SSP UK sales crash 80% as Covid-19 hits travel market

first_imgTravel-retail business SSP has seen UK and European like-for-like sales crash 80% year-on-year.The business, which operates brands including Starbucks and Upper Crust, said travel bans and airline capacity reductions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic had severely impacted passenger numbers in the UK, Europe and North America, particularly in international travel.As a result, based on the past week, like-for-like revenues across the UK and continental Europe were 80-85% lower year-on-year, with the impact in the air market being greater than in rail.In North America, SSP like-for-like revenues were down 80% YOY and in the Rest of World, which includes Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and Brazil, they were down 60%.Across the whole of March, SSP expected group revenues to be 40-45% lower year on year. And, for its first half of the financial year, the six months ending 31 March 2020, it expected to see a 3% decline in group revenue.The business has temporarily closed some units, reduced operating hours and halted its openings programme for the second half of the financial year. It has also introduced ‘significant’ salary reductions across all senior management, the group executive and group board.SSP said it had considered “a very pessimistic scenario assuming an almost total shutdown of the travel market for the whole of the second half of the financial year”, with group revenue being down about 80- 85% in H2 2020 against the same period last year.The business has agreed a new 18-month bank facility of up to £112.5m, and announced a proposed equity raising.”The Covid-19 outbreak is an unprecedented crisis and is having a severely negative impact on the travel sector,” said SSP Group CEO Simon Smith.“In common with the sector, we have seen a very sharp drop-off in passenger numbers and this has heavily impacted SSP revenues. We’ve had to take significant action to reduce our costs while doing everything we can to limit the impact of this on our colleagues.”Smith added that he hoped the business could re-open its units.last_img read more

Jazz Aficionados Huntertones Premiere Four Live Videos Ahead Of New Release [Watch]

first_imgThere’s no denying that some of the best jazz albums of all time were recorded live. That’s the energy that Brooklyn-based ensemble Huntertones is trying to capture on their new record, aptly-titled Live. Due out on September 30th, the band laid down some stellar shows at Natalie’s (Columbus, OH) and Blu Jazz (Akron, OH), and subsequently captured them for the new release.The band is headed up by pianist Theron Brown — who portrayed a young Herbie Hancock in the Miles Ahead film — and trumpeter Jon Lampley — who appears on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert as part of the house band, Jon Batiste and Stay Human. With Dan White (saxophone), Chris Ott (trombone, beatbox), Joshua Hill (guitar), Jeff Bass (bass), Adam DeAscentis (bass), and John Hubbell (drums) all rounding out the band, the energy captured at these two shows is downright electric.Live features six original songs and three genre-bending arrangements, including reworkings of Stephen Foster’s “Camptown Races,” “Kill The Beast” from the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, and a medley of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” and Dave Matthews’ “Two Step.” We’re delighted to share the first four videos from the new album, with commentary on each one from the band!“Circles”“‘Circles’ is a groove tune that evolves out of a riff played by the saxophone that moves to the guitar. The melody played by the horns is inspired by words from the Robert Munsch book ‘Love You Forever’. The bass line in the end of the tune is the main theme slowed down.” – Dan White“Anvil”“‘Anvil’ has been the opener to a lot of Huntertones shows since we started playing it a year ago. The tune is based off of three melodic ideas and the horns carry a lot of the energy of the tune. Instead of just one soloist, the whole group improvises before landing together and featuring bassist Jeff Bass. It is a groove tune that pulls from many musical styles. As the group has evolved, we’ve embraced more group improvising. Each show is different and Huntertones’ Live captures the great energy between the musicians and the audience.” – Dan White“Camptown Races”“‘Camptown Races’ is a reimagination of the well known song written by Stephen Foster. Combining elements of hip hop, gospel, and classical music, this arrangement showcases Huntertones skill as well as soul. After a take on the melody by Lampley’s trumpet in a minor key, the band shifts into a classical style fugue setting up for a climactic trombone solo from Ott. Once the tune has reached its final peak the opening groove re-enters, this time to let keyboardist Theron Brown stretch out on a soulful feature that builds once more to an energetic finish.” – Chris Ott“Hip Mr. Hampton”“‘Hip Mr. Hampton’ shows off Huntertones unique trio format of saxophone, sousaphone and beatboxing. The song was originally inspired by a lick played by trombonist Slide Hampton, which can be heard in multiple keys and tempos throughout the arrangement. Weaving through time signatures and different styles, White, Lampley and Ott fuse their improvisations to create a one of a kind musical experience fueled by the energy of the crowd.” – Chris OttIn support of the national release of Live, Huntertones will be touring throughout the remainder of the year. Check out the full schedule below!Huntertones Summer & Fall 2016 Tour DatesSeptember 8, 2016 — Drom — New York, NY*September 29, 2016 — Sofar Sounds — New York, NYSeptember 30, 2016 — Rockwood Music Hall — New York, NY — Official CD Release ShowOctober 7, 2016 — Blu Jazz — Akron, OHOctober 10, 2016 — The Refectory — Columbus, OHOctober 11 & 12, 2016 — Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza & Live Music — Columbus, OHOctober 14 & 15, 2016 — Andy’s Jazz Club — Chicago, ILOctober 19, 2016 — We Always Swing Jazz Series — Columbia, MOOctober 21, 2016 –The Jazz Kitchen — Indianapolis, INOctober 22, 2016 — Motr Pub — Cincinnati, OHDecember 16 & 17, 2016 — The Rex — Toronto, ON*Opening for Glenn David Andrewslast_img read more

Election party draws high turnout

first_imgStudents and faculty observe live results of the midterm election at a viewing event hosted by the USC Center for the Political Future. (Krystal Gallegos | Daily Trojan)Wallis Annenberg Hall echoed with cheers and applause from students and faculty as the CNN broadcast announced projections and updated polling numbers Tuesday evening. Attendees at the Party @ the Polls: Election Night viewing event watched as control of the Senate and the House of Representatives swung between the Democratic and Republican parties. Republicans maintained hold of the Senate, while Democrats gained control of the House. In Texas, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz kept his seat, defeating Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke. GOP candidate Rick Scott edged out Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in a tight race in Florida. Democrats gained 26 House seats at the time of publication, including two key Florida districts previously occupied by Republicans. “I don’t think a lot of people were expecting in the Senate,” USC College Democrats political director Ben Pearce said. “[The House win] gives us a chance to actually enact progressive legislation [and] bring it to the floor that we didn’t have for the last two years.”USC Center for the Political Future Director Bob Shrum, who co-hosted the event, said he was surprised by the results in Florida.“I was not surprised that the Democrats took the House, and I’m not surprised by the 10 percent margin in the generic vote for the House because that’s what our USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll predicted,” he said. College Republicans at USC Treasurer Sahil Nandwani said that he was satisfied with the overall election turnout but was slightly disappointed with a few results. “Nationally, I’m really happy with what’s going on,” Nandwani said. “The headwinds of history are against us, but Republicans are winning a lot of uphill battles. [California races were] still a nailbiter. We are very disappointed to see Proposition 6 fail.” California Proposition 6 advocated for a repeal of the statewide gas tax, which pays for road and infrastructure repairs.  At time of publication, the proposition was rejected. The proposition had the support of many Republicans, including California gubernatorial candidate John Cox, who lost the election to Democrat Gavin Newsom. Dianne Feinstein kept her Senate seat. California residents voted against Proposition 10, which would repeal the limits on municipal rent control, though the proposition garnered much support from housing advocates in Los Angeles.Some congressional elections in Southern California districts were not finalized at time of publication. Districts 48 and 49 were projected to turn blue, with 91 and 44 percent of precincts reported, respectively. Pearce said that with more Democrats in the House, he expects the Trump administration to be held to more accountability.“I think we’re going to see a House of Representatives that’s going to start governing the way that the people want it to,” Pearce said. “It’s less of a partisan thing. … Now that the Democrats control the House, there’s going to be a lot more accountability.”This year’s midterm elections were historic for underrepresented communities in politics. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan is one of two Muslim women in Congress this year, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is the youngest woman to be elected at 29. Colorado also made history by electing Jared Polis, the first openly gay man, as governor.By time of publication, more than 100 women were projected to win seats in the House, compared to a previous record of 84 seats.“It has just been old white guys for so long … so it is nice to see more representation that is representing more of the population,” said Sophie Roppe, a freshman majoring in communication. Leah Ghavami, a junior majoring in communication, said election results can be attributed to an increase in voter turnout.“This election had more of an emphasis on voting, which was largely made via social media platforms to encourage youth to have a voice,” Ghavami said.last_img read more

Campus Sport: UG launches inter-hall rugby 7s competition

first_imgThe 2017 University of Ghana (UG) Inter-Hall Rugby 7s Competition has been officially launched at a press conference organized by the University of Ghana Sports Directorate (UGSD) in collaboration with Titans Sporting Club on Friday March 3, 2017 at the premises of the Sports Directorate.Dignitaries PresentDignitaries who graced the occasion included Alhaji Tahiru Yusif Amuda (Head Coach, UGSD), Mr. Michael Justice Apea (Rugby Coordinator, UGSD), Mr. Marshall Nortey (Vice Chairman, Titans SC), some Hall Sports Secretaries, UG athletes and various print, online, audio and visual media houses.Welcome Address and PurposeCommencing the program, Alhaji Tahiru Yusif Amuda (Head Coach, UGSD), sitting for the Director of Sports, spoke briefly about the launch of the UG Rugby 7’s Competitions as well as the collaboration between the Sports Directorate and Titans Sporting Club.“…. we are here to officially launch the UG Inter-Hall Rugby Competition and to formally inform the public about the commencement of the tournament on March 17-18 at the University of Ghana Rugby Field and Athletics Oval respectively” After the purpose of gathering, Mr. Michael Justice Apea (Rugby Coordinator, UGSD) gave a brief history on the development of rugby from 2000 till date. He also spoke about the good works of Titans sporting Club in assisting the competition but was quick to ask for more assistance from stakeholders and philanthropists.“….. the Sports Directorate is committed to developing and promoting Rugby to the highest level so we invite stakeholders and philanthropists to come on board to help develop rugby on campus” – Mr. Michael Justice Apea (Rugby Coordinator, UGSD)With much enthusiasm, the Vice Chairman of Titans SC, Mr. Marshall Nortey lauded the Sports Directorate for the work done so far with rugby. He then informed the Sports Directorate of the trophy and medals presented by Titans and Alive and Kicking for the competition.BallotingWith all said and done, the program zoomed into the balloting stage. Last year’s winner, Legon Hall and 1st runner up Jubilee-International Students’ hostel were seeded into group B and A respectively. See groups and fixtures below. Group A: International Students’ hostelAfrican UnionMensah SarbahCommonwealth HallGroup B: Legon HallJean Nelson Aka HallHilla Limann HallAkuafo HallClosing RemarksThe Head Coach Alhaji Tahiru Yusif Amuda expressed gratitude to all present for making time of their busy schedule to attend the august occasion. He further thanked Titan SC and Alive and Kicking for the support and insisted this continues till the end of time.The 2017 UG Inter-Hall Rugby 7s Competition will have a total of eight (8) teams put in two groups with the first and second of each group progressing to play in the Top four of the competition. The competition kicks-off March 17, 2017 and ends on March 18, 2017.last_img read more