An hour away on the train from London, the cathedral city of Winchester has long appealed to people working in the capital and looking to move out. But the months of lockdown have sent the Hampshire town’s rental market into overdrive, with inquiries over this summer running at 19 times last year’s levels.



a house with trees in the background: Photograph: Alamy


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy

Related: It’s ‘on a road to nowhere’, but Norfolk is a magnet for city-dwellers

Data from two large estate agents, shared with the Observer, shows that the “race for space” and a desire to prepare for a winter spent mainly at home are rapidly reshaping the property market.

Prices are on the increase in green and pleasant commuter towns, while rents for flats in some areas of central London are sharply down, by up to 20%. The Nationwide house price survey showed the average price of a home in the UK last month was just over £226,000, up 5% on a year earlier, and the fastest rate of increase since 2016.



a house with bushes in front of a building: The small cathedral city of Winchester is showing a distinct shortage of properties as Londoners look to move.


© Photograph: Alamy
The small cathedral city of Winchester is showing a distinct shortage of properties as Londoners look to move.

Some of that increase is down to pent-up demand from those who would have moved during lockdown; some is down to the temporary stamp duty cuts. But Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, also points to behavioural shifts as people “reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown”.

Nationwide pointed in particular to the south-west of England and the commuter towns surrounding London, where house prices were up by more than 5% year on year in the third quarter of 2020.

The most important feature buyers are looking for is a garden. The second-biggest request is a study or home office

Dylan Kinsella,

On Thursday, before the opening bell, PepsiCo reported better-than-expected earnings results with its fiscal year 2020 third-quarter earnings release. On the top line, revenues of $18.09 billion exceeded expectations of $17.23 billion. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings per share of $1.66 exceeded expectations of $1.49 per share.

In addition to the positive headline numbers, PepsiCo’s organic revenue increased by 4.2 percent. Pepsi’s Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods businesses both reported organic revenue growth of 6%.  Its North American beverage unit’s organic sales rose by 3% this quarter.

In the press release, Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta said: “Despite the ongoing volatility and complexity in our operating environment, I believe our third quarter performance reinforces the diversification of our portfolio, the resilience and agility of our teams across every continent and demonstrates our ability to support our customers and communities during their time of need while also delivering good results for our shareholders.”

He also noted: “As the environment continues to evolve, we remain committed to executing on our strategy to become Faster, Stronger, and Better and win in the marketplace. Given our year-to-date business performance and based on what we can reasonably predict at this time, we are providing an update to our full-year 2020 guidance and now expect to deliver approximately 4 percent organic revenue growth and approximately $5.50 in core earning per share”.

For the full year, PepsiCo now expects approximately $10 billion in cash from operating activities and free cash flow of approximately $6 billion, and net capital spending of $4 billion. Total cash return to shareholders is expected to be approximately $7.5 billion, dividends of approximately $5.5 billion, and shares repurchases of approximately $2.0 billion.

What did you think of the quarter? Let us know in the comment section below!

PepsiCo Inc. is a holding in

PepsiCo PEP posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, and forecast solid full-year profits, as pandemic snack sales continued to pace top line growth. 

PepsiCo said earnings for the three months ending in August were pegged at $1.65 per share, up 5.8% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.49 per share. Group revenues, PepsiCo said, rose 5.3% to $18.1 billion, again topping analysts forecasts of a $17.3 billion tally.

Looking into the final months of the year, PepsiCo said it sees core earnings of $5.50 per share, jumping ahead of the Refinitiv forecast of $5.36 per share.

“Despite the ongoing volatility and complexity in our operating environment, I believe our third quarter performance reinforces the diversification of our portfolio, the resilience and agility of our teams across every continent and demonstrates our ability to support our customers and communities during their time of need while also delivering good results for our shareholders,” said CEO Ramon Laguarta.“

“Our reported revenue increased 5.3%, while our reported earnings per share increased 10%,” he added. “Organic revenue increased 4.2% and core constant currency earnings per share increased 9%. These results reflect the continued strength of our global snacks and food business and a significant improvement in our global beverage business”

PepsiCo shares were marked 2.2% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $141.65 each.

PepsiCo said revenues at its Frito Lay division rose 7% from last year, while the topline at Quaker Foods jumped 6%. Beverages said were 6% higher, the company said.

Source Article



a close up of a coral: EXCLUSIVE: For the first time, health segment beats motor insurance


© Somya Lohia
EXCLUSIVE: For the first time, health segment beats motor insurance

For the first time in India’s insurance sector, the health business has beaten the motor vertical to become the biggest non-life industry segment, boosted by a rise in standard Coronavirus (COVID-19) plans.

On the other hand, a slump in vehicle sales has affected motor insurance.

Till now, the motor insurance segment, driven primarily by the mandatory motor third-party insurance, has always been the largest business segment in the general insurance sector. However, industry sources said that this year, COVID-19 played spoilsport.

“When it comes to third-party cover, it includes insurance for new vehicles as well as renewals. The reality is that customers are not renewing their vehicle insurance since remote working is the new normal. This has severely affected motor premiums,” said the head of sales at a bank-led general insurer.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) data showed that while motor insurance premiums saw a 15.7 percent decline, health insurance premiums saw a 13 percent YoY growth in the April 1-August 31 period.

For the general insurance industry, premium collections remained muted for the period with just a 3.6 percent YoY rise to Rs 73,968.26 crore. The health insurance business contributed Rs 22,903.44 crore.

Why is health insurance gaining?

The Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdowns since March 25 have affected the movement of people. This hit vehicle sales, and subsequently, motor insurance.

On the other hand, COVID-19 cases were constantly on the rise. Several thousand individuals required hospitalisation for treatment.

Insurers said that those without a health policy rushed to buy products since the regulator clarified that every policy covering hospitalisation would also pay for COVID-19 treatment at designated centres.

Also Read: Remote working: Costs rise for insurers as they scramble to ensure