Here are the business stories making the business headlines this morning.
Vinyl turns the tables at HMV as profits double
The revival of vinyl records has driven profits at the owner of HMV to more than double.
Pre-tax profits at Sunrise Records and Entertainment, the owner of HMV and of Fopp, another music and books seller, rose from £1.97 million to £5.3 million in the year to May 30.
Revenue at the group leapt by £27million to £178million, driven by strong demand for vinyl and a resurgence in sales of CDs.
Read more in The Times.
Concerns raised over ScotRail crash
Rail network controllers could not be reached to take emergency action before a train crashed into a fallen tree at 84mph, according to claims in an internal memo by a rail union seen by The Scotsman.
A ScotRail driver was injured and their train cab severely damaged in the incident near Broughty Ferry during Storm Gerrit last month that has triggered two industry investigations.
The latest claims come as two more trains hit fallen trees on Sunday, with one near Oban involving passengers being evacuated from a damaged carriage. A Wick to Inverness train struck a tree near Conon Bridge in the second incident.
Little room for big tax cuts, Hunt tells Tories
Jeremy Hunt has warned the cabinet that tax cuts in the spring budget may be smaller than expected because of “major structural weaknesses” in the economy, according to The Times.
The chancellor and the prime minister are considering cuts to either income tax or national insurance on March 6 as they seek to revive the Conservatives’ electoral fortunes.
However, the chancellor told a cabinet meeting there was likely to be less headroom for tax cuts than in the autumn statement, when he reduced national insurance by two percentage points.
He said relatively low levels of productivity in Britain are “our major structural weakness”, highlighting official figures showing that France, Germany and the US are more productive.
The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday against pre-election tax cuts as it downgraded Britain’s growth prospects.
Interest rates on new mortgages fall for first time in two years
Average interest rates on new mortgages fell in December for the first time in more than two years as weakening inflation and the possibility of looser monetary policy eased the pressure on borrowers.
Figures from the Bank of England show the effective interest rate on new mortgages fell to 5.28 per cent in December, from 5.35 per cent the month before, marking the first decline in borrowing costs since November 2021.
Homeowners with mortgages or those looking to get on to the housing ladder have been under sustained financial pressure for two years, with the Bank lifting its base interest rate at the fastest pace in more than three decades. The base rate stands at 5.25 per cent, but interest rate cuts are widely expected later this year.
Elon Musk’s ‘unfathomable’ $56bn Tesla pay deal ruled unlawful
A US judge has ruled that billionaire Elon Musk’s $56bn (£44bn) Tesla pay package can be cancelled, calling the compensation “an unfathomable sum” that was not fair to shareholders, according to a court filing.
The court’s opinion directed a Tesla shareholder who challenged the pay plan to work with Elon Musk’s legal team on an order implementing the judge’s decision.
The judge, Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, said the pay package did not meet the standard of a fair price.
“The incredible size of the biggest compensation plan ever - an unfathomable sum - seems to have been calibrated to help Musk achieve what he believed would make ‘a good future for humanity’,” wrote McCormick in her 201-page opinion.
Read more in The Telegraph.