HSBC posts huge jump in profit as Asia business grows

A useful link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41799335 relating to:

Causes of growth Edexcel spec reference 2.5.1                            

The objectives of firms AQA spec reference 3.1.4.2                         

 Competition and market power  OCR spec reference Page 12

http://www.apt-initiatives.com/

New Resources for Business and Economics – Get Ready NOW for September

APT is a leading, quality provider of resources for Business and Economics, supplying thousands of teachers and students throughout the UK and overseas for the last 17 years.  NEW resources are being produced to supplement existing resources for a range of courses running from September 2017.  Resources are board specific and have received countless endorsements from Heads of Departments, Business and Economics Teachers and Students across the UK.

Click HERE for our order from.  A full list of resources is also provided below – many are available for immediate download, others can be pre-ordered now (being published from September onwards).  Sample material is available on our website, as well as feedback / testimonials – on each individual product page.

Resources for Pre-Released Research Themes / Case Studies / Stimulus / Contexts

OCR GCSE Bus A293: Complete Teacher’s Companion / Student Revision Buddy for the 2018 Case Study (incl. detailed examination, quizzes, mock exam) NEW (31/10/17) £75

OCR GCSE Bus A293: Two ADDITIONAL Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes and Answers for the 2018 Case Study NEW (30/11/17) £25

Edexcel AL Bus  Paper 3: Complete Context Companion for the 2018 Context NEW (February 2018) £85

GCSE Business – NEW Specifications – Teaching from 2017

Edexcel GCSE Topic and End of Theme Test Papers – Theme 1: Investigating Small Business NEW (7/9/17) £54

Edexcel GCSE 100 Multiple Choice Questions – Theme 1: Investigating Small Business – Printable Tests NEW (7/9/17) £35

Edexcel GCSE 100 Multiple Choice Questions – Theme 1: Investigating Small Business – Interactive Tests  NEW (7/9/17) £45

Edexcel GCSE 100 Multiple Choice Questions – Theme 1: Investigating Small Business – Printable & Interactive Tests NEW (7/9/17) £75

Edexcel GCSE Topic and End of Theme Test Papers – Theme 2: Building a Business NEW (24/4/18) £54

Edexcel GCSE 100 Multiple Choice Questions – Theme 2: Building a Business – Printable Tests NEW (24/4/18) £35

Edexcel GCSE 100 Multiple Choice Questions – Theme 2: Building a Business – Interactive Tests NEW (24/4/18) £45

Edexcel GCSE 100 Multiple Choice Questions – Theme 2: Building a Business – Printable & Interactive Tests NEW (24/4/18) £75

Edexcel GCSE Topic and End of Theme Test Papers – Covering the Entire Specification (Themes 1 & 2) NEW (24/4/18) £99

Edexcel GCSE 200 Multiple Choice Questions – Covering the Entire Specification – Printable Tests NEW (24/4/18) £65

Edexcel GCSE 200 Multiple Choice Questions – Covering the Entire Specification – Interactive Tests NEW (24/4/18) £85

Edexcel GCSE 200 Multiple Choice Questions – Covering the Entire Specification – Printable & Interactive Tests NEW (24/4/18) £135

AS / A Level Economics – NEW Specifications – Teaching from 2015 (All available NOW)

AQA AS Paper 1: 240 Multiple Choice Questions on The Operation of Markets and Market FailureInteractive AND Printable Version  £110

AQA AS Paper 1: 240 Multiple Choice Questions on The Operation of Markets and Market Failure – Interactive PowerPoints Only £65

AQA AS Paper 1: 240 Multiple Choice Questions on The Operation of Markets and Market Failure – Printable Version Only £55

AQA AS Paper 2: 200 Multiple Choice Questions on The National Economy in a Global Context – - Interactive AND Printable Version £90

AQA AS Paper 2: 200 Multiple Choice Questions on The National Economy in a Global Context – Interactive PowerPoints Only £55

AQA AS Paper 2: 200 Multiple Choice Questions on The National Economy in a Global Context – Printable Version Only £45

AQA AL 540 Multiple Choice Questions Covering the Entire AL Specification - Interactive AND Printable Version £270

AQA AL 540 Multiple Choice Questions Covering the Entire AL Specification – Interactive PowerPoints Only  £145

AQA AL 540 Multiple Choice Questions Covering the Entire AL Specification – Printable Version Only £135

AQA AL Paper 1: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Markets and Market Failure £65

AQA AL Paper 2: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on National and International Economy £65

AQA AL Paper 3: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Economic Principles and Issues £75

AQA AL AQA Practice Exam Questions for Financial Economics NEW £TBA

Edexcel AS ALSpec A Theme 1: 4 (Interim and Entire Theme) Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Introduction to Markets & Market Failure £65

Edexcel AS AL Spec A Theme 2: 4 (Interim and Entire Theme) Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on The UK Economy – Performance & Policies £65

Edexcel AL Spec A Theme 3: 4 (Interim and Entire Theme) Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Business Behaviour & The Labour Market £65

Edexcel AL Spec A Theme 4: 4 (Interim and Entire Theme) Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on A Global Perspective £65

Edexcel AL Spec A Paper 1: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Markets and Business Behaviour (Theme 1 & 3) £65

Edexcel AL Spec A Paper 2: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on The National and Global Economy (Theme 2 & 4) £65

Edexcel AL Spec A Paper 3: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (Themes 1,2,3&4) £75

Edexcel AL Edexcel Practice Exam Questions for Financial Economics NEW £TBA

OCR ALPaper 1: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Microeconomics  NEW £65

 

OCR AL Paper 2: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Macroeconomics  NEW £65

OCR AL Paper 3: 4 Mock Exam Papers, Mark Schemes & Answers on Themes in Economics  NEW £75

OCR AL Practice Exam Questions for Financial Economics NEW £TBA

ALL PRICES ARE +VAT.

Whilst we are busy preparing more new resources, we hope you have a great summer and all your students get the results they hope for.

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OCR A293 GCSE Business Studies – Mock Papers – Essential Revision

APT are experts in producing resources for use with pre-released Business case studies (we’ve been doing this for 18 years), and with the exams looming our Two Additional Mock Exam Papers (for just £25 + vat) have been written to vigorously test and help prepare students for this year’s OCR GCSE A293 Business Studies Exam on Bowton Mountain Festival Ltd 

  • The style and format of each paper is based on previous examinations set by OCR for the A293 Case Study Paper.
  • The question papers contain appropriate spacing for students to write their answers.
  • The mark schemes and answers provide a wide range of responses to the questions posed.
  • For questions marked using a ‘levels of response’ mark scheme, detailed example model answers are provided in paragraph form, and answers are annotated to show where the levels have been met (ie Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3).
  • The resource is licensed for teachers and up to 60 students to use in the purchasing institution.

These two additional mock examination papers, with mark schemes and detailed example model answers complement our highly acclaimed Teacher’s Companion / Student Revision Buddy for use with the OCR A293 2017 Case Study, which includes one mock exam paper, amongst a wide range of other resources that develop and thoroughly test students’ knowledge and understanding of the key terms, concepts and issues raised in the case study.  Both of these resources can be ordered by email or online with a card here.           

Two Additional Mock Exam Papers Price: £25 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD).

Complete Student Revision Buddy Price: £67 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD). - Discount available for Single User Licence.

Feedback on our Complete Student Revision Buddy:

“Absolutely outstanding.  I call this my ‘Bible’Your resources are in a different league.  Worth every penny.

A fantastic tool that fully supports teaching and learning and student progression in great depth and detail. Greatly appreciated. Amazing!

Laura Pickford, Heworth Grange.

 

“Outstanding…becomes the sole resource in my class all the way to the exam day.”

Jillur Rahman, Woodbridge High School.

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OCR A Level F297 Strategic Management Case Study on Verdant Ghar Ltd 2016 – A Final Thought

A final thought on this year’s OCR F297 Strategic Management case study examination, with the exam just around the corner…

Why did the exam board re-issue the case study they originally published with the 2015 figures for dividends and retained profit swapped around?

Does this indicate a question on shareholder ratios – with additional figures for number of shares issued and / or market price of shares being given to enable students to calculate more of these ratios?

And / or does it indicate a question on Phoebe – as shareholder, Chair and Managing Director – focusing on her leadership and business philosophy (the Four Pillars)?

Just a final thought.

We wish you and your students all the very best for this exam this coming Tuesday.

OCR AS F292 Business Functions RE-SITS – Practice Exam Questions relating to Marketing – Symponi Bears Ltd (SBL)

Practice Exam Questions relating to Marketinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9vua18glFU

Just a very small extract from APT’s OCR F292 Business Functions Case Study on
SymponiBears (SBL)

Contains: 

  • Identification and examination of key issues / possible question areas. Relevant theory relating to the business studies concepts and ideas raised in the case study.
  • In-depth analytical and evaluative discussion of improvements / solutions / options available. 
  • A highly comprehensive range of practice examination questions.
  • Guidelines on revision and examination technique.

The full CASE STUDY can be purchased for £35.40 (+VAT) Single User Licence

“My student achieved Grade A.  For his first year in both papers he was struggling with OCR business and unsure he would even gain a C. Thank you for such great material.”  Jane Wood, Tutor, Braintree

OCR AS Business Studies RE-SITS, just under a week to go…

AS Business Student RE-SITS next week? 

Students can purchase the APT OCR F292 Business Functions Case Study on Symponi Bears (SBL), for last minute revision, helping to secure the best grade possible.

Single user licence available at just £35.40 (+VAT).

 “My student achieved Grade A.  For his first year in both papers he was struggling with OCR business and unsure he would even gain a C. Thank you for such great material.”  

Jane Wood, Tutor, Braintree

Our analysis contains: 

  • Identification and examination of key issues / possible question areas.
  • Relevant theory relating to the business studies concepts and ideas raised in the case study.
  • In-depth analytical and evaluative discussion of improvements / solutions / options available. 
  • A highly comprehensive range of practice examination questions.
  • Guidelines on revision and examination technique. 

Click HERE to see a sample and HERE to order.

Price: £35.40 (+VAT) Single User Licence

OCR F297 Guidance on Possible 13 mark Numerical Ratio Analysis Questions

Besides the obvious 13 mark numerical question on time series, the calculation of 4 financial ratios is also a popular Q1a (13 mark numerical question) on the OCR F297 paper.  

With regard to this, the ratios OCR expect students to know and be able to calculate, including how to calculate them are provided in the following document published by OCR: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/78299-unit-f292-and-f297-guidance-on-accounting-elements.pdf

They consist of: 

  • Solvency: gearing, interest cover.
  • Liquidity: current ratio, acid test.
  • Activity / efficiency: stock turnover, debtor days, creditor days, fixed asset turnover.
  • Profitability: gross profit margin, net profit margin, return on capital employed, return on equity.
  • Shareholder: earnings per share, dividends per share, dividend yield, and price / earnings. 

In terms of the VGL case study, likely candidates for a ratio analysis question are liquidity and activity ratios – as they are specifically mentioned in the case study, and these have been calculated and analysed on p.29-32 of the APT Analysis.

The case study also makes the point that ‘commercial profit margins are tight’, which provides a thread for a question on profitability ratios.  With regard to this, gross and net profit margins can be calculated for VGL as follows: 

  • gross profit margin: 34.88% for 2014; 49.09% for 2015.
  • net profit margin (using the ‘net profit’ figure stated in the case study, which is profit after interest and tax): 4.65% for 2014; 14.55% for 2015.   

It should be appreciated, however, that the profit before interest and tax figure is considered a more appropriate ‘profit’ figure to use in profit margin calculations when judging the performance of a business – in particular the performance of management in controlling costs – as this measures aspects over which the business / its management team has control.  (In other words, the rate of interest and tax are outside their control).  The net profit (before interest and tax) margin can be calculated for VGL as: 9.3% for 2014; 19.39% for 2015.  

Whichever figure is used, VGL has clearly performed well in 2015 when comparing profit margins with 2014.  This is largely because revenue not only increased, but cost of sales fell, and gross profit has risen at a greater rate than the rise in other costs, namely the higher depreciation.

If students were asked to calculate 4 profitability ratios, then besides the gross and net profit margin(s) calculated above, they could calculate Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and Return on Equity (ROE) – these are calculated on p.6 and p.7 of the APT Analysis.

If students were asked to calculate solvency ratios: gearing and interest cover are relevant here and are calculated on p.11 of the APT Analysis.

There is insufficient information in the case study to calculate all the shareholder ratios listed in the OCR document above: dividend cover has been calculated on p.6 of the APT Analysis.

We talk a lot about the importance of using ratios in answers to questions in our seminars on the F297 case study, not just those that specifically require candidates to do this in the 13 mark numerical question.  Appropriate use of ratios in 18 mark and 23 mark questions is one of the fastest ways to secure 8+ marks in just one sentence, as it demonstrates analysis - as opposed to descriptive use – of case material, which is essential to secure Level 3.

 

Some additional possible questions for your students on the F297 Verdant Ghar Ltd Case Study

In preparing for our seminars on the OCR F297 Case Study, Claire Baker – who writes our F297 analysis and delivers the seminars – has identified some more questions for your students to consider on the Verdant Ghar Ltd Case Study.  These are in addition to the 26 questions already put forward on p.62-63 of APT’s Analysis of the F297 Case Study, published last December.   These additional questions are outlined below together with any pages in the APT analysis that contain information relevant to each question. 

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of creating monthly cost and profit centre budgets to ensure VGL’s liquidity stays within an acceptable range (lines 40-41). (see p.23-29 of APT Analysis)
  2. Discuss the appropriateness of scrutinising activity ratios to ensure VGL uses its precious cash to maximum effect (lines 41-42). (see p.29-32 of APT Analysis)
  3. Recommend and justify a strategy which could enable VGL to improve its profitability / gross profit margins / net profit margins [18] Note: ROCE calculations are on p.7 of APT Analysis; Gross profit margin was 34.88% in 2014 and 49.09% in 2015; Net profit margin was 4.65% in 2014 and 14.55% in 2015.  Profitability can be increased by either increasing revenue at a greater rate than costs, and / or costs falling at a greater rate than revenue.  There are numerous references to profit and profitability throughout the APT analysis and a wide range of strategies students could consider in relation to this question.  In a question requiring students to ‘recommend and justify a strategy’ they are advised to pick one strategy and fully justify it using evidence from the case study.
  4. Discuss how greater environmental awareness / legislation / taxes caused by media and customer pressure   might affect the …strategic direction of VGL. …achievement of VGL’s 2017 objectives. …success of VGL. (some info on p.35, 38 of APT Analysis)
  5. Should VGL extend the training given by the shift supervisors to include ‘why’ the task is important by reference to VGL’s Four Pillars (lines 79-85, Appendix 1)? Justify your view. [18] (p.45-50 of APT Analysis)
  6. Recommend and justify a strategy to minimise sub-standard or contaminated product. [18] (p.41-52 of APT Analysis)
  7. Recommend and justify a strategy which might enable VGL to gain at least two additional local authority contracts. [18] (some info on p.17 of APT Analysis)
  8. Michael is keen to extend the training given by the shift supervisors (lines 79-85). Discuss how VGL might effectively manage this change if Michael’s ideas were to be adopted. [18] Note:  Kurt Lewin’s 3-step process is a simple structure for students to use and refer to here. There could be also be a ‘management of change’ question on the possible diversification into textiles.
  9. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks for VGL of its policy to sell most of its products on international spot markets. (See p.16, 20-21 of APT Analysis)
  10. Evaluate the methods used by VGL to attract, motivate and retain staff (lines 71-75). (p.41-45 of APT Analysis)
  11. Discuss how Phoebe’s business philosophy / VGL’s Four Pillars (Appendix 1) may impact on the strategic behaviour of VGL / strategic decision making within VGL. (some info on p.48-9 of APT Analysis)
  12. Discuss the need for a constant review of market & environmental circumstances within VGL. Note: there are lots of reasons why this is important for VGL which concern the external, uncontrollable factors that can affect the business’s success eg the threat of new entrants at any time due to the ‘financial attractiveness’ of the market, the impact of exchange rates on the revenue VGL receives for the processed, recycled products sold on international spot markets.   
  13. To what extent might different stakeholders consider VGL to be efficiently run?  Justify your view. (see p.7, 26, 29-32 of APT Analysis)
  14. Evaluate how different stakeholder groups might view Phoebe’s business philosophy / VGL’s Four Pillars (Appendix 1). (some info on p.12, 48-49 of APT Analysis) 

If you haven’t yet purchased our F297 analysis, this is one of our best-selling resources.  It is published shortly after the case study is released to centres and provides a highly comprehensive, in-depth discussion of all the issues raised in the case study.  To purchase this resource, or for further information, including feedback from centres click here:

There are also a few days left for our seminars – held at your centre – on the F297 case study.  These are increasingly becoming known as ‘grade changers’: they focus on exam skills – in particular, how to demonstrate Level 3 and 4 responses to a range of likely questions arising from this year’s case study.  

“…. so much advice on exam techniques and sample answers … so many areas covered and a wealth of activities from the additional seminar resource pack (not the initial analysis pack) that pupils can continue to use outside the session.  Pupils found the session helpful and that Claire explained the content of the seminar in a clear, concise way and were able to easily grasp the points she was making.  I would recommend the sessions to anyone who is experienced or in experienced.”

(Karenjit Ghag, Wood Green Academy, April 2016) 

If you are interested in holding a seminar at your Centre,  email us with a summary of your requirements including: 

  • subject (ie F297 and / or F293) 
  • length of seminar required (eg 2, 3 or 4 hours)
  • number of students involved
  • and if two or more seminars are required whether they are to be held on the same day. 

Request a Quote:

by email to office@apt-initiatives.com by phone 01952 540877  by fax 01952 541230