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News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Great Basin Scientific (OTCQB:GBSN), a molecular diagnostics company, today released the following business update on third quarter 2016 performance in a letter to shareholders: There has been a lot of activity at Great Basin over the last quarter, in terms of progress toward reaching company goals for footprint and revenue growth, menu expansion, and the amortization of the 2015 Notes. To help explain what we are delivering and what we're building toward, the following is a summary of Great Basin’s business metrics and status: Revenues and Customers Revenues for the third quarter increased 35% year over year, primarily from the sale of two tests, C. diff and Group B Strep. Sales of Group B Strep tests increased 339% during the third quarter of 2016 compared with a year ago, while C. diff increased 20% during the same period. As expected, sales of C. diff tests remained soft due to the decline in C. diff testing that occurs outside of flu season, which runs October through May. We expect C. diff revenues to climb over the next two quarters as we enter flu season, while we expect to record increased sales of Group B Strep. Our installed customer base grew 78% during the 2016 third quarter compared to a year ago, to 255 customers. While this represents a decrease in installed sites from the second quarter 2016, the decrease in part reflects our concerted efforts to take back under-utilized analyzers at low-volume sites for placement with higher volume, higher value customer sites. We now have 510 analyzers placed with a higher revenue per instrument (RPI), which, along with our expanded product menu, should continue to improve average RPI. Product Launches During the quarter, we doubled our product menu with the commercial launch of two new products: a test for Shiga Toxin producing E. coli (STEC); and a panel for blood sepsis caused by Staphylococcus bacteria (Staph ID/R).  While both products have longer evaluation windows than C. diff and Group B Strep, commercial launches for both are progressing well and we are pleased with both the level of interest expressed by our existing customers, and the interest from hospitals and reference labs. Particularly exciting to us is the expressed interest from large medical centers and research hospitals that typically do much higher volumes of testing than our historical customer base of smaller suburban and rural hospitals, which, if they adopt our systems and utilize our assays, could result in higher RPI. While we recorded no meaningful revenue from either product in the third quarter for these assays, we expect both placements and revenues to continue to rise, with the expectation that these products will make notable contributions to revenues by mid-2017. Menu Expansion Going forward, we will continue to develop and market assays that meet our customers’ needs, contribute to our revenue growth, and maximize the utility of our analyzers. To that end, we recently completed the clinical trial of our Stool Bacterial Pathogens Panel and expect to finish the clinical trial of the Bordetella Direct Test before the end of the year. As previously disclosed, we have three additional products in late-stage development: Chlamydia-Gonorrhea test, Staph Aureus Pre-surgical screening test, and Fungal Pathogen from Blood Culture panel. These development projects remain on schedule, and we expect to commence clinical trials for all three in early 2017. Our goal, pending successful completion of the clinical trials and subsequent approval by the FDA, is to have six assays commercialized in 2017. Cash Burn During the third quarter, we finalized a financial management plan to hold costs and reduce cash burn while continuing to execute our product development goals. This plan, which is anticipated to launch in the first quarter of 2017, is designed to hold selling, general and administrative spending at or close to current levels, stabilize operational overhead while seeking to build revenues, and reduce cost of goods sold through bringing certain sub-assemblies in-house and benefitting from volume-related cost savings. Our research and development spending will also be reduced following the completion of clinical trial for the Bordetella Direct Test and 510(k) submission for the Stool Bacterial Pathogens Panel. Additionally, we expect to see improvement in revenue per test as a result of the higher price point of the Staph ID/R and Stool Bacterial Pathogens panels compared to per test pricing for our low-plex tests. Adjusted Net Loss For the third quarter, we reported an adjusted net loss of $9.8 million. Our adjusted net loss excludes all non-cash gains and charges related to the accounting of the 2015 and 2016 convertible notes, and reflects what we believe is a more meaningful view of our actual operational performance. An explanation of non-cash adjustments included in our adjusted net loss follows this letter. Summary We are pleased with our operating progress in 2016—our new products launches are creating strong sales momentum, and our cost containment plans are progressing on schedule. Thank you for continuing to support Great Basin. This letter includes an Adjusted Net Loss “non-GAAP financial measure” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The presentation of this financial information, which is not prepared under any comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles, is not intended to be considered in isolation of, or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). For reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measure, see “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure” included in this letter. The Company excludes certain non-cash items in calculating adjusted net loss because they are non-cash in nature and because the Company believes that the non-GAAP financial measures, which exclude these items, provide meaningful supplemental information regarding operational performance. The Company further believes this measure is useful to investors in that it allows for greater transparency to certain line items in its financial statement and facilitates comparisons to peer operating results. The amortization of the debt discount that is included in interest for the three months ended September 30, 2016 resulted in a non-cash other expense recorded in earnings of $18.5 million. This is a non-cash charge resulting from the amortization of the debt discounts on our two convertible notes. The amortization amounts for the period totaled $3.0 million on the $22.1 convertible notes (the 2015 Notes) and $15.5 million on the $75 million convertible notes (the 2016 Notes). Loss on Issuance of Convertible Note in Interest The loss on issuance of note that is included in interest for the three months ended September 30, 2016 resulted in non-cash other expense recorded in earnings in the amount of $119.2 million. This is a non-cash charge resulting from the issuance of the 2016 Notes which due to the conversion features and warrants issued with the convertible notes were required to be accounted for as derivative liabilities. The fair value of the derivative liability amounts in excess of the $68 million proceeds received on the convertible notes was $119.2 million which was recognized as a cost of capital at issuance and accordingly charged to interest expense. The loss on extinguishment of debt for the three months ended September 30, 2016 resulted in a non-cash other expense recorded in earnings in the amount of $17.3 million. This non-cash expense is the result of the payment of $8 million in principal on the 2015 Notes through the issuance of 2.1 million shares of common stock. Due to the nature of the conversion feature of the notes, conversions were deemed to be extinguishments for accounting purposes and accordingly a loss in the amount of $17.3 million was recognized. Change in Fair Value of Derivative Liability The change in fair value of the derivative liability for the three months ended September 30, 2016 resulted in a non-cash gain in earnings in the amount of $135.7 million. The Company had a decrease in fair value of its conversion feature and warrants associated with the 2015 and 2016 Notes and a decrease in the fair value of all other derivative securities, which was a result of the decrease in the value of its common stock during the third quarter of 2016. During the three months ended September 30, 2015, the fair value of all derivative securities decreased by $20 million, also due to the decrease in the value of the Company’s common stock during the period. This letter contains forward-looking statements regarding events, trends and business prospects, which may affect future operating results and financial position, including but not limited to statements regarding the potential future commercial success of the Company’s assays, the Company’s continued revenue growth, adding the Company’s systems to larger hospitals and labs, expanding assays at existing customers, investments yielding higher revenue per customer, expanded customer base and new assays in the future, building the Company’s total revenue base, anticipated timing of future clinical trials,  increasing sales per instrument, and reducing seasonality in the Company’s revenue stream, anticipated future financing activity and use of funds from future financings, the Company becoming self-funded at some point in the future and other similar statements. Forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) our limited operating history and history of losses; (ii) our ability to develop and commercialize new products and the timing of commercialization; (iii) our ability to obtain capital when needed; and (iv) other risks set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2016. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and Great Basin Scientific specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.


News Article | February 18, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Shopkeepers in Southwold are braced for a tough year. The picturesque seaside town in Suffolk is the area of Britain worst affected by the revaluation of business rates. On average, companies will see their tax bill increase by a staggering 177% from April – but for some the impact will be far worse. Clare Hart, who runs Chapmans newsagents on the high street, says she is nervous rather than angry at the increase: “We are scared and bewildered,” she says. “It’s so ludicrous, it’s difficult to be cross.” Chapmans will pay £4,831 in rates from April, up from £2,280 in this financial year. The tax bill will keep rising until it hits £11,427 for the 2021-22 financial year: five times as high. Hart calculates that Chapmans will need to increase its sales by £50,000 a year to cover the increase, but its average transaction is between just £3 and £3.50. “We can’t put up prices because we won’t be competitive,” she says. “We are already competing with chains like Joules, who also sell sticks of rock and buckets and spades.” Hart was one of a small collection of business leaders who met the local MP, the Conservative Thérèse Coffey, on Friday morning to discuss their fears. “She said she was going to help us,” Hart says. Local businesses in Southwold, including Chapmans, have launched a campaign against the increase. Their stores are decorated with posters showing how a 177% rate rise would affect the price of the products they sell. Mills & Sons, a family-run butcher, has put up a banner reading “SOS – Save Our Shop”. It includes a quote from Theresa May about family firms and small businesses being the “backbone of our country” and that building an economy that “works for all” means “working with and listening to small firms”. The banner then adds: “Dear Mrs May – please listen to us urgently before we’re gone.” George Mills, who runs the butcher with his brother and father, says: “It is not dramatising it to say we would have concerns for the future of the business” if the proposed rates increase happens. “We would certainly have to downscale.” Mills & Sons is set to see its business rate bill surge from £7,000 a year currently to £19,000. “I know as a nation we are cash-strapped and no-one is flush,” Mills adds. “But I am convinced nobody would want a high street that these measures will end up with. It will be a homogenised high street.” Businesses in Southwold are facing this increase because the rental value of commercial property in the town has been increased dramatically in the latest revaluation by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). It is an affluent town that attracts tourists during the summer and a number of nationwide brands have opened in the area in recent years. Business rates are calculated as a proportion of the rental value. The rental value is supposed to be measured every five years, but the previous revaluation was controversially delayed by the government in 2015 for two years, making the changes that will come into force from April more pronounced. The revaluation is not supposed to increase the tax take for the Treasury but adjust the burden of business rates so it reflects the shape of the economy. As a result, London will pay more under the revaluation while struggling high streets in northern England will pay less. David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury, defended the business rates system last week, accusing critics of the tax of “scaremongering” and claiming nearly three-quarters of businesses will see no change or a fall in what they pay. However, these comments have infuriated small businesses facing an increase even more. Tom Innes, who runs a wine shop in Monmouth, south Wales, is facing an increase of £2,000 a year. “You could probably fit my shop sales area into Mr Gauke’s sitting room. “I think he sits in Westminster, does a lot of sums, and overall it is a zero sum. But everyone doesn’t come out zero. It doesn’t work out equal for people like me: I fall through the cracks. But he doesn’t care about that, does he, because the sums work out.” Gauke’s comments were also contradicted by a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which found that business rates were the most important issue facing three-quarters of small firms in London, above economic uncertainty and hiring staff. The FSB is pushing for the threshold that businesses pay rates to be increased and for more helpful transitional measures to be introduced to stop the so-called cliff-edge that many firms are facing. At present, buildings with a rateable value of £15,000 or less enjoy a discount on business rates or pay nothing at all. However, the revaluation has pushed many businesses – including Chapmans in Southwold – over the threshold. The government has capped the potential increases in business rates in the first year after the revaluation at 42%, but this is far higher than the 10-12% cap enjoyed in the past and there are also caps in place for those businesses that will benefit from a fall in their rates. “The significance of what is happening in April is now dawning,” says Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium. “The basic problem is that the burden of the property tax is way higher than it is in other countries.” Retailers, who pay the biggest share of business rates, have led calls for a complete overhaul of the tax, not least because high street stores are facing big bills that online retailers with vast warehouses do not have to pay. A report three years ago led by John Rogers, now the boss of Argos, and accountancy firm EY outlined four alternatives. These include measuring energy usage rather than property values; offering discounts for employing workers; linking business rates to corporation tax; and tweaking the existing system by introducing more frequent revaluations. Another idea that was mooted by Justin King, the former boss of Sainsbury’s, was to replace business rates with a sales tax. Despite pledges by George Osborne, the former chancellor, to consider an overhaul of rates, no major changes have yet occurred. Osborne announced in the 2016 budget that from 2020 the annual inflation-based increase in business rates will be calculated using CPI rather than RPI. He also proposed more frequent revaluations, but the details of this are yet to be revealed. The problem for the critics of business rates is that the tax has become one of the Treasury’s biggest and most reliable sources of income, bringing in nearly £29bn last year. The tax is also at the centre of the government’s drive to hand more powers to local authorities. By 2020 some councils will be able to keep 100% of the business rates raised in the local area, up from 50% at present. According to John Webber, head of ratings at property agent Colliers International, local authorities are increasing communications with the liaison officers at the VOA, because of concerns that successful appeals will lead to a black hole in their budgets. The VOA has a backlog of around 280,000 appeals. “The elephant in the room is localism and the devolution of business rates back to local authorities,” he says. “Local authorities cannot afford to see big drops in rateable values. They are not quite pulling the strings, but they are in background telling the VOA they can’t afford [successful appeals].” Councillor Claire Kober, chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, adds: “Councils currently fund half of all business rates refunds on appeal and have been forced to divert £2.5bn over the past five years to cover the risk of appeals and refunds. This means vital resources being diverted away from stretched local services, such as caring for the elderly, supporting businesses and boosting local growth.” The call for changes to the business rates system is now starting to gain political momentum. Gareth Thomas, shadow minister for local government, and Jim McMahon, his fellow Labour and Co-operative MP, have tabled amendments to the local government finance bill calling for the government to consider offering discounts to hospitals – which face a £322m increase from April – and schools, and also for the business rates system to be fully reviewed before local authorities are allowed to keep 100% of the tax. Thomas says: “Because of the challenges that schools and hospitals are facing, this is a way of offering relief to vital services that are under heavy financial pressure. We want to test the minister’s thinking on that.” Thomas says he is also concerned about whether councils “will have enough in the pot” after the changes to the business rates system. “It does raise a question about the long-term finances for local authorities,” he says. “I think there is a growing recognition that local authorities are under heavy pressure – the social care system is clearly in crisis. “There are a growing number of MPs who are concerned that if you devolve business rates and other responsibilities, will social care be properly funded after 2020 and will they be able to fund other services?” The amendment is scheduled to be debated in parliament on Tuesday. Despite the government’s protestations about scaremongering, the debate about business rates may only be getting started. Jane Morrissey Rosehill nursery, Bolton Jane Morrissey said her business rates bill would go up to about £20,000 a year, from £16,000. “I’ve asked for assistance for the previous one and it’s been declined by the council. I’ve appealed each time it’s gone up.” She said the private nursery, which looks after 70 children on a part- or full-time basis, would have to get an extra eight children to cover the increase in business rates. But this would mean hiring another nursery worker, or three more if the extra children were babies. Her staff get paid at least £15,600 a year, the living wage, but Rosehill prides itself on employing fully qualified staff, who earn graduate wages. The nursery employs 18 people. Morrissey said: “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” She said nurseries should be treated differently from shops and offices over business rates. “They don’t rate us on education but on the income we could get if we rented our building out. We are looked at like retail, like offices. We are not in our own category.” Nurseries also pay the full VAT rate of 20%, while schools only pay 5%. “It’s not a level playing field.” Morrissey added: “It’s really difficult to balance the books at the moment. I think it will see me going out of business in the next few years.” Nurseries cannot charge more than £4 an hour for childcare, and the amount of free childcare available to parents will double to 30 hours from 15 hours a week from September. “The £4 doesn’t cover all the costs that are being imposed on us,” the nursery manager said. Nurseries can increase top-up costs, such as meals and activities, but there is a limit – “you can’t say it’s £20 per dinner,” Morrissey said. “If a child wants to paint a picture, you can charge for the paint and the paper,” she said – but she doesn’t want to do that. She noted that two nurseries in Bolton had gone under in the last fortnight (one of them was not-for-profit and did not even have to pay business rates). Morrissey has spoken to her local MP about her concerns and will lobby the government this week, taking part in a Save the Children campaign to improve the quality of childcare. “They can’t put us all out of business. We’ve been set up to fail. For me, business rates are the biggest problem.” Philip Davey Western Maritime Training, Plymouth Davey, whose Plymouth-based company trains people for the merchant navy, cruise ships and other vessels, said his annual business rates bill had nearly doubled. It has gone from £4,400 in 2009 to £8,400 this year. He said: “The system is totally broken, it is disproportionate and it is unfair.” As a training company, Western Maritime needs a lot of space, and its rateable value has increased from £70 per square metre to £90. A nearby business that used less space but turned a higher profit was taxed less, he said. Davey suggested replacing business rates, a property tax, with a tax on gross profits. “Those who make more, pay more – it’s cost neutral to the government.” He deplored that “the reduction of business rates has really only affected micro-businesses, rather than small businesses,” adding: “We are training and developing people. The rise in business rates will affect our profitability, our investment and our ability to recruit staff – and this is an area that is going to be crucial after Brexit.” Julia Kollewe


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Companies could slash pension promises to 11 million employees, potentially knocking thousands of pounds off the incomes of people in retirement, if proposals in a government consultation paper are approved. Unions are likely to react furiously to the proposals, which would allow companies to save £90bn by providing annual increases in their retired employees’ pensions based on the consumer price index, rather than the retail price index. As CPI is generally lower than RPI, the impact on pensioners is likely to be significant over time. Analysis by advisers Hargreaves Lansdown suggests that for every £1,000 in pension income in 1988, under RPI it had increased to £2,586 this year, but only £2,105 under CPI. The changes are flagged in a green paper issued by the pensions minister, Richard Harrington. It cites estimates from pensions consultancy Hymans Robertson that a shift to CPI would “take away about £20,000 in benefits over an average DB (defined benefit) scheme member’s life”. Currently, 75% of pension schemes in Britain increase payouts to members each year using RPI rather than CPI, and usually the scheme rules and legislation prevent companies from lowering their promises. But the paper asks: “Should the government consider a statutory override to allow schemes to move to a different index, provided that protection against inflation is maintained?” In some circumstances, where a company is facing significant financial challenges, it could suspend pension increases altogether, the paper adds. “Allowing all schemes to move from RPI to CPI would have [a] significant impact on members’ benefits. CPI has been lower than RPI in 22 years out of the last 27 (and nine years out of the past 10) up to 2015, and so [it] would in all likelihood represent a reduction in members’ benefits,” the paper acknowledges. The change would affect 11 million people in defined benefit schemes, also known as final salary schemes, where the level of pension in retirement is a proportion of the person’s salary. Most private companies have closed these schemes, replacing them with pensions where the payout is entirely dependent on the performance of stock and bond markets. Harrington said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure the system works in the interests of everyone – employers, schemes and scheme members. This green paper sets out the evidence we have available about the key challenges facing DB pension schemes and highlights a number of options that have been suggested to us to improve confidence in the system.” But the former pensions minister Steve Webb, the director of policy at pensions company Royal London, said: “The most worrying proposal is to allow certain schemes to ‘suspend’ annual pension increases if money is tight. With rising inflation, annual indexation is an important part of protecting the living standards of the retired population. “There is a significant risk that relaxing standards on inflation protection with the best of intentions for exceptional cases could be exploited and lead to millions of retired people being at risk of cuts in their real living standards.” Tim Sharp, a pensions expert at the TUC, said: “Pension reforms should be judged on whether they improve workers’ standard of living in retirement. It is hard to see how measures that transfer wealth from pension savers to shareholders would achieve this. “We shouldn’t cut members out of decisions to water down pensions, which are, of course, deferred pay.” The paper makes it clear that the shift from RPI to CPI is only under discussion and, in a surprise rebuke to the pensions industry, says Britain’s final salary schemes are more affordable than widely believed. It notes that deficits in pension schemes have narrowed from a peak of £400bn to £196bn and “the evidence that DB schemes are unaffordable is far from being conclusive and should be considered with caution”. Companies that complain they cannot afford their pension schemes seem to be able to pay out large dividends to shareholders, the paper notes. “In 2015, FTSE 100 companies paid about five times as much in dividends as they did in contributions to their DB pension schemes,” it says. “The 56 FTSE 100 companies with a DB pension scheme deficit paid 25% more in dividends (£53bn) relative to their deficit (£42bn). Therefore, in theory, these companies have the ability to immediately repair their pension scheme deficits were they to feed their dividends into deficit repair contributions (DRCs).”


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

With unemployment low and talented, dedicated workers more valuable than ever, companies large and small are focusing more time and resources toward employee recognition. Those efforts to ensure that staffers feel valued will be celebrated by successful employers world-wide on Friday, March 3, with the annual Employee Appreciation Day. “Commonly known as ‘Recognition Day,’ this annual event is not meant as a once-per-year celebration, but as a way to kick-start a year-round culture of appreciation within companies and organizations that makes every day an occasion to recognize good work and encourage employees,” said Kathie Pugaczewski, executive director of Recognition Professionals International – a world-wide professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition. “Our member organizations look at Employee Appreciation Day as a chance to be creative and spotlight the many efforts to recognize good work.” Recognition efforts range in scope from simple events like a root beer float bar at work all the way to elaborate incentives like travel and fiscal rewards. Successful companies like Disney, Southwest Airlines, the Cleveland Clinic and others routinely partake in these efforts, and the results are clear to see. Ensuring employees feel valued has been shown to boost productivity and pay dividends for businesses and organizations. Detailed in a recent RPI webinar, among the many ideas that experts offer for employee recognition activities are: Food – Everyone loves free food, be it a simple snack, a sweet treat, or a full meal, and there’s something special about an employee being served a meal by their supervisor that reinforces the notion of value and recognition. Everything from food truck appearances to ice cream socials are encouraged as a way to recognize employees through food. Team activities – Getting out of the office is imperative to the mental health of employees; even if it’s just to the parking lot for a group stretch. Team activities can be a valuable way to recognize employees and foster a team spirit among members of your organization. Make the office feel different for a day. Some workplaces practice theme days, where workers dress in the colors of their favorite sports team, or emulate their favorite superhero. Games like Jenga contests or a video game setup can bring a spirit of friendly competition to the workplace as well. Wellness – Some workplaces provide healthy snacks or energy-boosting foods to give employees a needed jumpstart, especially in the afternoons. A popular wellness activity is to bring in massage professionals to provide back and neck rubs. For other webinars and a wealth of information on Recognition Day, please visit the RPI website at http://www.recognition.org. For interviews with employee recognition experts, please contact Jess Myers, 651-290-7465, jessm(at)ewald.com. About RPI Founded in 1995, Recognition Professionals International (RPI) is the only professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition through its sole focus on recognition innovations and education as a systematic method for improvements in the workplace. RPI is endorsed by top authorities in the industry, has an impressive membership of Fortune 500 organizations and is the only association offering Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) courses.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Your article (Pension changes could cost 11m Britons thousands of pounds, 21 February) says 75% of pension schemes use the retail price index (RPI). But all the public-sector schemes, which must be more than 25%, as well as many in the private sector – eg BT, BA – have used the consumer price index (CPI) for years. The article says RPI is usually greater than CPI; in fact it is virtually always greater because of the different way they are calculated – it’s called the formula effect. To cut a long and complicated story short, RPI may overstate inflation by about 0.2% on average but CPI understates it by about 0.8%. Over time that’s a big difference and will of course affect future pensioners (today’s young) more than it will current pensioners – this is not a baby boomer issue. Basically CPI was never meant to be a real measure of inflation; rather it was a way of comparing inflation in EU states. Its adoption by the government as the measure of inflation rises – on benefits as well as pensions – since 2010 is basically a mendacious scam. David Quinn London • Could the Steve Webb who is arguing against “relaxing standards on inflation protection [that could] lead to millions of retired people being at risk of cuts in their real living standards”, if increases are calculated using CPI rather than RPI, possibly be the same one who, as pensions minister in the coalition government in 2010, did just that for civil and public servants? That led to no increase for 2016-17, and I am waiting with bated breath for the 2017-18 news, as the CPI last year, at the point at which these things are calculated, was just below 1%, which seems to entitle the government pensions agencies to say no increase will be paid. Dr Sally Cheseldine Edinburgh • Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Britain’s manufacturers fear the rising cost of raw materials will soon dent a robust recovery since the Brexit vote that has included total orders hitting a two-year high. A survey of the sector found suggested that concerns over inflation were at their highest level for six years as firms said the weak pound was increasing the cost of imports, forcing them to raise prices or accept a severe squeeze on profits. Export orders also fell slightly, though remained well above the long-run average as manufacturers continued to benefit from the flipside of the devaluation in sterling. The CBI, which conducted the survey, said stronger demand and higher production showed the manufacturing industry remained in rude health. But it warned the chancellor, Philip Hammond, that the government would need to step in to alleviate rising cost pressures to prevent a reversal of fortunes. Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s chief economist, said: “With cost pressures building, businesses will be looking to the budget for relief from business rates, specifically bringing forward the adjustment from retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI). “Over the longer term, investment in education and innovation as part of the government’s industrial strategy will really need to deliver in the face of increasing political headwinds.” Hammond will unveil his first budget on 8 March with businesses becoming increasingly concerned about rising business rates and the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s relationship with the European Union. He is expected to resist calls for him to intervene to lower business costs while industry remains buoyant and employment is at an all-time high. Ruth Gregory, UK economist at Capital Economics, said the CBI’s industrial trends survey added to the evidence that the manufacturing sector was getting back on its feet. The headline total orders balance picked up from +5 in January to +8 in February, its highest level since February 2015 and well above its long-run average of -19, while the export orders balance fell from -9 to -10 in February to remain well above its long-run average of -20. Gregory said: “Admittedly, the drop in the pound is having a clear impact on price pressures, with the price expectations balance rising to its highest in nearly six years. “But the sector looks on course to provide a positive contribution to GDP growth in the first quarter. And with manufacturing exports set to benefit from the fall in sterling and solid demand from abroad, the future looks more promising for manufacturing activity than it has done for some time.” Samuel Tombs, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, was more gloomy, arguing that manufacturers were failing to capitalise fully on the lower pound and relying on domestic orders. “It remains difficult to see how domestic demand will maintain its momentum when producers push through even bigger price rises,” he said. “The percentage of producers reporting that they will raise prices over the next three months rose to +32 in February – its highest level since April 2011. The balance is consistent with producer output price inflation picking up to about 6% soon, from 3.5% in January. “The recent slowdown in household income growth, in response to flat employment and weakening wage growth, suggests consumers will have to cut back later this year when prices rise sharply. Accordingly, we continue to expect the manufacturing revival to lose considerable pace later this year.”


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

​​​Four respected New York athletic programs have chosen FieldTurf for their baseball facilities. Cornell University, Binghamton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Hamilton College have all committed to surfacing their fields with FieldTurf’s innovative DoublePlay systems. Locally, FieldTurf is the trusted baseball surface of the Brooklyn Cyclones’ MCU Park, numerous NCAA DI, II & III programs such as Columbia University, Fordham University and Rutgers University, as well as over 300 High School and Community fields across New York and New Jersey. Built upon the ability to personally tune the surface to the program’s preference, FieldTurf’s DoublePlay systems offer users the field they desire, as ball speed can be adjusted depending on the installed product. “The FieldTurf DoublePlay baseball systems are a result of listening to our clients’ specific performance needs with regards to baseball applications,” FieldTurf President Eric Daliere said. “We spoke to many coaches about what matters most to them in a synthetic baseball field and our DoublePlay systems are a result of ensuring we continue to deliver the very best sport-specific technology to our clients.” Binghamton University had the pieces in place to become one of the premier baseball programs in New York. They’d advanced to the NCAA regionals three of the past four years and were becoming a true superpower in the America East conference. The one thing they lacked: an all-weather, durable field. All that changed this past year when a generous donor contributed to fund the installation of a FieldTurf field. The field, Binghamton Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott told the school’s communications department, will revolutionize the school’s baseball program. Grounds crews and installation specialists worked through rain, fog and snow to install the Bearcats’ FieldTurf field. The Cornell University, Big Red, led the way in Ivy League athletics when they chose FieldTurf for their storied Hoy Field baseball and Schoellkopf Field football complexes. After 10 long years of durable, professional-level performance, Cornell decided to replace Hoy Field’s existing FieldTurf with a new system. Like Cornell University, the athletic departments at Hamilton and Rensselaer chose FieldTurf based on their previous experience with the company. The Huskies’ football program competes on a FieldTurf football field, and the RPI Engineers play and practice on several FieldTurf complexes at their campus. Hamilton’s baseball field features over 130K square feet of turf, while RPI’s field is home to over 120K square feet of FieldTurf’s DoublePlay system.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

CORAL SPRINGS, FL--(Marketwired - Feb 22, 2017) - Nutra Pharma Corporation ( : NPHC), a biotechnology company developing drugs for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and HIV that also markets Nyloxin® and Pet Pain-Away™ in the over-the-counter (OTC) pain management market, announced today that Global Small Caps has initiated coverage of the Company including operations and overall shareholder value. The report is available at: http://tinyurl.com/NPHCreport "We certainly appreciate any coverage of our company, especially as it pertains to the work that we are doing and the potential growth in shareholder value," commented Rik J Deitsch, CEO of Nutra Pharma. "We have been getting a lot of press lately. In fact, we were recently featured on NBC News Miami in a piece that has since been picked up nationally," he continued. "The current report on Global Small Caps focuses on our OTC pain drugs, Nyloxin and Pet Pain-Away. These are clinically proven, all-natural products that are available today to deal with pain and inflammation in people and their pets. The report also outlines the future of the Company's drug platform, especially the opportunity with our Multiple Sclerosis drug, RPI-78M," he concluded. According to their website, Global Small Caps, LLC is an independent company that researches public small caps in order to bring the latest investment trends to the average investor. About Nutra Pharma Corp. Nutra Pharma Corporation operates as a biotechnology company specializing in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) and Pain. Additionally, the Company markets drug products for sale for the treatment of pain under the brand Nyloxin® and Pet Pain-Away™. For additional information about Nutra Pharma, visit: http://www.NutraPharma.com or http://www.nyloxin.com http://www.petpainaway.com SEC Disclaimer This press release contains forward-looking statements. The words or phrases "would be," "will allow," "intends to," "will likely result," "are expected to," "will continue," "is anticipated," "estimate," "project," or similar expressions are intended to identify "forward-looking statements." Actual results could differ materially from those projected in Nutra Pharma's ("the Company") business plan. The report by Global Small Caps should not be construed as an indication in any way whatsoever of the future value of the Company's common stock or its financial value. The Company's filings may be accessed at the SEC's Edgar system at www.sec.gov. Statements made herein are as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as of any subsequent date. The Company cautions readers not to place reliance on such statements. Unless otherwise required by applicable law, we do not undertake, and we specifically disclaim any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements to reflect occurrences, developments, unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statement.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Recognition Professionals International the professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition, today announced that all of its Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) courses are now available online. “This is an exciting time for RPI and for the many world-wide employee recognition professionals seeking to become certified in the trade, with all of our valuable courses now available in both online formats as well as in-person at RPI’s annual conference,” said Rita Maehling, CRP, RPI board member and chair of RPI’s Learning Action Team. “We know all effective recognition programs involve assessment, strategy, implementation and review. The CRP program is designed to be a guide through this process, for the benefit of organizations and also business providers everywhere.” Goals of the CRP program include: --    To raise the professional standards of those engaged in employee recognition. --    To encourage continuing education for professional development. --    To encourage self-development by offering guidelines for achievement in the employee recognition profession. --    To identify and award special recognition to those persons who have demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of those principles and practices of employee recognition and also laws governing and affecting employee recognition. CRP designation consists of four courses and exams that can either all be taken online, at the 2017 RPI Annual Conference (April 30-May 2 in Fort Lauderdale, FL), or a combination of both. All CRP candidates receive the comprehensive learning guide which includes valuable templates, worksheets and case studies that can be utilized to implement a recognition program based on RPI’s Seven Best Practices. Each course is $595 for practitioner premium/business partner members; $750 for basic RPI members and $795 for non-members. CRP designation demonstrates to leaders, peers and clients a commitment to continuing education and excellence in the discipline of workforce recognition. RPI’s program is renowned as the most comprehensive, authoritative resource for individuals seeking to develop and test their skills and knowledge within this field. RPI offers a webinar featuring testimonials from several CRP graduates. For more information, please visit the official RPI website, http://www.recognition.org.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Jeremy Stoltzfus Joins RPI. RPI Consultants, a recognized leader in providing Infor Lawson Services, today announced that Jeremy Stoltzfus has joined the company as a Senior Lawson Technical Consultant. Richard Leigh Stout, Partner at RPI, commented, “We’re extremely excited about Jeremy joining our team. His experience, expertise and engagement have been invaluable to the Lawson community and we’re very much looking forward to employing those talents for our clients and partners.” Mr. Stoltzfus spent nine years as the Infor Lawson System Administrator for Penn State Health and brought over three years of system administration experience from his prior employment. During his time with Penn State Health, Jeremy implemented LBI, MSCM, Process Flow, Landmark Process Automation, Global HR and Talent Acquisition. He has been through four major application upgrades of the Lawson Suite. Jeremy is very active in the Lawson community. He serves on the board for the Keystone Lawson User group and is an active participant of the Lawson Global User Group board and Infor Customer Experience board. “For me, RPI’s emphasis on teamwork and collaboration was a key factor in joining the organization,” said Jeremy Stoltzfus. “I have seen firsthand how their clients benefit from that and am excited to be a part of such a strong team. I look forward to building on my years of experience as a customer and taking my skills and knowledge to the next level by being a part of RPI.” As a recognized thought-leader in the Lawson community, Jeremy is a frequent presenter at Lawson User Groups throughout the country where he has presented on a variety of topics including Landmark Administration, Landmark performance tuning and Process Flow/Automation, among others. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Millersville University. About RPI Consultants RPI Consultants is a business applications implementation and optimization firm focused on delivering best practices through technology, systems integration, and process redesign. The RPI team includes certified technical and functional experts in Infor Solutions, Lawson, Perceptive Content, Perceptive Capture and Kofax as well as other automation technologies to enhance the procure-to-pay, financial reporting, and human resources processes. RPI’s model focuses on delivering solutions to specific business problems through on-demand strategic intervention. Our team-based approach allows us to leverage the best resources part-time, on a task-by-task basis, while working closely with our clients to identify opportunities to minimize costs associated with travel and downtime. RPI prides itself on providing customers with the most value for their dollar, delivering value-added information and genuinely caring about the outcome of an engagement.

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