Global Business Daily: Ryanair cuts winter flights, European stocks hit, Dutch house prices rise
Giulia Carbonaro

"Life for our 20-something customers is unlikely to return to normal for quite some time."

With these rather chilling and possibly prophetic words, Asos toned down celebrations for having increased its profits by a staggering 329 percent this year, compared with 2019. But the online shopping retailer is preparing for a future in which shoppers might have less money in their wallets.

"The normal pattern of social events is not going to resume in the short term, so while we have confidence in our ability to continue growing our market share globally, we are cognizant of the economic impact this crisis is having on our 20-something customers and the pressure on their disposable incomes," said Asos in a statement.

Also growing against expectations is the Netherlands' housing market, where a shortage in supply is causing prices to increase steeply – bad news for Dutch people looking to buy a property now.

If you need some light relief from the struggles of the pandemic, scroll down for our video and interview of the day.

Yesterday you might have read our interview with Laura Cozzi from the International Energy Agency on the future of solar panel – today we bring you a nice animation to show you how the IEA predicts the renewable energy sector could change in the coming years in reaction to COVID-19.

As the second wave of COVID-19 grips Europe, we are more eager than ever to hear good news about potential vaccines. Therefore, we spoke to Guang (Helen) Yang, senior director of Global Strategy and Business Development at Sinovac, about how the Chinese company's candidate vaccine is developing.

Stay safe and enjoy reading,

Giulia Carbonaro



Ryanair is to scale back its winter schedule because of COVID-19 restrictions across Europe. The airline will cut one in three flights and has warned that more jobs will be on the line.

UK pub chain Marston's will cut 2,150 jobs across the country, as it says efforts to recover after lockdown have been damaged by new restrictions.

European stocks dropped on Thursday as COVID-19 restrictions tighten across Europe amid a second wave of the virus.

Heineken's pub business, Star Pubs and Bars, has received a $2.6 million fine by England and Wales's watchdog Pubs Code Adjudicator for forcing pubs to stock "unreasonable levels" of its beers and ciders.

Despite the pandemic, home prices in the Netherlands have climbed 11.6 percent in the third quarter compared with last year, as the Dutch housing market fails to meet demand for properties.

Asos profits have quadrupled this year amid a boom in online shopping for casual wear. Its active customers base has grown by 3 million shoppers, but the company remains wary of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on customers' disposable incomes.

Deloitte has resigned as auditor of the EG Group, the British retailer which owns more than 6,000 petrol stations across the world and has recently reached a deal to buy the supermarket chain Asda for $8.8 billion.

French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel has teamed up with Unibail's former CEO Leon Bressler to oppose the group's rights issue, which aims to supporting the company's recovery. Instead, Niel thinks Unibail should sell its U.S. portfolio, solve its debt issues and refocus on Europe as its primary market.

Football's English Premier League has announced it won't endorse Project Big Picture, which involved reducing the league from 20 to 18 clubs. Instead, the EPL agreed on a $64.8 million rescue package for League One and Two clubs, the third and fourth tiers of English football.



WATCH: The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can open up opportunities to reshape the future of energy, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).




As Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly vaccine trials hit pause over safety concerns that emerged during their third phase, we asked Guang (Helen) Yang, senior director of Global Strategy and Business Development at Sinovac, how the company's trials in Brazil are proceeding.


How are Sinovac's candidate vaccine trials proceeding?

I think currently the trials are going well. In Brazil, we have already a few thousand volunteers being inoculated either with a vaccine or placebo, because now it is still "blind," we don't know who gets what. But purely from the observation of people who are getting the vaccine, we didn't see any vaccine-related severe adverse reactions. So we think in terms of the safety observation, so far, so good. But we need to wait until the trial is completed and to do the "unblinding" to have a further analysis on the results.


In your opinion, when do you think the vaccine might be ready?

Well, for our case in Brazil, I think it is the first trial we started, and that's a case-driven trial. After we inoculate the volunteers, we need to collect the confirmed cases. And based on the scientific study, there should be a certain number of cases that needs to be collected before we reach an interim report or interim status that we can "unblind" at trial. Therefore there are uncertainties about timing. But if everything moves smoothly, we may expect to have some data around end of November or even December. But still there are some uncertainties around that, we need to keep a close eye on that.