New contracts and operational improvements have driven a 32.6% increase in underlying operating profit at travel site operator SSP Group.The global business, which operates UK travel sites for brands including Starbucks and Upper Crust, reported operating profit of £55.2m in the six months to 21 March on revenue up 11.9% at constant currency to £1,177.8m.In the UK, the business reported a 1.2% increase in revenue to £369.5m, with growth in the air sector stronger than the rail sector, which SSP described as “remaining soft”. The business added, however, that it had been impacted by the closure of Monarch Airlines last year and reduced schedules from Ryanair.Underlying operating profit for the UK rose 12.5% to £33.4m, with operating efficiency programmes and lower depreciation offsetting reduced like-for-like sales and inflation in food and labour costs.The company announced it had recently secured a partnership agreement with London-based healthy food and juice chain Crussh to take the brand into rail and airport locations in the UK and Europe.”SSP has delivered another strong performance in the first half of 2018,” said SSP Group CEO Kate Swann. “Operating profit was up 32.6%, driven by good like-for-like sales growth, significant new contract openings and further operational improvements.”“Looking forward, the second half has started in line with our expectations and while a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and our programme of operational improvements.”
Interested parties should state performance, gross of fees, to the end of September.The closing date for applications is 8 November.The IPE.com news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE-Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE-Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email [email protected] Investment consultant Kieger has tendered a $50m (€36.5m), global, large-cap equity mandate on behalf of an undisclosed institutional investor, using IPE-Quest.According to search QN1347, applicants should have at least $1bn in assets under management (AUM) for the mandate and $10bn in AUM for the company itself.They will also need a track record of at least five years.Asset managers are to measure performance against the MSCI ACWI, keeping tracking error between 2% and 10%.
Security Council urges ‘effective, comprehensive’ steps to end tensions in South Sudan The United Nations security council has expressed its disappointment at the failure of South Sudan parties to reach an agreement that would bring a lasting solution to the ongoing conflictThe 15-member body underscored the seriousness and urgency of the situation on the ground in South Sudan and reiterated its strong condemnation of the repeated violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, accepted and signed by both the Government and opposition forces last year.Peace talks held in Ethiopia, brokered by the east African regional bloc IGAD, have resulted in a string of broken ceasefires, and the last round of talks collapsed on March 7.Since then, both sides have confirmed the outbreak of fresh fighting on several fronts in the oil-rich north of the country.The Security Council has repeatedly threatened both sides with sanctions since the peace talks failed, although none has yet been imposed.However it has reiterated its intent to impose sanctions on both parties in order to push all parties to form a Transitional Government of National Unity and to take effective and comprehensive steps to end military operations and all acts of violence.The current situation in South Sudan has deteriorated steadily over the past year since political in-fighting between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President, Riek Machar, and their respective factions erupted in December 2013.The hostilities subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict that sent nearly 100,000 civilians fleeing to UN bases around the country.The crisis has dispalaced an estimated 1.9 million people and risked the lives of anbother 7 million who are faced with hunger and disease.Currently, UN bases are sheltering over 110,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) with an additional 1.5 million others displaced throughout the country and 500,000 outside the country.
According to Baseball America, as of Friday morning, 15 teams have committed to paying their minor-leaguers the standard stipend of $400 per week — on average, that was a raise for Single-A and Double-A players, and a reduction for Triple-A players — at least through the end of June. Some teams, like the Mariners, Padres and Marlins, have already committed to paying their minor-leaguers through the scheduled end of the season. MORE: David Price pledges $1,000 to Dodgers minor-leaguersIt’s not yet known what the other 14 teams will do, but to this point, the A’s are the only team that has decided not to pay its minor league players. How much is that saving the A’s? Just some rough math. Say there are 200 players in a minor league system. Paying each $400/week for July, July and August is $5,200 per player. To pay every minor leaguer would have cost the Oakland A’s a hair over $1 million.Owner John Fisher is worth an estimated $2 billion.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 27, 2020The A’s, as noted by Passan, are owned by John Fisher, who has a reported net worth of $2.1 billion, according to Forbes. He’s the youngest son of Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher. So when we say it’s a choice, it’s just that. John Fisher’s hand is not being forced. He’s not facing insolvency if he pays his club’s minor-leaguers what they’re owed, or what other teams are paying their minor-league players. He’s just choosing not to pay his minor-leaguers — and others in the organization — anything to save a few bucks while baseball is stopped. Seems like a poor human choice, but it’s not my money and he didn’t ask me how to spend it. The A’s aren’t the only team cutting minor league costs, it also should be noted. This week was a disaster for minor league players, as hundreds of players across the sport were released on Wednesday and Thursday. But here’s a question that immediately came to mind with Oakland’s news: If the A’s are no longer paying their minor-leaguers, shouldn’t those minor-leaguers now be free agents? Logically, that makes sense, and it would be the case for pretty much any other person impacted by the coronavirus. And that’s the case for far too many Americans, as the U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent in April and is almost certainly higher now. MORE: A’s soil ‘lovable underdog’ image by not paying minor-leaguersI already knew the answer to that question, and I’m sure you do, too. Here’s an email from A’s general manager David Forst to the club’s minor-leaguers. Here is the email David Forst sent to players today: https://t.co/rwHqiAeKla pic.twitter.com/rEZK2RC1eZ— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) May 27, 2020Basically: “We’re not going to pay you, but you’re still prohibited by the terms of your contract from seeking employment elsewhere.”I asked Garrett Broshuis, a former minor league pitcher who is now an attorney with a long history of advocating for the rights of minor-leaguers, for his thoughts on the subject. “No other industry in America operates like this,” Broshuis said. “It’s such an unreasonable expectation, to think that even though I’m not paying you anymore, you can’t go and take your skills that you’ve worked so hard to develop and earn a living somewhere else. It highlights the complete ridiculousness of this contract, which is a contract out of the 1920s still, with the fact that they own your rights for so long, and there’s very little the player can do about it.”The A’s are using Paragraph 23 of the Uniform Player Contract, a section that addresses suspension of a contract. Here’s the standard contract; scroll down to XXIII.So do the A’s minor-leaguers have any real legal recourse?“It would take a Curt Flood-like player to actually challenge it,” Broshuis said. “It would be a variabled action, most likely would take an actual legal action in court, because it’s difficult to see how the commissioner’s office would come out with an alternative interpretation. It would take a very brave player to challenge something like this.”First of all, only a handful of players would even make sense. It would have to be someone who doesn’t figure to be in the mix at the big-league level this year, even with the expanded rosters. But, it also would have to be a minor-leaguer good enough that the A’s wouldn’t want to just cut him to end the hassle (allowing him to be a free agent). And it would have to be someone not concerned how his legal actions would impact how other baseball teams see him. MORE: Explaining the controversial pay cuts owners want players to accept But here’s the biggest thing: It’s probably not worth the effort because the timeline just doesn’t make sense. It seems likely that minor league baseball will resume in 2021, which means we’re really only talking about three months of pay the A’s minor-leaguers are missing (the minor league regular seasons finish at the end of August). The legal process would certainly take much, much longer. Flood’s case started in 1969 — he refused report after an October trade sent him from the Cardinals to Phillies — and wasn’t resolved until the United States Supreme Court ruled in MLB’s favor in June 1972. So, basically, the A’s ballplayers have no real recourse. Even though the club isn’t going to pay them, they can’t become free agents and there’s really nothing they can do about it. The MLBPA isn’t primarily concerned with players until they reach the majors, and the MLBPA has other pressing matters to deal with at the moment. Minor league players don’t have their own union, though Broshuis is part of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, a new organization founded to help represent minor league players. Broshuis has long been leading the charge to raise salaries for minor league players, and this is an extension of those efforts. “It just goes to show the root of the issue, which is the lack of representation. Minor-leaguers have never had a union, they’ve never had somebody looking out for their interest” Broshuis said. “This contract has changed very little in the last 100 years. That is the void we’re stepping into. This situation highlights why an organization like ours is so desperately needed, and why we need to grow this organization, and why we need to be out there advocating on behalf of these players. They need it more than ever.” The Oakland A’s have decided not to pay their minor league players for the rest of the season. That’s their choice, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday.The A’s, along with every other MLB team, initially committed to paying their minor-leaguers $400 per week through the end of May as the sport deals with the impact of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.