(Bloomberg) -- Companies reporting this morning are a cocktail of the state of consumer, among them selling cigarettes, clothes and holidays. They all reported something similar to a "difficult macroeconomic environment," which for these companies translates to: people want to spend less.

Here’s the key business news from London this morning:

In The City

British American Tobacco Plc: The Lucky Strike cigarette maker has passed on increasing inflation in its supply chain in the form of higher prices to help improve its adjusted operating margins — that’s combined with a three year cost savings program, expected to save it £1.5 billion a year by the end of 2022. 

  • The company held its full year revenue guidance, despite what it said were industry-wide pressure on volumes in the US, mainly from a worsening economy and Covid-era trends normalizing

Frasers Group Plc: The owner of Sports Direct and Jack Wills’s gross margin fell year on year in the first half as a result of a cocktail of factors including inflation and more full price sales last year. 

  • It posted what it says is a “strong performance” in the first half, despite the worsening economic conditions, rising prices and pandemic-related supply chain issues, which it says are beginning to ease

On the Beach Group Plc: The package holiday provider says it is in legal proceedings with airlines to recover money due to the company for cancelled flights as a result of this summer’s travel chaos.

  • The company says there’s been growth across premium and long-haul trips in the last six weeks, and “more subdued” trading in the sales of 3-star holidays

Glencore Plc: The commodities trading giant last night abandoned plans for a controversial coal mine in Australia that would have been one of the largest in the top exporter, citing global uncertainty and its plans to phase out emissions. 

In Westminster

Keir Starmer’s Labour party is preparing to challenge the Conservatives’ proposition to be the UK’s natural party of business with a growth plan focused on industries of the future following the recommendations of a former Tory minister.

The UK is failing to develop a skilled and globally desirable workforce, with domestic talent increasingly less attractive to overseas businesses, according to a new survey of international executives.

Pubs and restaurants, meanwhile, have suffered a collapse in Christmas party bookings due to next week’s rail strikes, with industry chiefs suggesting the plunge is as bad as last year when omicron cases were surging. 

In Case You Missed It 

London is no longer Europe’s dominant financial centre of as a result of Brexit, says Stephane Boujnah, chief executive of the continent’s largest exchange group. Listen to the latest In The City podcast episode: 

The London Metal Exchange attracted takeover interest from rivals as the historic institution wrestles with its future in the wake of March’s nickel crisis.

Finally, Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX held talks to sponsor English Premier League teams Manchester United and Liverpool earlier this year, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. 

Looking Ahead

Closing out a quieter week for earnings, homebuilder The Berkeley Group Holdings Plc is due to report tomorrow. Needs-driven buyers will be key in sustaining housing activity amid high mortgage rates, and Berkeley’s base is strongest among first-time buyers in London who want to remain in the city, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

For a news fix when the day is done, sign up to The Readout with Allegra Stratton, to make sense of the day’s events.

--With assistance from Kwaku Gyasi.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.