Google overtakes Apple as world's most valuable company
Alphabet, the new parent of Google, has taken a chunk out of Apple and beaten the rival tech firm to become the world’s most valuable listed company, helped by strong advertising sales.
Google’s share price in after-hours trading sent its market valuation to around $568bn, beating Apple’s $535bn, a figure bolstered by better-than-expected fourth quarter results.
The company made a profit of $4.9bn in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from $4.7bn in the same period in 2014.
The group took $1.92bn in revenues in the UK during Q4, up 16% on the previous year.
The large revenues will no doubt anger critics of Google’s tax arrangements, which last month attracted controversy after the company agreed to pay back £130m in back taxes going back a decade.
Under its new Alphabet parent company, Google had been pressured into becoming more transparent about how much it spends on developing innovative tech, such as Google Glass and driverless cars.
It spent $3.6bn last year, but the outgoings were more than compensated for by Google’s revenues elsewhere.
Sainsbury's nears Argos deal
Sainsbury’s has offered £1.3bn for Argos owner Home Retail Group (HRG), an increase of £300m on a previous offer believed to be around £1bn.
The new offer is for £1.1bn in HRG shares and a further £200m for the sale of the group’s Homebase business to Australian group Wesfarmers.
Sainsbury’s was in talks with HRG last night (1 February) and must make a formal offer later today. According to reports, investors are confident that both groups have reached agreement.
Sir Stelios looks to tap into discount grocery market with launch of easyFoodstore
Easygroup has launched a food store in North London where all items are priced at 25p for the entirety of February in what Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou describes as "another way the Easy brand can serve the less well-off".
EasyFoodstore, which opened its pilot shop in Park Royal yesterday, operates under the slogan "No expensive brands. Just food honestly priced".
The entrepreneur's latest venture has been build using his experience running food initiatives through a charitable organisation in Greece and Cyprus.
Haji-Ioannou said: "This is another way the easy brand can serve the less well-off. Given my experience in distributing food for free in Greece and Cyprus, this is a more commercial attempt to sell basic food for 25p per item to those less well-off in the Park Royal area."
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