Shares in London indexes close in better shape on Wednesday as coronavirus cases in the U.K. continue to decline, paving the way for renewed hopes in the travel sector, according to CMC Market analyst Michael Hewson. "Travel and leisure stocks are once again enjoying a decent session... with IAG and easyJet among the gainers after it was confirmed that the U.K. will exempt fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and U.S. from quarantining from August 2," Hewson says. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are falling in the U.K. for the seventh day in a row, boosting optimism over a possible late-summer rush of bookings, the analyst says.
Trifast's First-Quarter Revenue Rose Significantly
Trifast PLC said Wednesday that revenue rebounded significantly in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and that the board is confident in the group's outlook for the full year.
FDM Group 1H Pretax Profit Slipped, Backs FY Expectations
FDM Group (Holdings) PLC on Wednesday reported a slightly lower profit for the first half and said performance was in line with expectations.
Primary Health Properties 1H Pretax Profit, Rental Income Rose
Primary Health Properties PLC said Wednesday that its first-half pretax profit and net rental income rose and that it has a strong pipeline of acquisitions and management projects.
NCC Group to Make Changes to Historic Costs on New Accounting Guidance
NCC Group PLC said Wednesday that the new accounting guidance from the IFRS Interpretations Committee will affects its audited fiscal 2019, fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 results.
Fewer UK Businesses Faced Significant Financial Distress in 2Q Than in 1Q, Report Says
A total of 650,000 U.K. businesses faced significant financial distress in the second quarter of 2021, a 10% decline from the first quarter, according to data published by corporate-restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor Group PLC on Wednesday.
Barclays Profit Soars on Investment Banking
Barclays PLC Wednesday said its net profit rose in the second quarter, driven by a strong performance in its investment bank.
Fortress Investment Says Cambourne Life Investment Joined Group to Take Over Morrisons
Fortress Investment Group (UK) Ltd. said Wednesday that Cambourne Life Investment Pte. Ltd. has joined the investment group led by Fortress that was created to bid for British grocer Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC.
HydrogenOne Capital Growth Raises GBP107.4 Mln in IPO, Missing Target
HydrogenOne Capital Growth PLC said Monday that it raised gross proceeds of 107.4 million pounds ($149.0 million) in its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, short of its original target.
Marston's Sales, Cash Flow Underpin Recovery
1004 GMT - Marston's recovery is encouraging, Liberum's Anna Barnfather says, after the pub operator reported that like-for-like sales are now running at 88% of 2019 levels. The pubs are now trading profitably with no significant inflationary concerns or pingdemic interruptions, the analyst says. "Importantly, cash flow inflows are already supporting debt reduction, a key tenet of the investment case." Shares in Marston's rise 3.7% to 86.65 pence. Barnfather reaffirms a hold rating and a 100 pence target price on the stock.
Brexit Seen Limiting UK Trade
0956 GMT - Brexit appears to be preventing the U.K. from fully reaping the benefits of the global upswing in trade even though the nation swung to a trade surplus in May, Pantheon Macroeconomics says. The U.K. trade balance moved to a surplus of GBP900 million in May from a deficit of GBP1.6 billion in April, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the surplus reflected a shift in trade of erratic items rather than a genuine underlying improvement, Pantheon economist Samuel Tombs says. The data also show U.K. goods exports to the EU remain below the 2019 average level, he says. "All told, Brexit will continue to weigh on trade this year and will therefore limit the recovery in GDP."
Fresnillo's 2021 Silver Production Should Be Ahead of Guidance Mid-Point
0951 GMT - Fresnillo has upgraded its grade guidance for the San Julian DOB mine to 200-230 grams per metric ton, up from 160-170 grams earlier, Citi says. These higher grades at San Julian should support full-year group silver production ahead of the mid-point of its 53.5 million-59.5 million ounces guidance, Citi believes. However, cost inflation is likely to be keenly watched by the market in the interim results, even with the backdrop of better operational trends, the bank warns. Shares in Fresnillo rise 5.5% after reporting production for the second quarter of 2021.
Diageo Seen Set to Report Higher Profit, Revenue in FY 2021
0949 GMT - Diageo is expected to report a sharp rise in pretax profit when it releases its fiscal 2021 earnings. The world's largest liquor maker--which owns Johnnie Walker whisky and Tanqueray gin--is forecast to make a pretax profit of GBP3.63 billion pounds for the year, taken from FactSet and based on a consensus estimate from eight analysts' projections. This compares with GBP2.04 billion in fiscal 2020. Revenue is anticipated to come in at GBP12.57 billion, according to a consensus estimate from FactSet based on 19 analysts' forecasts. A year earlier, revenue was GBP11.75 billion. Shares are up 0.4% at 3,493 pence.
Primary Health Properties Seen as Good Investment After Solid 1H
0919 GMT - Primary Health Properties' structural underpinning is clear and its well-established position underlines good reasons to invest in the company, Numis says. The investor in healthcare facilities in the U.K. and Ireland delivered robust first-half results, showing positive year-on-year momentum. While strong competition meant few suitably priced acquisition opportunities, management expects acquisitions to gather pace in 2H, Numis says. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated transformation in primary healthcare centers, like the adoption of remote consulting, but it won't be enough to replace physical visits and shouldn't have a material effect on future space requirements, underlining Primary Health's long-term safety, the brokerage says. Numis retains an add rating on the stock and a target price of 184.0 pence. Shares are up 1.6% at 163.3 pence.
Aston Martin Lagonda on Course to Hit FY Targets
0910 GMT - Shares in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings rise 3% after the luxury sports-car maker reported a narrowed 2Q loss as revenue rose significantly versus a year earlier. The 1H results matched expectations and confirm that the company is on track to achieve full-year guidance, with EBITDA set to more than double in the second half, Citigroup says. "We expect consensus to remain broadly unchanged following the print, with focus shifting to the anticipated earnings acceleration in 2H as special deliveries ramp up," Citi analyst Gabriel Adler says.
St James Place Reports Strong 2Q Flows, 1H Earnings
0905 GMT - Shares in St. James's Place top the FTSE 100 risers, up 6% after the asset manager swung to a first-half pretax profit. Citigroup says SJP reported a strong Q2 flow and 1H earnings. Gross flows beat 2Q consensus by 5% and net flows beat by about 10%, underpinned by improved client sentiment, sharply higher household savings and strong levels of client engagement. Outlook comments suggest a 20% increase in year-on-year gross flow in H2, implying 2% upgrades to 2H consensus, while underlying cash topped expectations and costs fell. "Overall we see this as a strong print across the board. The shares have run strongly into the day, but the results today should still be supportive," Citi analysts say.
Epwin's Excellent 1H Results Point to a Rosy Future
0901 GMT - Epwin's first-half trading update was positive, with increased revenue and a reduction in net debt leading to material upgrades to 2021 forecasts from Shore Capital. The building-products manufacturer said that revenue rose 69% in the first half, and the investment group raised its 2021 revenue expectations by 11% and its pretax-profit expectations by 17%. The company's debt reduction is impressive and the company will likely be virtually ungeared by 2024, Shore Capital says, providing an expected GBP60 million in mergers-and-acquisitions firepower--so expect several accretive bolt-on acquisitions over the next two years. Shares are up 3% at 110.0 pence.
Rio Tinto CFO Says 'Quality' Mining Projects Are Scarce
0855 GMT - Mining asset values have climbed alongside commodity prices, adding to the challenge of finding new sources of growth in sectors such as battery materials, Rio Tinto CFO Peter Cunningham says. "We will continue to look to see what opportunities we can find," but M&A targets also need to have a clear strategic fit and chances for Rio to add value, he says. Cunningham tells WSJ that Rio Tinto is excited by its Jadar lithium project and "if we had more opportunities of that quality, we have the ability and the financial capacity to move them forward."
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