Billions of pounds have been wiped off the stock market values of both GSK and Haleon, the drugs group’s newly demerged consumer healthcare business, amid concerns over a former GSK blockbuster drug. The falls come ahead of the start of litigation proceedings this month over the detection of a “probable human carcinogen” in Zantac, one of the most pivotal drugs in GSK’s history. (The Times £)
Quitting the Russian market in the wake of Moscow’s war in Ukraine has cost Coca-Cola HBC €190m (The Times £). Coca-Cola HBC has seen earnings tumble by about a third following its decision to drastically scale back its operations in Russia (The Daily Mail).
Scotch whisky shows surprising strength in global gloom. Distillery numbers at record high, with exports on track to match or pass pre-pandemic levels. In Scotland it is pulling in so much investment that the number of distilleries in the country’s five producing regions is at its highest since the second world war, according to industry body the Scotch Whisky Association. (The Financial Times £)
Johnson & Johnson will stop making and selling its talc-based baby powder around the world from next year. The announcement comes more than two years after the healthcare giant ended sales of the product in the US. (The BBC)
John Lewis is to retire its 97-year-old price pledge “never knowingly undersold” on 22 August but has yet to reveal a catchy new slogan to take its place. (The Guardian)
McDonald’s will start reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine in the coming months, in a show of support after the American fast-food chain pulled out of Russia (The Guardian). McDonald’s will reopen some branches in Ukraine, in a show of support after the US fast-food chain pulled out of Russia (Sky News).
Workers at Starbucks have held over 55 different strikes in at least 17 states in the US in recent months over the company’s aggressive opposition to a wave of unionization. (The Guardian)
Battle for the soul of Ben & Jerry’s: Fight rages on with Unilever over boycott of Israeli settlements. Efforts by Unilever to draw a line under the dispute by selling the West Bank operations to its Israeli franchisee have ended up in the Manhattan courts after Ben & Jerry’s declined a settlement offer. (The Daily Mail)