Extreme weather hits AA as retailers suffer a slump

The AA has said it is on track to meet its targets, despite facing rising costs after the Beast from the East and the recent heatwave sparked a rise in breakdowns.
With the extreme weather conditions stopping customers spending in some sectors, the AA has said March's cold snap and last month's scorching conditions led to an 8% increase in breakdowns - with 1.91 million requests for assistance.
The company said: "This was significantly higher than both our expectations and the average over the last 10 years due to the extreme weather conditions. This resulted in increased costs of third-party garaging to supplement our own patrol availability."In March, it estimated motor insurers would face a motor claims bill of €35m for the six days of ice and snow.An AA spokesperson added: "With the Beast from the East we were dealing with people skidding off the road, assisting people to the garage for repairs, flat tyres because they're not at the right pressure and when the roads thaw out we have pothole-related incidents."And during the heatwave people are driving longer distances, to the beach, and again its mainly tyres and overheating."The AA says it remains on track to deliver its previously announced earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) target of €335m to €345m for the full year.
Extreme weather hits AA as retailers suffer a slump

The cold snap and heatwave saw an 8% increase in callouts for the AA
With more people spending their holidays at home, choosing staycations because of the heatwave, tour and travel operators such as TUI Group said bookings remained ahead of last year as many people had booked ahead."Tourism companies don't usually like it when it's hot, and it is hot," TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen said as third-quarter earnings declined 7.4% to €205.1m (€184m)."People want to go on holiday when it rains."TUI's shares plunged 9% in early Frankfurt and London trading.
Its rival Thomas Cook said last week that profit would come in at the lower end of expectations as holidaymakers were not booking last-minute trips abroad.
Extreme weather hits AA as retailers suffer a slump

Thomas Cook has suffered because fewer Britons are booking last-minute trips abroad
The high street continues to feel the brunt of consumers tightening their belts and, of course, the weather.Card Factory, which has 900 gift and greeting card stores across the country, said same-store sales fell 0.2% in the first six months of the year.It lowered its earnings expectations and now expects EBITDA for 2019 to be between €89m and €91m.Karen Hubbard, Card Factory's chief executive, said: "We continue to experience a weak consumer environment, made all the more challenging by the impact of this year's extreme weather conditions on high street footfall."Shares in the Card Factory slid 7% to 196p in early trading.Cineworld, the world's second-largest cinema chain by screens, said UK and Ireland admissions were down 2.7% to 25.6 million in the first six months of the year.
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However, it managed to return an 11.6% increase in revenue to $353.7m (€274m) as it passed on the rise in inflation - with more people choosing to watch blockbusters such as Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther in IMAX, 3D and 4DX equipped theatres.Thanks to its international reach and $5.8bn (€4.5bn) acquisition of Regal Entertainment, the company saw its pre-tax profit soar 164.8% to $160.2m (€124.6m).
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