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FTSE Edges Lower as Fed Signals Earlier Rate Rise; Whitbread Gains

06/17/2021 | 04:26am EDT

London Stocks Fall as Fed Signals Earlier Rate Rise; Whitbread Rises

0801 GMT - The FTSE 100 falls 0.3% in early trade to 7163.89, tracking falls in European stocks and following drops in U.S. stocks in late trade Wednesday after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly signaled that it could raise interest rates by late 2023, earlier than previously forecast. A majority of policymakers forecast two rate increases by the end of 2023. The effect on European stocks has been limited, with the Fed only discussing eventual tapering of asset purchases without giving a time frame. Mining stocks are among the biggest fallers. Hospitality group Whitbread is the biggest riser, up 3.6% after it said 1Q total sales fell 70% due to pandemic-related restrictions but that occupancy levels were picking up well since the easing of those restrictions. Banks also rise, benefiting from prospects of higher interest rates. (jessica.fleetham@wsj.com)

Companies News: 

Dr. Martens FY 2021 Profit Slipped on Higher Costs, Revenue Climbed

Dr. Martens PLC reported Thursday a fall in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 on higher costs as it released its first set of earnings since floating in London.


Mitie Shareholder How Group Sells Stake for GBP69.6 Mln

How Group has sold its entire stake of around 7% in Mitie Group PLC for around 69.6 million pounds ($97.3 million), investment bank Jefferies International Ltd. said Thursday.


Halfords FY 2021 Profit Jumped on Higher Revenue; Positive Momentum Carries Into FY 2022

Halfords Group PLC on Thursday reported a more-than-trebled pretax profit for fiscal 2021 on higher revenue.


Whitbread 1Q 2022 Sales Fell Because of Pandemic Curbs

Whitbread PLC said Thursday that total sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 fell 70% because of the government's pandemic-related restrictions.


N. Brown 1Q Revenue Rose Marginally

N. Brown Group PLC said Thursday that revenue increased slightly in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.


Safestore 1H Profit Jumped, Sees FY 2021 Earnings at Top End of Range

Safestore Holdings PLC on Thursday reported an improved profit for the first half of fiscal 2021, driven mainly by investment gains, and forecasts full-year earnings at the top end of the guidance range.


Open Orphan Reports Widened 2020 Loss; Poolbeg to Seek London IPO

Open Orphan PLC on Thursday reported a widened loss for 2020 and said that Poolbeg Pharma Ltd. intends to float on the AIM market.


NCC Group Sees FY 2021 Revenue Up, Earnings at Upper End of Consensus

NCC Group PLC said Thursday that it expects fiscal 2021 revenue to rise slightly on-year and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to reach the upper end of market consensus expectations.


Wise FY 2021 Pretax Profit Surged; Sees Strong Demand in Early FY 2022

U.K. fintech company Wise PLC said Thursday that pretax profit for fiscal 2021 more than doubled, and that it has seen strong demand at the start of the current year.


Anpario Warns of Raw-Material Inflation, Supply-Chain Disruption

Anpario PLC said Thursday that it is experiencing raw-material price inflation and some disruption in its supply chains and global shipping operations, and expect these challenges to continue until the last quarter of 2021.


Sumo Group Says New Business Pipeline Reaches GBP500 Mln

Sumo Group PLC said Thursday that business remains strong and in line with management expectations as its pipeline continues to increase.


ASA International Says Some Countries Saw Worse Loan Collections in May

ASA International Group PLC said Thursday that collection efficiency worsened in the India and Sri Lanka in May but improved in Philippines and Myanmar.


Filtronic Sees FY 2021 Revenue Decline, Adjusted Ebitda Above Views

Filtronic PLC said Thursday that it expects to report a fall in revenue for fiscal 2021, but that adjusted Ebitda is anticipated to be slightly above market expectations.


Blue Prism 1H Pretax Loss Narrowed; Backs FY 2021 Guidance

Blue Prism Group PLC said Thursday that its pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2021 more than halved on year, and reiterated its guidance for the full year.


Augmentum Fintech to Raise GBP40 Mln to Fund Investments

Augmentum Fintech PLC said Thursday that it is raising 40 million pounds ($55.9 million) via an equity issue, with the proceeds to be used toward an identified pipeline of investments and other opportunities.


I3 Energy to Drill Two Wells in Wapiti, Canada

I3 Energy PLC said Thursday that it will drill two wells at the Wapiti Elmworth acreage in Canada.


Mountview Estates FY 2021 Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose; Raises Dividend

Mountview Estates PLC said Thursday that pretax profit and revenue rose in fiscal 2021 and that it has raised its dividend.


Record PLC FY 2021 Profit Fell on Higher Costs

Record PLC on Thursday reported a fall in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 on higher costs.


Toople 1H Pretax Loss Narrowed; Sees Improving Activity Levels

Toople PLC said Thursday that its pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2021 narrowed and that activity is returning to more normalized levels after the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Syncona Swung to FY 2021 Profit; Names New CFO, Chief Medical Officer

Syncona Ltd. said Thursday that it swung to a profit in fiscal 2021 on the back of net gains on financial assets, and named new chief financial and chief medical officers.


CPI Property Extends Offer Deadline for Globalworth Shareholders Again

CPI Property Group SA said Thursday that the 1.57 billion-euro ($1.88 billion) offer it made together with Aroundtown SA for Globalworth Real Estate Investments Ltd. has been extended.


Hurricane Energy Says U.K. Authority Approved Field Development Plan Amendment

Hurricane Energy PLC said Thursday that it has received approval from the U.K. Oil and Gas Authority for an amendment to its development plan for the Lancaster offshore field, meeting a key condition for a financial restructuring.


CareTech 1H Profit Climbed, Raises Dividend

CareTech Holdings PLC said Thursday that its pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2021 more than doubled and raised its interim dividend.


NextEnergy Solar Fund NAV per Share Edged Down in FY 2021

NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd. on Thursday reported that its net asset value per share declined slightly in fiscal 2021.


Cambria Africa Shares Rise on Return From Suspension

Shares of Cambria Africa PLC rose 10% as the company returned from suspension after reporting fiscal 2020 earnings and saying that its subsidiaries in Zimbabwe are operating at above break-even levels, which is expected to continue this year.


Kingswood Holdings 2020 Pretax Loss Widened

Kingswood Holdings Ltd. said Thursday that its 2020 pretax loss widened after booking higher costs and that it was finalizing the implementation of its change management program to improve its cost to income ratio and enhance margins.

Market Talk: 

Halfords Looks Set to Improve Further

0759 GMT - Halfords posted decent results but still has room for improvement as the outlook remains positive for the company, RBC Capital Markets says. The U.K. retailer of motoring, cycling and leisure products and services has a strong market position in the motoring and cycling markets, with a good offering in both the retail and services sector, RBC says. "Although the motoring market looks more mature, we see opportunity here for Halfords in the form of innovation and new, growing product categories, such as dash-cams," the Canadian bank says. Meanwhile, growth in the cycling market will likely be driven by a renewed consumer focus on healthy living and reducing carbon footprints, RBC says. (matteo.castia@dowjones.com)

UK Gilt Yields Jump After Fed Signaled Earlier Rate Rise

0758 GMT - The yield on the U.K. 10-year benchmark government debt trades almost 6 basis points higher on early Thursday, after the Federal Reserve said that it would raise interest earlier than previously projected to tame inflation. The 10-year gilt, which rises when prices fall, jumps to 0.80%, according to FactSet, as the Fed's announcement triggered a global selloff led by U.S. Treasurys. The Fed upped its inflation forecasts and brought forward the expected date of its first rate rise to 2023. (lorena.ruibal@wsj.com)

Whitbread Looks Well Positioned for a Return to Normality

0739 GMT - Whitbread's prospects have been boosted by the U.K.'s summer staycation boom after a year in which its estate largely stood idle, Richard Hunter at interactive investor says. Forward booking trends for the Premier Inn owner are very strong throughout the summer, especially in tourist locations, but weaker in central London and airports, while metrics are generally improving as the effects of the pandemic slowly recede, Hunter says. Still, although there has been a steady return of consumers on business travel, this remains an area of concern following the transition to Zoom and Microsoft Teams during the pandemic, Hunter says. "In all, Whitbread is well-positioned at the cusp of what could be a return to some sort of normality," he says. (anthony.orunagoriainoff@dowjones.com)

Whitbread's Update Looks Consistent With Return to Positive Ebitda

0723 GMT - Hospitality group Whitbread's 1Q update was encouraging as there has been a sharp rise in occupancy in recent weeks and a significant outperformance versus the market segment, Shore Capital says. The update is consistent with a return to positive Ebitda for the Premier Inn owner, Shore says. "Although pricing remains a long way behind historic levels, we would expect this to begin recovering as the year progresses, although London and airports (25% of the estate) are likely to take longer to recover," the U.K. investment group says. Shore rates the stock at buy with a 3,290 pence target price. Shares are up 4.5% at 3,439 pence.(anthony.orunagoriainoff@dowjones.com)

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

06-17-21 0425ET

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