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Nationwide survey reveals business owners are relying on connected technologies to keep their employees safe

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Nationwide survey reveals business owners are relying on connected technologies to keep their employees safe

Over 70 percent of millennial business owners use connected technologies for employee safety, yet 51 percent of business owners don’t employ a dedicated safety professional

For the past three years, Service Legends has used a vehicle telematics system to keep its more than 30 drivers safe on the road as they provide heating and cooling services to local area homes.

That system has helped Service Legends track driving behaviors such as hard breaking and fast acceleration. Since using telematics in its commercial fleet, the company has saved money, improved route efficiencies and seen safer driving practices among its employees.

“This system is there to protect our employees,” said Ryan Hudson, the company’s purchasing and delivery manager. “It’s making them safer and keeping costs down.”

Service Legends is not alone when it comes to using connected technologies to make the workplace safer. In fact, a new survey by Nationwide finds that almost one-third of business owners rely on technologies like telematics, drones, wearables and building sensors to support workplace safety.

Millennials are leading the charge, as 71 percent of them use connected technologies for safety efforts — more than double the average business owner (32 percent).

That data stems from Nationwide’s fourth annual Business Owner Survey and highlights a key opportunity for business owners to consider going into National Safety Month. The most common connected technologies business owners use for their workplace safety efforts are:

Building sensors, such as those that can detect humidity, temperature, water leaks and equipment failure: 16 percent of all business owners and 36 percent of millennial business owners use this technology.
Wearables, such as watches, belts and other personal sensors that can detect physical strain: 13 percent of all business owners and 32 percent of millennial business owners use this technology.
Drones, such as those that can reach or inspect areas that could be dangerous for workers: 7 percent of all business owners and 21 percent of millennial business owners use this technology.
Vehicle telematics solutions, such as those that can help reduce distracted driving: 11 percent of all business owners and 20 percent of millennial business owners use this technology.
“Nationwide is currently researching, piloting and investing in a variety of connected technologies in the insurance and financial services space to help our members stay a step ahead of evolving risks,” said Tony Fenton, vice president of Nationwide’s Commercial Lines Product & Underwriting. “That includes experimenting with wearable sensors, artificial intelligence and drone technology — and especially vehicle telematics solutions.”

Nationwide recently announced a new venture capital investment in Nexar — an Israeli-based startup company focused on building the world’s largest safe-driving network — as part of our commitment to invest more than $100 million of venture capital in customer-centric solutions that help members. A pilot project is currently underway between Nexar and a Nationwide commercial member.

Many companies’ safety efforts lack formal planning and training

Although nearly one-third of business owners are using connected technologies to address workplace safety issues, Nationwide’s survey found alarming statistics about those companies’ overall safety efforts:

51 percent do not employ a dedicated safety professional.
38 percent do not offer formal safety training.
51 percent do not have a contingency or succession plan in place.
To help keep workers safe on the job and reduce workplace injuries, Nationwide’s Loss Control Services experts provide safety training to thousands of workers across the country. They also conduct job site surveys and offer program consultation for members. To improve workplace safety programs and reduce overall expenses, Nationwide recommends employers focus on three key elements:

Employ or identify a person who is charged with the company’s safety and implementing safety-related initiatives.
Provide formal safety training to all employees on a regular basis.
Implement a formal return-to-work program to help injured employees get back to meaningful work as soon and as safely as possible.
“While technology can enhance workplace safety, it’s not a panacea,” said Mark McGhiey, associate vice president of Nationwide’s Loss Control Services. “There’s always going to be an element of human-driven effort to ensure workers can do their jobs safely and efficiently. That’s why it’s so important for employers to follow best safety practices that are tailored to their specific business — and it’s why our experts provide individualized risk management consultation and safety training to business owners across the country.”

For more information, visit Nationwide’s blog page, Loss Control Services site and the Business Solutions Center webpage.

Methodology

Nationwide commissioned Edelman Intelligence to conduct a 20-minute, online survey between April 9-20, 2018, among a sample of 1,000 U.S. business owners. Business owners are defined as having between 1-499 employees, being 18 years or older and self-reporting as either a sole or partial owner of their business. The margin of error for this sample was +/-3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. As a member of CASRO in good standing, Edelman Intelligence conducts all research in accordance with Market Research Standards and Guidelines.

Business

Audi aims to sell one million cars in China in 2023

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Audi aims to sell one million cars in China in 2023 1

BEIJING (Reuters) – German premium automaker Audi aims to sell 1 million vehicles in China in 2023, versus 726,000 vehicles in 2020, the brand’s China chief Werner Eichhorn said on Wednesday.

Audi, which is making cars in the world’s biggest auto market with FAW Group, will also add more products in China, Eichhorn said. Audi’s rivals include Daimler and BMW.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarka

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Netflix forecasts an end to borrowing binge, shares surge

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Netflix forecasts an end to borrowing binge, shares surge 2

By Lisa Richwine and Eva Mathews

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc said on Tuesday its global subscriber rolls crossed 200 million at the end of 2020 and projected it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its broad slate of TV shows and movies.

Shares of Netflix rose nearly 13% in extended trading as the financial milestone validated the company’s strategy of going into debt to take on big Hollywood studios with a flood of its own programming in multiple languages.

The world’s largest streaming service had raised $15 billion through debt in less than a decade. On Tuesday, the company said it expected free cash flow to break even in 2021, adding in a letter to shareholders, “We believe we no longer have a need to raise external financing for our day-to-day operations.”

Netflix said it will explore returning excess cash to shareholders via share buybacks. It plans to maintain $10 billion to $15 billion in gross debt.

“This is in sharp contrast to Disney and many other new entrants into the streaming market who expect to lose money on streaming for the next few years,” said eMarketer analyst Eric Haggstrom.

From October to December, Netflix signed up 8.5 million new paying streaming customers as it debuted widely praised series “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Bridgerton,” a new season of “The Crown” and the George Clooney film “The Midnight Sky.”

The additions topped Wall Street estimates of 6.1 million, according to Refinitiv data, despite increased competition and a U.S. price increase. Fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.19 missed analyst expectations of $1.39.

With the new customers, Netflix’s worldwide membership reached 203.7 million. The company that pioneered streaming in 2007 added more subscribers in 2020 than in any other year, boosted by viewers who stayed home to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

COMPETITION HEATS UP

Now, Netflix is working to add customers around the globe as big media companies amp up competition. Walt Disney Co in December unveiled a hefty slate of new programming for Disney+, while AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros scrapped the traditional Hollywood playbook by announcing it would send all 2021 movies straight to HBO Max alongside theaters.

Disney said in December it had already signed up 86.8 million subscribers to Disney+ in just over a year.

“It’s super-impressive what Disney’s done,” Netflix Co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings said in a post-earnings analyst interview. Disney’s success, he added, “gets us fired up about increasing our membership, increasing our content budget.”

Netflix said most of its growth last year – 83% of new customers – came from outside the United States and Canada. Forty-one percent joined from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For January through March, Netflix projected it would sign up 6 million more global subscribers, behind analyst expectations of roughly 8 million.

Revenue for the fourth quarter rose to $6.64 billion compared with $5.47 billion a year ago, edging past estimates of $6.63 billion.

Net income fell to $542.2 million, or $1.19 per share, from $587 million, or $1.30 per share, a year earlier.

Netflix shares jumped 12.5% to $564.32 in extended trading on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Matthew Lewis)

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MGM Resorts drops takeover plan for Ladbrokes-owner Entain

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MGM Resorts drops takeover plan for Ladbrokes-owner Entain 3

By Tanishaa Nadkar

(Reuters) – Casino operator MGM Resorts International on Tuesday ditched plans to buy Ladbrokes owner Entain after the British company rejected an $11 billion takeover approach this month, sending Entain’s shares down nearly 12%.

The United States is seen as the next big growth market for sports betting, spawning a series of transatlantic partnerships tapping in to European technology and expertise. These include Caesars Entertainment agreeing last September to buy William Hill in a 2.9 billion-pound deal.

MGM said it would not submit a revised proposal or make a firm offer for Entain, which had said the approach announced two weeks ago significantly undervalued its business.

Entain shares closed down 11.9% at around 12.44 pounds in London. MGM shares were up 2.5% at $30.54 in New York trading late on Tuesday afternoon.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with MGM to drive further success in the United States through the BetMGM joint venture,” Entain said in a statement.

Online betting firms have benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic-led lockdowns, as customers took to playing from home when casinos and betting shops were off-limits.

MGM had previously said a merger with the British bookmaker would be compelling and believed a deal would help expand BetMGM, which the two have operated since 2018.

The proposal, on the basis of 0.6 MGM share for each Entain share, was also backed by billionaire Barry Diller’s IAC. It valued Entain shares at 13.83 pence each when it was first announced.

Complicating matters, Entain Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev decided to step down just seven months into the role and in the middle of negotiations with MGM to take a job with sports streaming service DAZN.

Segev’s departure, as well as limited engagement in talks shown by Entain and a difference in price expectations between the two sides, led MGM to decide to walk away from the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Entain, previously known as GVC, has itself expanded rapidly through a series of acquisitions and owns the bwin, Coral and Eurobet brands, operating traditional British high street betting shops as well as offering online gambling.

“While we are genuinely surprised MGM didn’t up its consideration … we don’t think this changes MGM’s ability to secure equity value enhancing benefits from the attractively growing US sports betting and iGaming pie,” JP Morgan analysts said.

The brokerage said it would not rule out further discussions with Entain depending on how the company shareholders reacted, adding it would be tough for someone else to buy Entain given so much potential equity value coming from the 50/50 BetMGM joint venture.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Joshua Franklin in Miami; Editing by Keith Weir and Matthew Lewis)

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