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ETI THERMAPEN: New BABY food thermometer offers safe haven for parents | City & Business | Finance

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Launching this month, First Food Thermapen (£40) puts an end to trial-and-error by hitting the Goldilocks’ zone and delivering an accurate reading in seconds that’s geared to multi-tasking mums and dads. It marks the latest innovation from Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI), a Sussex-based measuring equipment manufacturer that boasts a worldwide foodie fanbase spanning ambitious amateurs, famous chefs and professional kitchens in 100 countries.

“Food, breast milk and formula can be heated and re-heated safely with our new product and guide. Many parents are unsure about correct temperatures, yet they are crucial for the preservation of nutrients and hygiene maintenance,” explains ETI managing director and co-founder Peter Webb. 

“Microwaving alone for example isn’t enough, families must be able to trust and control.”

He and his wife Miriam, “best friends and business partners”, set up the family firm 35 years ago making affordable measuring instruments and probes at a time when the food industry was largely ignoring this aspect.

After strong orders from start, however, the archetypal family firm, which now includes the couple’s three children as directors, has expanded steadily making 70 percent of what it sells and with sales now split 40:60 between the UK and overseas.

This year the company is forecasting a £15.7 million turnover and employs 175 plus staff on three sites in Worthing. 

Its most recent acquisition, taking £500,000 of investment, will house its R&D team and be the design and manufacturing hub for its wifi, Bluetooth and infrared products.

Able to monitor without probing they are essential for checking the likes of frozen food and hotplate servings

A boost from the tightening of food hygiene regulations in 1990, the broad range of its Thermapens which cover from -49.9C to 299.9C, helped establish the business. 

Then another unforeseen game-changer, Britain’s revolutionary transformation into a nation of adventurous but discerning food-conscious consumers and suppliers, consolidated its success.

Now whether cooks aspire to bake the perfect macaroon or just want to knock out a creative dish or two, a thermometer is part of their toolkit.

“The celebrity shows, endorsements and more recently interest generated by Instagram posts have brought food and the importance of temperature control to the fore, creating a trend and demand for more technology in the way we cook at home,” says Webb who as well as having John Lewis as a key UK stockist has seen sales soar in the US thanks to competitive BBQ-ing.

Now more akin to a national sport there, the slow cooking expertise and appraisal skills expected from teams has proved a match made in heaven for ETI’s Thermapen Professional model.

Sales are also growing in Chile, Argentina and Peru, countries with strong culinary reputations although Brazil’s size and inflation have made it a tougher one to crack so far.

“Brexit uncertainty has widened our horizons,” says Webb.

“Our biggest difficulty is when the value of the US dollar falls. But we have always been a company that focuses on sustainability through steady growth and re-investing profits. Through that we were able to develop the First Food Thermapen which took eight months and £100,000.”

After a hiring a team of green ambassadors the company has reduced its packaging, pursues eco-friendly printing for catalogues and fields volunteers for Worthing’s beach clean-ups.

“We are proud our products have ‘Made in Britain’ on them,” says Webb. “For all the obstacles there much to celebrate about British manufacturing.”

www.thermometer.co.uk

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S&P 500 posts highest close since November 8 on trade optimism

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 posted its highest closing level since Nov. 8 on Friday as investors clung to signs of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China.

Investors assessed a slew of headlines on the talks, with top trade negotiators from the two countries meeting to wrap up a week of discussions on some of the thorniest issues in their trade war.

If the two sides fail to reach a deal by midnight on March 1, then their seven-month trade war could escalate.

“People are expecting some sort of positive news on trade and tariffs with China fairly soon,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“But we won’t know until the end of next week,” he said, and, “there has been a lack of specifics.”

Optimism on the trade front and dovish signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve have driven the recent gains and left indexes well above their lows of December, when the market swooned on fears of an economic slowdown. The S&P 500 is now up about 19 percent since its late-December low.

The S&P 500 technology index was up 1.3 percent, leading gains among the 11 major S&P sectors, while the trade-exposed industrials index climbed 0.6 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.18 points, or 0.7 percent, to 26,031.81, the S&P 500 gained 17.79 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,792.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.84 points, or 0.91 percent, to 7,527.55.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

All three indexes registered gains for the week, with both the Dow and Nasdaq posting a ninth week of increases.

The number of New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq stocks hitting 52-week highs hit 367, the most since mid-September and outnumbered those hitting year lows by the widest margin in six months.

Stocks briefly pared gains after U.S. officials briefed on the negotiations said more time is likely needed in the talks given China’s resistance this week to American demands for specific steps by Beijing to end forced transfers of U.S. technology and certain other policies.

Afterward, President Donald Trump said there was a very good chance the United States would strike a deal with China to end the trade war, and that he was inclined to extend his March 1 deadline to reach an agreement.

“Right now the downside risk has been not as steep, but there’s always a concern that something happens last-minute,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

“Having a Chinese economy that stabilizes is constructive for global markets,” she said. “That’s what is key in terms of the market looking at the results.”

Kraft Heinz Co tumbled 27.5 percent, and was the biggest drag on the S&P along with a 1.7 percent fall in Class B shares of the company’s controlling stakeholder, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The packaged food company posted a quarterly loss, disclosed a Securities and Exchange Commission probe and wrote down the value of its iconic Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.99-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.45-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 64 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 112 new highs and 21 new lows.

About 6.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 7.3 billion-share daily average for the past 20 trading days.

Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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FCA sets $14 million annual target compensation for CEO Manley: filing

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FILE PHOTO: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Mike Manley arrives at the memorial service held in honor of former CEO Sergio Marchionne in Turin, Italy, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca/File Photo

DETROIT (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) has set an annual compensation target for Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley consisting of pay, cash and equity bonuses of $14 million, the automaker said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

Manley took over as the head of FCA last July after the abrupt departure of his predecessor Sergio Marchionne. The company paid its new CEO 600,442 euros ($680,240) for 2018 and he will receive a bonus for 2018 of $367,000 to be paid this year.

Manley also was granted FCA 180,364 shares for his work in 2018, which will vest in 2019 if the company meets certain targets. The fair value per share on the date those were granted was $16.61, FCA said.

His target annual compensation consists of a base salary of $1.6 million, and a bonus of $2.4 million and an equity award valued at $10 million, both linked to the company hitting certain performance targets.

Former CEO Marchionne received 6.6 million euros in compensation for 2018, which consisted of nearly 2 million euros in base pay and an annual bonus for 2017 of just over 4.6 million euros.

For the 2014 to 2017 time period, Marchionne also received 2.8 million FCA shares. The fair value per share was $14.84, FCA said.

FCA chairman John Elkann received a base salary of 1.7 million euros and no annual bonus.

Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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Flattening U.S. yield curve in late 2018 ‘flashing red’ on economy: Fed’s Williams

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President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, John Williams, addresses a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A flattening U.S. yield curve in December, which was close to being inverted, was “flashing red” about a deceleration in U.S. economic growth heading into 2019, despite some solid data at the time, New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said on Friday.

The yield curve flattens as the gap between short and long-dated yields narrow, suggesting investors’ worries about a slowing economy.

The yield curve inverts when shorter-dated yields rise above longer-dated ones. An inverted yield curve has preceded all U.S. recessions in the past 50 years.

Williams was giving closing remarks at a conference about quantitative tools, jointly sponsored by the New York Fed and the Atlanta Federal Reserve.

Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Diane Craft

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