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Operating profit turnaround for Uniq

By on April 21, 2021

first_imgChilled prepared food group Uniq has announced continued strong growth in its food-to-go operation, with overall group revenue up 6.8% for the year ended 31 December 2010.Increased sandwich business with Marks & Spencer – its share rose to more than 65% – helped the division to a 51% profit increase to £11m, with sales up 13% to £157m.Overall the firm posted operating profit before significant items of £4.1m, compared to a loss of £1.9m in 2009. Sales were up nearly 7% to £312m. Chief executive Geoff Eaton said the firm serves both large and growing markets. By investment in understanding more about its consumers and innovating to create a regular pipeline of new products, it can benefit from this growth.The firm was recently restructured to negate the effects of its significant pension deficit. In February this year an agreement was reached with the trustee of the Uniq Pension Scheme, which released Uniq from its obligations to the defined benefit section of the Pension Scheme in exchange for a 90.2% equity stake in the company, with current shareholders retaining a 9.8% stake in the company.Eaton said the restructure coupled with the positive outcome of its Desserts business review, means the firm is now well-placed to develop to its full potential.last_img read more

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Getting smart about chip technology

By on December 18, 2020

first_imgOver 13 million U.S. citizens fell victim to identity fraud last year, costing financial institutions a total of $15 billion[1]. To better guarantee customer security in 2016, more and more credit unions are turning to Chip-and-PIN technology. Chip-and-PIN cards are quickly becoming the global standard in both credit and debit card payments. These new smart cards, or EMVs, utilize a computer chip embedded in the card to authenticate transactions. When this card is inserted into a chip-enabled reader, the chip on the card communicates with the reader by sending a one-time, dynamic code unique to that transaction.There are a number benefits for both the customer and credit union in switching to the chip-and-PIN card technology. The unique transaction code makes it near impossible for criminals to develop a counterfeit card with data stolen from a Chip-and-PIN card. The security enhancements built into chip technology far exceed that of magnetic stripe technology and will be integral to helping reduce a credit union’s payment card data breach and fraud exposure when the physical card is used. Chip-and-PIN technology will also reduce exposure to card data compromises, which alleviates the time and resources used by a credit union to process fraud claims.As smart cards become more widespread, adoption of the new technology has the potential to build on a credit union’s reputation and membership. In fact, many financial institutions around the world have already converted to chip technology. European Union countries rely exclusively on chip-and-PIN technology and often do not even accept chip-and-signature cards[2]. This means adopting chip cards will also make it much easier for cardholders to travel internationally.It is impossible to ignore the added benefits of adapting to Chip-and-PIN technology. However, while the new technology virtually eliminates fraud when a purchase is made in a face-to-face transaction, Chip-and-PIN does not address online, mail, telephone, or lost/stolen card fraud. Therefore, credit unions should continue to deploy multiple layers of protection and should enhance existing fraud detection systems to help combat fraud in both the card-present and card-not-present environments. 75SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tammy Behnke Tammy Behnke joined ProSight in October 2012 and is the Program Executive for the company’s Credit Union Program. Tammy has nearly 28 years of underwriting experience, specializing in financial … Web: www.prosightspecialty.com Detailslast_img read more

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Will Shohei Ohtani’s success in Japan continue with Angels? Former teammates, Japanese baseball officials think so

By on August 26, 2020

first_imgThat would probably be a surprise to most in the U.S., because the general scouting report on Ohtani has been that he’s more advanced as a pitcher than a hitter.Laird, who hit in a two-man batting practice group with Ohtani, said he sees Ohtani as a pitcher first, but his hitting is not to be underestimated.“I got to see the show every day,” Laird said. “The last three years, I’ve seen him hit, he makes adjustments. He has a great approach. He’s a smart hitter and he has some of the most power I’ve ever seen.”Listed at 6-foot-4 and 203 pounds, Ohtani has more power than his frame would indicate, Ofuchi said. When he scouted Ohtani in high school, it was his hitting that showed the most promise.Offensively, Ohtani developed quickly in Japan’s majors. As a 20-year-old with the Fighters in 2015, Ohtani hit .202 with a .628 OPS. A season later, he improved to .322 with 22 homers in 382 plate appearances, with and a 1.004 OPS. Last season, he hit .332 with a .942 OPS.One of the lingering questions about how his hitting will translate is the way opposing pitchers treated him in Japan. Fearful of hitting him, few pitchers in Japan pitched him inside, according to some accounts.“(Pitchers) have a high level of respect for guys; they don’t want to throw in and hit someone and hurt someone,” said Chris Martin, who spent parts of two seasons in the majors before pitching for the Fighters the last two years. “That’s not the case in the major leagues. He’s going to definitely have to adjust to guys throwing him in, and not letting him get his arms extended.”Anthony Bass, who has spent parts of six seasons in the majors and pitched for the Fighters in 2016, said Ohtani’s power to the opposite field finally prompted some pitchers to try to pitch him inside. It didn’t matter.“His hands were so fast, he was turning and hitting balls into the right field bleachers,” Bass said. “He makes adjustments really quickly.”Adjustments will also be required on the mound, according to Kuriyama.“He still has to solidify his form,” the manager said. “I feel he hasn’t even shown half of what he is capable of doing. … His form gets inconsistent at times.”Armed with a fastball that can reach 102 mph and a devastating splitter, Ohtani posted a 2.52 ERA and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings in Japan. He also issued 3.3 walks per nine innings. Martin, who signed a two-year deal to return to the majors with the Texas Rangers, suggested that Ohtani might not have always been pushed to perform at his peak in Japan.“Once he’d get in a little trouble, you could see he’d give it his whole effort, and it wasn’t even fair,” Martin said. “When he put in the effort, it was really easy for him. He kind of nibbles around and gets in trouble, and gets behind in the count. His fastball is so good in Japan, he got away with it. Over here, he’s going to have to learn to get ahead in the count.”Ohtani will also have to adjust to the a different routine. In Japan, pitchers throw once a week. Even if the Angels use a six-man rotation instead of the customary five, that would still mean Ohtani would pitch often with five days rest, instead of six, as in Japan.Related Articles Angels leaning toward six-man rotation to help all pitchers, not just Shohei Ohtani Long hours, sleepless nights helped Angels win Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes Shohei Ohtani: Who is the Angels’ new guy? Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img When Brandon Laird took his baseball career across the Pacific Ocean, he had never heard the name Shohei Ohtani, just some unbelievable stories about “the Babe Ruth of Japan.”“I was like, he can’t be that good,” said Laird, an infielder who had previously spent parts of three seasons in the majors.“I heard so much about him, but I just wanted to see it. Right from the get-go, I saw him throw in an intrasquad game. It was effortless. High 90s (fastball) and breaking balls. … He proved it to me. He’s just a different player.”Laird, an Orange County product who had played against the likes of Justin Upton, Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey in the minors, said that three years as Ohtani’s teammate with the Nippon Ham Fighters was enough to convince him. “At his age, he’s one of the best, if not the best player I’ve ever seen or had the chance to play with,” Laird said of the 23-year-old Ohtani. “He’s almost like a 10-tool player, a pitcher and hitter who can do it all.”When Ohtani hits the field with the Angels in spring training in less than a week, the baseball world will begin to see if he can live up to the hype as a pitcher and a hitter in the big leagues.For now, those best suited to answer that question include Ohtani’s former manager, the scout who brought him into professional baseball and three of his former Fighters teammates with major league experience. The consensus among them is that Ohtani will succeed, although perhaps not as soon and perhaps not in the way some expect.“I think he will succeed more as a hitter,” Takashi Ofuchi, the Fighters amateur scout leader, said in Japanese.Added Hideki Kuriyama, the Fighters’ manager: “There’s a chance you’ll see another pitcher like Ohtani, but there’s little chance you’ll see a hitter like him.” Angels general manager Billy Eppler last month traveled to Japan to meet with Ohtani, Kuriyama and the Fighters training staff, to get more information on how to manage his workload. Kuriyama said he cautioned Eppler that Ohtani will never say he needs a break, and he suspected Manager Mike Scioscia would also be eager to push Ohtani. Kuriyama said the Angels must resist the urge to overextend him.“If he can stay healthy,” Kuriyama said, “he’ll definitely succeed.”On that point, Kuriyama, Ofuchi and the three players agree.“I worked with him believing he will one day become the No. 1 player in the U.S.,” Kuriyama said.Bass, who has signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs, said he feels Ohtani will be able to handle the spotlight and all the adjustments because he’s driven to succeed.“I think he’ll be great,” Bass said. “I’m excited to see him play over here. I think the world really has no idea yet how talented he is.”Staff writer Tomoya Shimura contributed to this story.last_img read more

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