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London’s Fastest Growing Sectors in 2018

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London’s Fastest Growing Sectors in 2018

London’s economy has experienced strong growth over the past decade, according to Instant Offices. Their research found the three biggest business segments currently driving London forward are information and communication, financial and insurance, and professional, scientific and technical services.

The UK Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) showed distinct trends in growth for specific sectors, in London and in the UK as a whole.

Key findings for the period between 2015 and 2016 were as follows:

  • The number of employees in the UK increased by 1.8%, from 29.5 million to 30.0 million.
  • The biggest increases in employees were concentrated in London (up 2%) and the East of England (up 3.2%).
  • The largest increase in employees was in the professional, scientific and technical industry, up 4.7%.
  • Accommodation and food services also experienced growth of 4.7%.
  • Employees in the professional, scientific and technical industry accounted for 21% of the UK’s total increase in employees.
  • Employee numbers dropped in the following sectors: retail (by 2.2%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (1.4%), education (0.4%), property (0.6%) and public administration (0.2%).

Where are London’s Top Sectors Based?

According to the Greater London Authority, London’s biggest sectors are concentrated as follows:

Inner London: Employment in London’s three key industries is largely concentrated in the inner London sub-region. Inner London also has a large entertainment and hospitality industry, employing people in accommodation, food, arts, entertainment, and retail services.

Outer London: Employment in the outer London sub-region is typically more concentrated in sectors that serve the local population. These include healthcare, education, business administration, and retail services.

In some parts of the city’s outer reaches, the most prominent sectors are more industrial, in areas such as transport and storage, wholesale, manufacturing and utilities. In outer west London in particular, there is a high concentration of jobs in the transport and storage sector around Heathrow airport.

Top London Sectors to Watch    

There are a few sectors that are expected to see especially rapid growth in 2018 and beyond. These include:

Tech: Digital technology continues to grow and thrive, with £28 billion invested in the sector since 2011. In fact, the digital economy is growing faster than the UK economy as a whole, as reported by Tech Nation.

Looking to future trends in the tech sector, there is a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has predicted a significant increase over the coming year, as more businesses look to protect themselves from potentially debilitating cyber-attacks.

FinTech: The financial technology sector in the UK and London had a record year for investment in 2017, with more than $1 billion in investments with over 90% of which were made in London-based firms. FinTech looks set to keep growing in the coming months, driving the city’s economy forward.

Design and creative industries: Research from Nesta and the Creative Industries Council recently revealed that creative industries are driving economic growth across the UK. Local economies have grown their employment rates in creative industries by an average of 11%, growing at twice the rate of other sectors.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Business in one of London’s Competitive Business Environments

With such a high concentration of companies operating in the same sectors and the same regions of London, the city’s business environment is highly competitive. Positioning close to other competing companies in the field can have its challenges, but there are many potential benefits as well.

Disadvantages of competition:

  • Decreases market share
  • Decreases customer base
  • May force you to lower your prices & decrease your return

Advantages of competition:

  • Motivates businesses to innovate and improve on their offerings
  • Prevents complacency
  • Facilitates networking, collaboration and industry connections
  • Encourages business owners to improve customer relationships
  • Competitor behaviour can offer insights into consumer behaviour and market trends

UK business owners can capitalise on London’s prestigious reputation by renting serviced or managed offices in the city.

London office space is highly sought after and therefore very costly. Serviced office rentals, however, offer short-term, flexible leases, as well as essential workplace infrastructure, connectivity and support as part of their standard offerings. This helps to significantly reduce expenses and allows businesses to enjoy a well-respected London address without long-term commitment and costs.

Fastest Growing Sectors in London - Instant Offices IG

Fastest Growing Sectors in London – Instant Offices IG

Business

Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

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Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 1

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semiconductor industries.

“Since most of the customers we serve are large customers, they all have proper precautionary planning,” said Liu Young-way, chairman of the manufacturing conglomerate formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd

“Therefore, the impact on these large customers is there, but limited,” he told reporters.

Liu said he expected the company to do well in the first half of 2021, “especially as the pandemic is easing and demand is still being sustained.”

The global spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for laptops, gaming consoles, and other electronics. This caused chip manufacturers to reallocate capacity away from the automotive sector, which was expecting a steep downturn.

Now, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have cut output as chip capacity has shrunk.

Counterpoint Research says the shortage has extended to the smartphone sector, with application processors, display driver chips, and power management chips all facing a crunch.

However, the research firm predicts Apple will face a minimal impact, due to its large size and its suppliers’ tendency to prioritise it. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer.

Foxconn is looking at other areas for growth, including in electric vehicles (EVs), and Liu said their EV development platform MIH now had 736 partner companies participating.

He expected it would have two or three models to show by the fourth quarter, though did not expect EVs to make an obvious contribution to company earnings until 2023.

Liu also said the company was still looking for semiconductor fab purchase opportunities in Southeast Asia after not winning a bid to take over a stake in Malaysia-based 8-inch foundry house Silterra.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; Writing by Josh Horwitz; Editing by William Mallard and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 2

By Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

“I am sure: A shared transatlantic commitment to a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050 would make climate neutrality a new global benchmark,” the president of the European Commission said in a speech at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“Together, we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: a set of rules based on our values, human rights and pluralism, inclusion and the protection of privacy.”

The EU has pledged to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, while President Joe Biden has committed the United States to become a “net zero economy” by 2050.

Scientists say the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The hope is that a transatlantic alliance could help persuade large emitters who have yet to commit to this timeline – including China, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, and India.

“The United States is our natural partner for global leadership on climate change,” von der Leyen said.

She called the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol a turning point for the discussion on the impact social media has on democracies.

“Of course, imposing democratic limits on the uncontrolled power of big tech companies alone will not stop political violence,” von der Leyen said. “But it is an important step.”

She was referring to a draft set of rules unveiled in December which aims to rein in tech companies that control troves of data and online platforms relied on by thousands of companies and millions of Europeans for work and social interactions.

They show the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Alphabet Inc’s Google, which critics say have not addressed the problem.

But they also risk inflaming tensions with Washington, already irked by Brussels’ attempts to tax U.S. tech firms more.

Von der Leyen said Facebook’s decision on a news blackout on Thursday in response to a forthcoming Australian law requiring it and Google to share revenue from news underscored the importance of a global approach to dealing with tech giants.

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott and Nick Macfie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Packaged food giants push direct online sales to gauge consumer tastes

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Packaged food giants push direct online sales to gauge consumer tastes 3

By Siddharth Cavale and Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) – Packaged food giants including Kraft Heinz, General Mills and Kellogg are pushing sales of their products to consumers directly via their own online channels, in a quest to gather more data about shoppers’ purchasing habits.

Velveeta-cheese maker Kraft Heinz saw its e-commerce sales double in 2020, now representing more than 5% of its global sales, Chief Executive Miguel Patricio said at the virtual Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference this week.

The company sells Heinz baked beans and tomato soup by subscription or in bundles directly to consumers on a “Heinz To Home” website in the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe.

Sales on the site are “giving us valuable insights into consumer behavior, enabling us to quickly test and learn from innovations,” Kraft’s head of international business, Rafael de Oliveira, said at the conference.

Kraft would continue to use the site as a channel to generate strong sales in developed markets, he said.

The company also counts sales of its products through marketplaces such as on Amazon.com and Walmart.com as part of its e-commerce sales.

U.S. shoppers spent on average $1,271 buying groceries online last year, 45% more than they did in 2019 as the pandemic spurred shopping online, according to market research firm Earnest Research. In contrast, the average dollars spent in stores rose only about 7% to $3,849.

PepsiCo sells products including Doritos, Quaker oats and Gatorade directly to consumers through two websites, pantryshop.com and snacks.com, both launched in 2020.

Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston said that more than 45% of the company’s capital investments over the next few years would be dedicated toward manufacturing capacity, automation, and a “ramping up of investments in our e-commerce channel.”

As major online retailers including Amazon.com and Walmart.com continue to gather valuable data on shoppers, many packaged food manufacturers are keen to gather their own data on shoppers, too.

“COVID (has) simply accelerated our digital growth and has provided us with yet another source of data and insight,” Monica McGurk, chief growth officer at breakfast cereal maker Kellogg Co., told the conference.

Kellogg, producer of Corn Flakes as well as Pringles chips, said on Wednesday it had launched a direct-to-consumer website focused on digestive wellness. The group plans to sell its new Mwell Microbiome Powder for gut health via the site to gather data on customer interest before it launches the product more widely.

E-commerce sales have doubled in the past year and now represent about 8.5% of the group’s $13.77 billion in annual sales, Kellogg said.

Pillsbury dough-maker General Mills also sees the benefits of tracking consumer habits more closely.

“We’re aggressively investing in data and analytics. We are gathering unparalleled insights from the first-party data we collect through our brand websites,” General Mills’ Chief Executive Jeffrey Harmening said at the conference.

On its Bettycrocker.com website, General Mills provides hundreds of recipes using Betty Crocker cake mixes and frosting. The site leads people to the closest store or an online retailer where they can purchase the products, thereby generating data for General Mills on what a particular customer from a certain zip code is buying. The company does not sell the food products directly on its website.

Consumers, however, may have to shell out more if they shop directly from brand websites.

Prices on the two PepsiCo sites, for example, were generally higher than those on Walmart.com or Amazon.com, Reuters checks show. On Walmart.com, for example, a 10 oz pack of Doritos Nacho Cheese was on sale for $2.50 compared to $4.29 on Pepsico’s website.

Kraft Heinz offers tins of soup, beans, pasta and baby food bundled into packs ranging from six to 25 items and costing between 10 and 20 pounds ($14.01-$28.03) on its UK website. It told Reuters the relatively higher prices of items and bundling of packs than on some other online marketplaces was to be able to eke out a margin after including delivery costs.

“Longer term, we see real value in this channel to be an insight and data channel for us,” Jean-Philippe Nier, head of e-commerce for Kraft Heinz’s business in the UK and Ireland, told Reuters. People are more prepared to order directly from manufacturers than they were before. The time is now.”

Graphic: Direct online sales to cross $20 billion in 2021 – https://graphics.reuters.com/PACKAGEDFOODS-ECOMMERCE/rlgpdexngvo/chart.png

($1 = 0.7137 pounds)

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Vanessa O’Connell and Susan Fenton)

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