmas, when consumers take advantage of last-minute deals that are likely to be introduced by retailers to drive sales in what is a highly challenging trading climate.”

Andrew Westbrook, head of retail at audit, tax and consulting firm RSM, said competition between retailers to secure their share of spending amid the tough trading environment had led many to deeper and earlier Black Friday discounting than before.

He said: “Retailers such as Amazon and Debenhams have already started their sales in order to capitalise on early consumer online spend in anticipation of the cold snap keeping many indoors this week.

Our BIGGEST EVER Black Friday Sale starts today. Expect thousands of deals across every department to kick off the Christmas shopping season. What’s on your #BlackFridayUK Wishlist?https://t.co/5pP10WjfMx #DeliveringSmiles https://t.co/tlAcjjpxS2

— Amazon.co.uk (@AmazonUK) November 16, 2018

“The run-up to Christmas has never been more important to retailers’ results – and potentially their survival.”

Read more:
Black Friday spending expected to dip for first time

Prosecutors in Japan considering whether to charge Nissan chairman

Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosnhttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39802048-76... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39802048-10... 1024w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39802048-23... 230w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.39802048-e1... 850w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Japanese prosecutors were considering whether to file formal charges against Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn amid a probe into allegations he misused company assets and under-reported millions of dollars of income.

The arrest of Mr Ghosn after a whistleblower disclosed the alleged misconduct left many in Japan stunned by the downfall of a relentless cost cutter who appears to have spent lavishly on himself.

Prosecutors said they were holding Mr Ghosn, 64, for allegedly collaborating to falsify securities statements and under-report 44.6 million dollars in income from 2011 to 2015.

A second Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, was also suspected of collaborating with him.

New car for Nissan
Nissan cars at the Nissan Factory in Sunderland (OWen Humphreys/PA)

“It’s extremely regrettable,” chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

“We will watch developments closely.”

There was no word from Mr Ghosn himself. Prosecutors have refused to say where he was being held.

Mr Ghosn officially still leads the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance as CEO and chairman, with the board of directors of French carmaker Renault saying he will remain as chairman and CEO after a meeting on Tuesday evening.

The board tapped the carmaker’s number two, Thierry Bollore, to fill in for Mr Ghosn while he is “temporarily incapacitated”.

A statement issued after the three-hour meeting said the board was “unable to comment on the evidence seemingly gathered” against Mr Ghosn. It said Mr Bollore, Renault’s chief operating officer, will lead “on a temporary basis”.

France Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron on a visit to a Renault factory with Carlos Ghosn earlier this month (Francois Mori/AP)

The prosecutors, who reportedly arrested Mr Ghosn after questioning him upon his arrival by private jet at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, have 48 hours from the time of Ghosn’s arrest on Monday to decide whether to press charges.

They can hold a suspect for up to 20 more days per charge if they decide they need more time.

Nissan’s board was due to meet on Thursday to consider dismissing Ghosn and Kelly.

Earlier this year, Mr Ghosn signed a contract that would have run through 2022.

Of French, Brazilian and Lebanese background, Mr Ghosn also is a towering corporate figure in France, where Renault is one of the heavyweight industrial survivors.

He has met repeatedly with the past four French presidents; no major economic event in France was held without Mr Ghosn.

France Renault
The logo of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance (Thibault Camus/AP)

But French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told broadcaster Franc-Info on Tuesday that Renault should name temporary leadership as Mr Ghosn is not in a position to head the group.

Mr Le Maire said French authorities have found no wrongdoing in Mr Ghosn’s tax situation in France.

Mr Ghosn’s Lebanese heritage is a source of pride in Lebanon, and in Beirut the foreign minister, Gibran Bassil, issued a statement saying the Lebanese ambassador to Tokyo was told to look out for “the model of Lebanese success abroad”.

He said the Lebanese foreign ministry would stand by Mr Ghosn to ensure he gets a fair trial.

In Japan, where foreign executives are scarce and even the biggest corporate bigwigs tend to keep a low profile, Mr Ghosn’s status is more ambiguous.

Japan Nissan Ghosn
Nissan Motor Co global headquarters in Yokohama, near Tokyo (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/AP)

He is admired for driving a turnaround at Nissan when it was near bankruptcy and for his foresight in pushing to bring electric and autonomous cars to the masses.

But in a 90-minute news conference late on Monday night, Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa said Mr Ghosn had too much power and the company was overdue for some change.

The scandal was a “negative outcome of the long regime of Mr Ghosn,” he said.

With few new developments, Japanese media were avidly detailing allegations against Mr Ghosn.

Public broadcaster NHK said Mr Ghosn was in charge of allocating pay among Nissan’s top executives and is suspected of siphoning off some of that remuneration.

Japan Nissan Ghosn
Nissan Motor Co president and CEO Hiroto Saikawa speaks during a press conference (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

He also is suspected of underpaying his share of the rent and misusing company funds on his company-issued housing in Lebanon, Paris, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro, where his apartment is on the wealthy Copacabana beach strip.

Mr Ghosn’s compensation from Nissan, generous by Japanese standards, was only part of his overall income since he also was paid salaries by the carmaker’s alliance partners Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motor Corp.

Repeatedly questioned over how the company could have let financial misconduct persist for so long, Mr Saikawa said systems inside Nissan limited transparency.

The allegations are a serious blow at a time when Nissan and Mitsubishi are still recovering from scandals over altered results of emissions and fuel economy tests on vehicles sold in Japan.

Read more:
Prosecutors in Japan considering whether to charge Nissan chairman

Is your business ready for winter?

office coldhttps://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shutterstock_... 768w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shutterstock_... 230w, https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shutterstock_... 850w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

The days are shorter and the mercury is dropping. Keeping your staff warm and your offices well-lit during winter has some inevitable cost implications for your business.

An increase in energy usage is somewhat unavoidable – and has the potential to be significantly over your anticipated budget. By implementing a few winter best practices, minimise the impact on your business’s bottom line.

Be neat with your heat It may seem to be common sense, but many businesses make fundamental errors in their heating practices. Heating costs increase your energy bills by approximately 8% for every 1° of heat, which makes this a potentially costly area in winter. Don’t heat unoccupied or unnecessary areas of your building and make a habit of turning off the heating at the close of business every day.

Trap the heat by keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible. Adjust the temperatures for lesser-used areas in the building. Keep an eye on your thermostat or manually adjust it as the temperature changes and ensure that it is located somewhere with a constant temperature, unaffected by outside temperatures and the effect of machinery in office and work spaces.

Don’t pay for loss of daylight As the days shorten, so the use of lightbulbs increase. Convert traditional lightbulbs to more efficient LED varieties and control your lighting by eliminating unnecessary usage in unoccupied areas around your building. Automated lighting is another option, controlling usage through motion detectors in key areas in your building.

Get equipment working optimally, so you can too It is worth investing in new technologies for premium cost-effectiveness. If you haven’t already, service your boiler and assess your building’s insulation for best performance.

Use data for cost management A smart meter and advanced energy technologies can provide invaluable insight into your winter usage. They also take the guesswork out of your energy bills, so there are no nasty surprises.

Speak to your supplier If your contract is coming up for renewal, this is the ideal time to get and compare quotes to ensure you are on the best possible tariff for your business. Every business’s needs change and it is advisable to explore the options to avoid automatic increases. At this busy time of year, take the legwork out of comparing quotes by working through a broker. Ideally, get a full-market comparison and advice around your energy strategy.

Get your staff involved in energy-saving this winter and experience corresponding cost savings for your business. If you are looking for facilities maintenance services, energy procurement, and expert advice on your utilities, contact Smarter Business today.

Read more:
Is your business ready for winter?

Geoffrey Cole & Co - Accountants In Reading

Geoffrey Cole & Co - Accountants In Reading

A safe on-line confidential facility where clients may store copies of their accounts, insurance policies and any important documents

Geoffrey Cole & Co - Accountants In ReadingGeoffrey Cole & Co Ltd is a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.