The FTSE 100 closed up 0.2% on Thursday with Intertek leading the gainers, ending up 4.6%, after saying it is on track to deliver its full-year targets after booking 8.5% revenue growth in the second half to date. Ahead of Black Friday, ASOS and Marks & Spencer both finished up, amid some positive momentum for retail stocks. "Tomorrow should be one of the busiest days for U.K. retailers but concerns about constrained budgets and the added issue of a strike by Royal Mail workers are both expected to make the affair a rather damp squib," AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson says.

 
Companies News: 

Kingfisher Cuts FY 2023 Profit Views Amid Higher Investments

Kingfisher PLC said Thursday that profit for fiscal 2023 is expected to be lower than previously guided as the company increased investments and expenses.

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Intertek Revenue Rose in 2H to Date; Sees 2022 Earnings Growth

Intertek Group PLC said Thursday that it is on track to deliver its full-year targets after booking 8.5% revenue growth at constant currency in the period from July to the end of October.

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Dr. Martens 1H Pretax Profit Fell on Higher Costs; Boosts Dividend

Dr. Martens PLC said Thursday that pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2023 fell amid higher costs, but increased its dividend payout to reflect its confidence in the future of the business.

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Hornby 1H Loss Widened But Flags Strong Order Book

Hornby PLC said Thursday that its first-half loss widened, as it refrained from giving a full-year outlook ahead of the busy Christmas period.

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TClarke Sees 2022 Revenue Below Expectations Despite Strong 2H to Date

TClarke PLC said Thursday that trading for the second half of the year to date has been strong, but revenue for the year will be less than previously planned, with 40 million pounds ($48.2 million) of that expected to be booked next year.

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Mothercare 1H Pretax Profit Fell Amid Challenging Backdrop; Appoints New CEO

Mothercare PLC said Thursday that pretax profit for first half of fiscal 2023 fell dragged by lower sales and higher costs amid a challenging backdrop across its markets, and that Daniel Le Vesconte will be the company's new chief executive.

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Safestore Holdings FY 2022 Earnings Rose; 4Q Revenue Increased

Safestore Holdings PLC said Thursday that it expects fiscal 2022 earnings to rise as it benefited from strong growth in U.K. revenue and good performances in other markets.

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Jet2 Swung to 1H Profit on Strong Demand; Expects to Beat FY 2023 Market Views

Jet2 PLC said Thursday that it swung to a pretax profit in the first half of fiscal 2023 on a strong return of demand, and expects to exceed full-year market expectations.

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MacFarlane Group Year to Date Revenue Up 11%; To Meet Full-Year Expectations

MacFarlane Group PLC said Thursday that revenue for the year to date is up by 11%, and that it expects full-year earnings to be higher than last year and to meet expectations.

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PayPoint Upbeat on FY 2023, Declares Interim Dividend as 1H Revenue Rose

PayPoint PLC said it is confident for the remainder of the fiscal year and will pay a higher dividend, as first-half revenue grew across divisions.

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Michelmersh Sees 2022 Beating Market Views; Kicks off GBP3 Mln Buyback

Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC shares rose Thursday after it said that performance continued to be positive in the final quarter of 2022 and that it expects to beat full-year market views, and declared a share buyback of up to 3.0 million pound ($3.6 million).

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Ince Group Raises GBP4.7 Mln via Placing, Retail Offer; More Than Planned

Ince Group PLC said Thursday that it has raised 4.7 million pounds ($5.7 million) via the share placing and retail offer first announced late on Wednesday, slightly more than planned.

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XPS Pensions 1H Pretax Profit Fell; Sees FY 2023 Ahead of Views

XPS Pensions Group PLC said Thursday that it is confident its fiscal 2023 performance will be ahead of expectations, and that first-half pretax profit fell on higher costs despite a robust rise in revenue.

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Morses Club Swung to 1H Loss as Redress Claims Weigh

Morses Club PLC said Thursday that it swung to a pretax loss in its first half, as it continued to flag uncertainty over its viability as a going concern amid customer redress claims.

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Gateley (Holdings) 1H Revenue, Underlying Adjusted Pretax Profit Rose

Gateley (Holdings) PLC said Thursday that performance for the first half of fiscal 2023 has been robust, backed on increased sales business resilience despite the macroeconomic backdrop.

 
Market Talk: 

Intertek Faces Margin Risks, Lacks Appeal of Rivals

1134 GMT - Intertek Group faces potential margin pressure and the product-testing and inspection company lacks the appeal of European rivals, RBC Capital Markets says. Inflation on both existing and new headcount is dragging down Intertek's margins, which could fall more than expected this year, RBC says. "We think significant absolute downside from here is limited in the short-term in the absence of another market sell-off and the possibility of a share buyback sooner versus later could limit appetite for raw shorts," RBC analyst Karl Green says in a note, reiterating RBC's under-perform rating. "But we retain a clear relative preference for the faster-growing SGS and BVI (both rated sector-perform) over the longer term within the [testing, inspection and certification] sub-sector." (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Dr. Martens 1H Margin Squeeze Seen As Disappointing -- Market Talk

1133 GMT - Dr. Martens' shares fall 20% after the company's first-half performance disappointed due to significant pressure on the profit margin, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. "While external factors such as a stronger dollar are playing a part, the company is also suffering from weakening demand and there are at least hints that its pricing power isn't what many might have hoped given the apparent strength of the brand," Mould says. The British footwear brand's direct-to-consumer sales channel growth--a key thread of the business strategy--is also falling, Mould says. "Taking a short-term hit to profit now to support growth in the future is what any business should be doing," he adds. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

Intertek Appears Upbeat But Challenges Are Ahead

1128 GMT - Intertek's business update reads as upbeat, but there still look to be challenges going into 2023 driven by lower global consumer demand, continued geopolitical tensions and strong competition--all combining in persistent potential margin pressure, Shore Capital says. With global service cost inflation evident, pricing is set to remain challenging for the inspection and product-testing company, particularly over cost inflation pressures on the technical staff base, Shore analyst Robin Speakman says in a research note. "Visibility remains clouded, in our opinion," the investment group says. Shore retains its hold recommendation on Intertek's stock. Shares are up 1.7% at 3,924.0 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Jet2 Enjoys Positive 1H, But Turbulence Remains

1122 GMT - Jet2's first-half results were strong with profits well ahead of prepandemic levels, despite headwinds from airport disruption to flight schedules, AJ Bell says. The leisure-travel group has benefited from pent-up demand, but it won't be plain sailing from here, as the big question is whether foreign holidays are going to be affordable for a lot of people while the cost of living remains high, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says. On top of this, Jet2 faces a profit margin squeeze from factors including higher wage and fuel costs, he notes. However, the company still looks well-placed compared with peers, thanks to its range of all-inclusive holidays, which will appeal to budget-savvy consumers, Mould says. Shares are up 5.2% at 938.4 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Mothercare's New CEO Could Kickstart a Positive Period

1120 GMT - Mothercare's appointment of Daniel Le Vesconte as CEO could start a period of uplift in the company's sentiment given his leadership experience in retail, head of investment at Interactive Investor Victoria Scholar says in a note. The U.K. baby-products retailer seems to be dealing well with challenges--such as ending operations in Russia and a tough environment for its Saudi Arabia business--after passing through difficult years during the pandemic, with its U.K. business falling into administration in November 2019, Scholar says. "This year's macroeconomic headwinds from cost inflation and a softening consumer are also adding to its woes," she says. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

Jet2 Shares Look Cheap Given Soaring Performance

1119 GMT - Jet2's first-half results were encouraging and showed an excellent operational performance, with better than expected passenger numbers and revenue, and largely abated disruption and supply-chain problems, Peel Hunt says. The leisure-travel group's balance sheet is strong and should play a major part in the fleet investment program, and bookings for the winter are good with pricing remaining robust, Peel Hunt analyst Alexander Peterson says in a research note. "We see Jet2 as significantly undervalued given encouraging trading and forward bookings, and reiterate our buy rating," the U.K. brokerage says. Peel Hunt retains its 1,600 pence price target on the stock. Shares are up 5.5% at 941.2 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Kingfisher Seen Benefiting From Energy Efficiency Trends

1107 GMT - Kingfisher performed well during the pandemic and is currently benefiting from increased sales of energy-efficient products as consumers face a surge in bills, head of investment at Interactive Investor Victoria Scholar says in a note. The home-improvement retailer continues to gain market share, with a strong presence in Poland and rollout in France, Scholar notes. "Kingfisher continues to focus on competitive pricing to offset pressures on the consumer from the cost-of-living crisis with a focus on its cheaper own-brand products", Scholar adds. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

Gateley's 1H Seen as Reasonable, But Suggests Struggle With Costs

1021 GMT - Gateley's brief update suggests a reasonable performance in 1H, but the company's earnings are typically weighted toward 2H, Shore Capital Jamie Murray says in a research note as shares rise 1.7%. The legal and professional services group's 1H revenue and adjusted pretax profit represents 47.6% and 39.0% of Shore's forecast for FY 2023, respectively, the analyst says. "Revenue appears to be in line with our numbers, but adjusted pretax profit is slightly below which indicates the group is struggling to contain its costs effectively," Murray adds. Shore has a hold rating on the stock. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

 

Contact: London NewsPlus; paul.larkins@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 24, 2022 12:48 ET (17:48 GMT)

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