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TBM morning briefing: Uber boat to Kent | Oxford Nanopore | Prodrive biofuel

By Stephen Emerson
10 January 2022

Uber-owned Thames Clippers has stepped up its plans to run a regular ferry from London to Kent, Oxford Nanopore has revised its revenue forecast upwards and Prodrive prove that biofuel can be used to power winning race cars.

Uber to London to Kent boat service moves forward

Uber-owned Thames Clippers has agreed the sale of Gravesend Town Pier with Gravesham Council with the aim of providing an Uber Boat service down the Thames into London, according to KentOnline.

Once the sale is completed, Thames Clippers will take over the maintenance of the pier which is the oldest remaining cast iron pier in the world.

Thames Clippers currently operates routes between Putney and Woolwich however this new venture would be its first regular service outside of London.

Oxford Nanopore beating expectations

Oxford Nanopore Technologies expects to to report core Life Science Research Tools (LSRT) revenue of above £120 million, up 83% from LSRT revenue of £65.5 million the year before.

The Oxford firm, which made its debut on the London Stock Exchange last year, says that its expects to report total revenue of £126 million which is an increase of 11% from total revenue of £113.9 million the year before.

FACT: Wightlink sold half a million cups of coffee in 2021

Caffeine-hungry passengers downed around 500,000 cups of coffee on its vessels last year.

The Isle of Wight ferry operator press release said the firm is committed to supporting local suppliers and also used six tonnes of island-roasted coffee beans, 125,000 of milk from Briddlesford Farm Dairy, 10,000 slices of cake from Calbourne Classics and 140,000 Grace’s sandwiches, toasties and paninis

Biofuel rally car storming Dakar Rally

Bahrain Raid Xtreme , whose car runs on fuel made by Banbury-based Prodrive, is making waves in the desert in Saudi Arabia.

The Prodrive Hunter, driven by Sébastien Loeb, won the second and third stage of the Dakar Rally over the weekend and became the first car to win a stage of the event powered by sustainable fuel.

The Hunter runs on Prodrive EcoPower, which is made from agricultural waste, reducing CO2 emissions by 80% compared to petrol.

UK households to feel inflation heat

A report by Oxford Economics says that households are likely to see a drop in their financial resilience this year, amid increases in consumer spending, inflation and higher interest rates.

The study predicts that consumers will spend savings accumulated during the pandemic but the decline will still leave the average household in stronger financial shape than before Covid-19 struck.

APPOINTMENTS: New CEO for Nurture Landscapes

The former managing director of AA Roadside Services, Gareth Kirkwood, will take over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of landscaping firm Nurture Landscapes this month.

Kirkwood has spent four years at the roadside rescue service and has also held roles at British Airways and Expedia before moving to the Surrey-headquartered company.

He said: “I am thrilled to be joining Nurture Group as CEO and excited to drive the team on to achieve its goals. I hope to help the organisation to deliver important targets, not least the achievement of the net zero business status by 2030, an ambitious goal, but one which we believe is attainable with the correct investment.”

Peter Fane, current CEO of Nurture Landscapes, will continue to work full time at the company as executive chairman focused on growth and acquisition.

IHG expands Vietnam footprint

Denham-headquartered InterContinental Hotels Group has signed an agreement with Sun Hospitality Group to add four properties comprising a total of 2,709 rooms in Vietnam.

The deal will see IHG open hotels under its Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Voco brands.Holiday Inn Resort Yoko Park Onsen will be situated in Quang Hanh, around a 30-minute drive to Halong City and 45 minutes to Van Don International airport.

Three hotels will also open in the Ba Na Hills Entertainment Complex in the mountains of Danang, including the 602-room Crowne Plaza Danang Ba Na Hills, the 843-room Holiday Inn Resort Danang Ba Na Hills and the 648-room Voco Danang Ba Na Hills.