PRESS DIGEST- British Business - May 1

May 1 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

- Sir Richard Branson has withdrawn his interest in bidding for the next National Lottery licence to focus on supporting his businesses, including Virgin Atlantic, through the coronavirus crisis.

- British Airways could leave Gatwick, the country's second largest airport where it is the second biggest operator, as it emerged that it is to sack 1,100 of its pilots on statutory redundancy terms only.

The Guardian

- Boris Johnson has promised that the government will next week publish a "comprehensive plan" on reopening businesses, with professional bodies working through the weekend to help draw up detailed guidelines on working during lockdown.

- Victoria Beckham has reversed a decision to furlough 30 staff at her fashion label after the decision to apply for public money drew heavy criticism.

The Telegraph

- Royal Dutch Shell slashed its dividend for the first time since the Second World War and experts warned the coronavirus crisis could spell the end of fossil fuels.

- Bank chiefs have sought reassurance from regulators that they will not be penalised if problems emerge in coming years with a new "Bounce Back" crisis loan scheme aimed at helping the smallest companies.

Sky News

- Sainsbury Plc expects to take 500 million pounds ($628.75 million) hit to annual profits due to the cost of keeping open during the pandemic and may have to close some stores if the situation worsens.

- More than 1,800 jobs have been lost at Oasis and Warehouse after a rescue attempt floundered and administrators struck a deal to sell the retailers' stock and intellectual property to Hilco Capital. ($1 = 0.7952 pounds) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)