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UK books back in black but debt costs soar

Chancellor Philip Hammond has received a boost from official data showing public finances posted their first July surplus for 15 years. The Government’s revenues outstripped its expenditure by £184m, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported. That compared to a deficit of £308m in the same month last year …

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Lidl tops Waitrose to become UK's seventh biggest grocer

Lidl has beaten Waitrose to become the UK’s seventh largest supermarket chain, according to latest grocery market share figures.The German discount food retailer has increased its market share to 5.2%, up by 0.7% year-on-year, Kantar Worldpanel reports.Families are driving its sales as they tend to buy more items in …

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Ex-BHS owner faces prosecution by regulator

The Pensions Regulator has said it will prosecute former BHS owner Dominic Chappell for failing to provide information and documents during its investigation into the collapse of the retailer. Mr Chappell was director and majority shareholder of Retail Acquisitions, the company that bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip …

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Government runs July budget surplus for first time in 15 years

The government recorded a budget surplus last month for the first time since 2002 as more money came in from self-employed tax receipts.July saw a surplus of £0.2bn, compared with last year’s deficit of £0.3bn.For the four months so far this year, though, public sector net borrowing – which …

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Property sales confirm static market, HMRC data shows

UK property sales topped 100,000 for the third month this year in July – but were almost identical to a year ago.A total of 107,500 homes were sold during the month, data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) shows.This follows 100,000-plus sales in March and June but, in general, …

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HMRC to offer compensation for childcare site issues

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has begun a compensation scheme for parents unable to apply for government-funded childcare schemes due to IT glitches.Since the Childcare Service launched in April, many parents have struggled to complete applications.Parents may be eligible for a one-off payment if they were unable to log …

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Lidl tops Waitrose as shoppers hunt bargains

Lidl has overtaken Waitrose to become Britain’s seventh largest supermarket in the latest sign of belt-tightening shoppers turning to discounters. The German-owned business grew sales by 18.9% in the 12 weeks to 13 August, taking its market share to 5.2%, according to industry data from Kantar Worldpanel. That puts …

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Provident Financial shares dive on new profit warning

Shares in doorstep lender Provident Financial plunged 58% after it issued its second profit warning in months.It says it now expects to make losses of £80m to £120m as its debt collection rates have dropped to 57% compared with a previous rate of 90% in 2016.Bradford-based Provident recently changed …

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Persimmon hails resilient housing market

Housebuilder Persimmon has issued an upbeat report of its business in the half-year to July .It says that the mood across its regions “remains confident and consumer sentiment is resilient”. The company’s profits were up 30% to £457.4m, compared with £352.3m last time and it said its average selling …

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