25 January 2011Almost half of small business owners in South Africa reported an increase in turnover in 2010, while an equal proportion reported stagnated or decreased revenue, according to a new survey.Forty-nine percent reported an increase in turnover, while the remainder reported a stagnation or decrease, accounting software provider Pastel Accounting said in a statement on Thursday.“Despite the seemingly good news, profit margins were squeezed, with just more than a third (32 percent) of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reporting an increase, and an almost equal amount (29 percent) facing a decrease in profitability,” managing director Steven Cohen said.Participants blamed market uncertainty, due to the current economic condition, for the slump in profitability.The Pastel SME Survey, which will become an annual review, was conducted online among small businesses nationally in December 2010.Of the 2 000 respondents, 63 percent reported an annual turnover of less than R5-million. Only five percent had turnover of more than R50-million, and the other 32 percent were evenly spread between these values, Cohen said.When it came to employee size, 52 percent of survey participants currently employed a maximum of 10 people, 17 percent employed 10-20 people, and 14 percent up to 100 people.“The survey provides us with empirical data that the financial success of SMEs is based on a delicate balance of factors, not all within the control of the business owner,” Cohen said.“And the marked increase in 2010 in the price of electricity, rates and taxes, labour and inflation has put many small businesses under severe pressure as they have had to keep their own prices low to remain competitive.”In contrast, JSE trading statistics for the first half of 2010 were up year-on-year by 22 percent in volume and by 17 percent in value to R1.5-billion.Cohen said these numbers often masked the struggle small businesses faced.Sapa
London: Britain has repatriated ten per cent of nationals who were stranded abroad after the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook, authorities said Tuesday, as anger erupted over excessive management pay. The Civil Aviation Authority regulator, which is managing the UK’s biggest repatriation since World War II after Thomas Cook’s dramatic bankruptcy, said in a statement that it flew back 14,700 of the 150,000 stranded Britons on Monday. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe CAA added that it hoped to bring back another 16,500 people on Tuesday. The dramatic collapse of Thomas Cook left 600,000 customers of all nationalities stranded in popular tourist destinations dotted around the globe, including Cancun, Kos, Las Vegas and Lanzarote. “Following the very sad news … that Thomas Cook had stopped trading and its aircraft were grounded, we launched at the government’s request our operation to return more than 150,000 people to the UK,” said CAA Chief Executive Richard Moriarty. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 days Moriarty added: “A repatriation of this scale and nature is unprecedented and unfortunately there will be some inconvenience and disruption for customers. “We will do everything we can to minimise this as the operation continues. “We want people to continue to enjoy their holiday, so we will bring them back to the UK on their original departure day, or very soon thereafter.” Meanwhile, criticism is mounting over the pay of Thomas Cook’s management, who steered the 178-year-old company into the rocks with vast debts. The Sun tabloid newspaper slammed Thomas Cook’s “fat cat bosses”, adding that the group’s last five chief executives had “pocketed” a total of 47 million pounds (53 million euros/ 58 million) in pay and bonuses since 2007. The failed company’s Swiss chief executive Peter Fankhauser, who apologised for his group’s failure on Monday, has been paid 8.4 million pounds since 2014 according to the paper. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has questioned whether failing management should receive huge salaries. “I have questions — for one about whether it’s right that the directors, or whoever, the board, should pay themselves large sums when businesses can go down the tubes like that,” said Johnson, quoted by British media in New York where he is attending the UN General Assembly. Quizzed about tougher rules, Johnson added: “I think that you need to have some system by which tour operators properly insure themselves against this kind of eventuality.” Thomas Cook, which had struggled against fierce online competition for years and blamed Brexit uncertainty for a recent drop in bookings, declared bankruptcy after failing to secure ?200 million from private investors. Monday’s bankruptcy followed a lengthy period of chronic financial turmoil after a disastrous series of mergers left it burdened with soaring debt, a large branch network and high costs. The CAA will continue to fly UK passengers home until October 6, with those affected asked to check its official website.
Nature’s Basket, part of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, opened its much awaited 4,000 sq ft store in the city of joy, the first Nature’s Basket store in Kolkata and the 36th store pan India.Shashwat Goenka, Sector Head – Retail and FMCG at RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, said, “With the addition of the new store at Park Street, Kolkata, Nature’s Basket is looking to extend its unique shopping experience to the heart of the city in Park Street. Nature’s Basket has a strong portfolio of private label brands which has a huge traction with consumers. We have plans to open 6-7 more stores in Kolkata” Also Read – The Puja carnivalThe offerings at the new Nature’s Basket store will include farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, preservative-free fish, meats and packaged foods, artisanal cheeses, homemade breads, options for gluten free customers, as well as everyday essentials. The good news for customers is that the store is a one stop destination for a family’s shopping needs. The new store will house Nature’s Basket’s own exclusive brands, such as Healthy Alternatives, L’Exclusif, and Nature’s. The new Nature’s Basket store beside Flury’s in Park Street will operate between 8 am to 10 pm on seven days. The store has more than 8000 quality products at an affordable price. Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraProducts such as 25 varieties of chillies and tomatoes sourced from all over the world, exotic edible flowers and fruits and vegetables such as Buddha’s hand and kiwano will be brought in specifically for the launch. Nature’s Basket will offer a range of the finest quality of tea and coffee sourced from the best plantations from TGL Co and fresh juices from India’s first and largest cold-pressed juice brand, Raw Pressery, both available for the first time in Kolkata. For the first time in the country, customers can build their own chocolate bar with over 25 toppings and flavours, or choose from the artisanal range of chocolates. The Park Street store will also house a first of its kind café, The Good Food Café serving international dishes all cooked in olive oil. With the upcoming Pujas, customers can also avail of Nature’s Basket service of providing food-gifts and assembling expertly selected cheese or meat platter for special occasions. Nature’s Basket has few segments like, The Tea Room, The Snackery, Health and Wellness, The Chocolate Factory, Dairy and Cheese, Juices – Raw Pressery, Fruits and Vegetables, The Good Food Café, Patisserie by Franziska. Operating as a click and brick retailer, Nature’s Basket has an online shopping facility through their website, www.naturesbasket.co.in as well as through their mobile application. According to Goenka, Nature’s Basket has a strong ecommerce presence which fits well with the Omni channel strategy at Spencer’s. Started as a single store in 2005 in Mumbai, Nature’s Basket has expanded its footprint to 35 outlets in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore with deliveries to all cities across India, including Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Surat and more. Spencer’s Retail acquired Nature’s Basket in July 2019.
Kolkata: To ease traffic movement during the Durga Puja, the state government unveiled three bridges in the city on Monday. The Izatullah Lane Bridge and the Karunamoyee canal bridge was inaugurated by state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim while the Bailey bridge at Ultadanga was unveiled by state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose.”When a portion of Majerhat bridge caved in last September, we had decided to provide alternative routes to help Behala residents commute to other parts of the city. We are opening Izzatullah Lane Bridge and the Karunamoyee canal bridge today to ease the pressure on Durgapur bridge and Tollygunge bridge. This will help people from Behala and its adjoining areas to reach faster to Tollygunge metro station and Bangur Hospital. It is a puja gift to the city from Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), which has constructed the two bridges,” said Hakim, who is also the chairman of KMDA. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA temple and a club had encroached the way of Izatullah Lane bridge. Member, Mayor-in-Council (Drainage) Tarak Singh took steps to shift the temple and the club to facilitate construction of the bridge. “There are some quarters that lie under the jurisdiction of Tolly Club. We have spoken to Tolly Club authorities and shortly will be shifting the quarters to widen the road by another 2.5 m for further easing out of traffic movement,” Hakim said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe Izatullah Lane bridge, which is 21 m long, has being built at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore while Rs 7 crore has been spent on Karunamoyee Canal bridge, which is 29 m long. The Bailey bridge, connecting Lake Town and Salt Lake, was inaugurated by Sujit Bose. The 45-metre Bailey bridge in Lake Town will cater to only one-way traffic for light vehicles from VIP Road to Salt Lake. The Bailey bridge was planned after the Ultadanga flyover was closed as some cracks were spotted on a pier and the retaining wall. The Dum Dum Airport bound flank was opened for traffic after three days but the Bypass bound flank is still closed for repairs. There are several pujas in Dum Dum and Lake Town areas, which draw huge crowd, so opening the Bailey bridge will surely ease traffic congestion in the area and will be a boon for pandal-hoppers.