Business Briefing

Royal Mint unveils largest ever coin - a 10kg solid gold beast

Heathrow Covid losses hit £2.4bn, Apple profits double, and other breaking business news

1

Money

Giant gold coin already sold for ‘six figure’ sum

The Royal Mint has unveiled a giant 10kg solid gold coin - the biggest ever created in its 1,110-year history. Taking 400 hours to produce and four days to polish, the 8in-wide (20cm) coin has been described as a “Masterwork” and completes the Queen’s Beasts commemorative collection.

With a denomination of £10,000, “you’ll need deep pockets” to buy this coin, says Sky News. However, you’ll struggle to find a pocket large enough as the “enormous coin is too big for one hand alone”.

As well as its hefty weight the coin comes with an “even heftier price tag”, says ThisIsMoney, and has already been snapped up by a collector who paid a “six figure” sum for the one-of-a-kind coin.

Clare Maclennan of the Royal Mint said: “This coin sets a new standard for minting – combining centuries-old techniques with innovative technology to create a unique and beautiful work of art.”

2

Aviation

Heathrow losses hit £2.4bn since start of pandemic

Covid-19’s devastating impact on the aviation industry continues. London Heathrow, Britain’s biggest airport, has announced a £329m loss for the first quarter of 2021, taking total losses to nearly £2.4bn since the start of the pandemic.  

In the first three months to 31 March, only 1.7m passengers travelled through Heathrow - 91% down compared to the first quarter of 2019. “These results show how Covid has devastated the aviation sector and British trade,” said Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye.

3

Technology

Apple profits double to $23.6bn

Profits at tech giant Apple have doubled thanks to a surge in iPhone sales in China. The California-based company has seen sales of its phones, apps and other devices rise throughout the pandemic, with boss Tim Cook saying its results reflected “optimism” about the days ahead. 

Profits hit $23.6bn (£16.9bn), up from $11.3bn (£8bn) across the same period last year. Apple’s figures across multiple sectors are “exceptional”, the BBC says.

4

Hospitality

Covid passports for pubs and restaurants are ‘off the menu’

Plans for compulsory Covid status certificates to enter pubs and restaurants “are now off the menu”, The Guardian reports. A government review is likely to recommend that documents are only required for larger events. 

Today in the Commons, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is expected to report the progress of a review into Covid certification in a written statement, the Guardian understands. 

A senior Downing Street source told the Daily Mirror that no formal decisions have been made yet, but “confirmed the focus is on large events and major venues”.

5

Broadcasting 

BT in talks over partial sale of BT Sport

BT has appointed investment bank Lazard to explore a partial sale of BT Sport, The Telegraph reports. The telecoms giant is focussing on upgrading Britain’s broadband network and is in talks with potential partners about offloading a stake in its television arm.

In the UK, BT Sport shares the rights to the Premier League and also has exclusive rights to the Uefa Champions League. Potential partners include Amazon, Disney and Dazn, while a British broadcaster is also involved in the discussions and “potentially leading the bidding”, City sources told the paper. 

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