Here’s a round-up of today’s other news.
The drinks maker Fever-Tree and the owner of the Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s restaurant chains have warned of dramatic cost increases as the price of commodities and gas and electricity soars and the war in Ukraine adds pressure to their businesses.
Fever-Tree has lowered its profit guidance, blaming a “dramatic increase” in commodity prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company, which had forecast adjusted profits from £69m to £72m this year, has downgraded its outlook to between £63m and £69m.
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates for the first time since 2018 as it struggles with soaring US inflation, the impact of the war in Ukraine, and the continuing coronavirus crisis.
The Fed has a dual mandate – to maximize employment and keep prices under control. The job market and the wider economy have made an impressive recovery from the lows of the pandemic, thanks in part to the Fed rate cuts and a massive stimulus program, but prices have increased by 7.9% in the year through February – the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.
The Church of England is pressing the French energy giant TotalEnergies over its decision not to cut ties with Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Church’s pensions board and the manager of its investment fund said they would reconsider their shareholding in the company.
At least 18 private jets or helicopters linked to Russia have been struck from the Isle of Man’s aircraft register, as the offshore authorities enforce sanctions brought in by the EU and UK.
Three aircraft have been removed in the last week, including a helicopter and private jets believed to be ultimately owned by Roman Abramovich, Oleg Tinkov – an oligarch not subject to direct sanctions – and Dmitry Mazepin.
The UK could eliminate all need for imports of Russian gas this year through a combination of energy efficiency, expanding renewable power generation and a campaign to help people change their behavior, research has found.
Information campaigns played a strong role in changing people’s behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people are unaware of the savings they could make in energy use through small changes that make no difference to their comfort but can cut bills substantially.
Russian oligarchs will no longer have access to baubles such as the cars, artworks and designer handbags sold by British companies, after the government blocked exports worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Last year, UK firms in total sold £2.6bn worth of goods to Russia, the biggest slice of which was cars, at around £400m, as wealthy Russians splashed out on prestigious marques such as Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce.