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UK pre-market stocks update – Tesco, M&S, Asos, Persimmon, Halfords, BT

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By Samuel Indyk – At 07:44GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading lower by 0.1% at 7474.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3730, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8349. The US Dollar Index is down 0.1%.

Bitcoin is trading at $43,615.

Today’s calendar highlights include US jobless claims, US PPI.


Tesco (LON:TSCO) – Q3 group retail sales ex VAT and fuel up 2.4%. Christmas sales performance up 3.2%. Now expect retail operating profit slightly above the top-end of previous £2.5-£2.6 billion guidance range. Expect Bank operating profit to be between £160-£200 million, due to the effect of more favourable economic forecasts on provision for expected credit losses.

Marks and Spencer (LON:MKS) – Q3 total UK sales up 18.6% to £2.999 billion. Group sales up 18.5% to £3.272 billion. Food sales increased 12.4%, with sales excluding hospitality and franchise up 16.4%. Clothing & Home sales increased 3.2%. Now expect full year profit before tax and adjusting items of at least £500 million.

BT (LON:BT) – Dazn is reportedly close to a deal to buy BT Sport for around $800 million.

Persimmon (LON:PSN) – FY new home completions up 7.2% to 14,551. Average selling price increased to £237.050. Total group revenues increased 8.4% to £3.61 billion. Forward sales at 31 December 2021 were £1.62 billion, circa 20% ahead of 2019.

ASOS (LON:ASOS) – Revenue increased 5% in constant currency in four months to 31st December 2021. Intends to move to the London Stock Exchange Main Market, expected by end of February 2022. Guidance for the year unchanged with revenue growth expected in the range of 10%-15% and adjusted PBT of £110-£140 million. Appointed Patrick Kennedy, Chairman of Bank of Ireland Group and the former Chief Executive of Paddy Power, to its Board of Directors.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals (LON:DPH) – H1 net revenue increased circa 15% at constant exchange rates. European Pharmaceuticals net revenue growth was c.10% at CER in H1. North America growth was circa 26%. The outlook for the full financial year is positive and in line with the upper end of management expectations despite the continuing COVID-19 disruption.

Aviva (LON:AV) / Persimmon – Jason Windsor has resigned as Aviva CFO and as a Director of the Company with effect from July 2022, to take up the position of CFO at Persimmon.

Ferguson (LON:FERG) – To set out medium term outlook at investor day today. Separately, Ferguson said that on or about March 10 this year the company expects to hold a shareholder vote to enable a primary US listing in line with the previously announced timeline.

Halfords (LON:HFD) – Q3 LFL revenue down 2.2% versus FY21, up 10.4% vs FY20. The Group continues to target full year underlying profit before tax of £80-£90 million.

Countryside Properties (LON:CSPC) – CEO Iain McPherson is to step down with immediate effect. While the search is underway for a replacement, John Martin, Chair, will stand in as interim CEO. Separately, trading in Q1 of the financial year has been below the Board’s expectations. Q1 group completions fell 36.8%. Adjusted revenue down 31.3%. Adjusted operating profit down 54.9%.

IP Group (LON:IPO) – FY21 profit anticipated to be above £425 million. Hard NAV per share is anticipated to be above 165 pence, a return of at least 31%.

Wizz Air (LON:WIZZ) – Announced the issue of a €500 million bond. Wizz Air intends to use the proceeds for general purposes, including the repayment of the £300 million CCFF facility in February 2022.

Hays (LON:HAYS) – Q2 total net fees up 32%. Like-for-like fees up 37%. Strong Group net cash position at 31 December 2021 of circa £235 million, in line with expectations.

Wood Group (LON:WG) – FY revenue around $6.4 billion, down 14% on a like-for-like basis. Adjusted EBITDA of around $550-$560 million down 9% on a like-for-like basis. FY21 results in line with expectations for revenue and adjusted EBITDA. Order book at 31 December 2021 to be up significantly year-on-year, supporting expectations for increased activity in 2022.

Mitchells & Butlers (LON:MAB) – Like-for-like sales in 15 weeks to 8th January down 1.5% to the same period in FY 2019. Omicron variant caused a downturn in activity. Over the seven weeks since the last update like-for-like sales have been down 6.0%, with the adverse impact of Omicron being particularly felt in the most recent four weeks, over the important festive season, during which like-for-like sales have been down 10.2%.

Provident Financial (LON:PFG) – Q4 trading performance continued to track ahead of management expectations. As previously indicated, the Board intends to declare an ordinary dividend of approximately 30% of adjusted ongoing earnings in respect of FY21 and anticipates providing guidance for a longer-term, progressive dividend policy with the FY21 results. Anticipates being able to release approximately £20 million of Covid-19 macroeconomic related provisions as it reappraises the Group’s coverage ratios.

Smurfit Kappa (LON:SKG) – Has had its emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Intermediate Capital Group (LON:ICP) – Published Sustainability and People report for 2021. Will hold a seminar on 27th January focusing on work on sustainability and people positively impacts the growth opportunities and long-term prospects of the business.

LXi REIT (LON:LXIL) – Non-Executive Chairman Stephen Hubbard and Non-Executive Director Colin Smith intend to step down at the company’s 2022 AGM. Cyrus Ardalan has been appointed as the Company’s Chairman Designate, Hugh Seaborn as the Company’s Non-Executive Senior Independent Director Designate, and Ismat Levin as a Non-Executive Director.

Safestore Holdings (LON:SAFE) – FY revenue up 15.1% to £186.8 million. Underlying EBITDA up 25.7% to £118.0 million. In first two months of the financial year, Group like-for-like revenue up 17.3% CER compared to the first two months of the prior year.

Hilton Food Group (LON:HFG) – Full year trading in line with Board’s expectations with year-on-year sales growth driven predominantly by organic expansion. Trading outlook remains positive, with growth prospects underpinned by the expansion plans previously announced. Will continue to explore opportunities to grow the business in both domestic and overseas markets.

Card Factory (LON:CARDC) – Trading for the FY22 period was ahead of the Board’s expectations with performance recovering from April 2021. Total sales of £337.3 million were ahead of the Board’s expectations, yet below the £424.5 million for the pre-Covid eleven months to 31 December 2019. Board expects the outcome for the full year to be ahead of its previous expectations. Revenue for the full year is expected to be in excess of £360.0 million, EBITDA for the full year is expected to be in the range of £71.0-£74.0 million and profit before tax for the full year is expected to be in the range of £7.0-£10.0 million.

ADVFN (LON:AFN) – To undertake a formal review of the Company’s strategic options. These options include, but are not limited to, a sale of the Company itself which the Board intends to conduct under the framework of a “formal sale process” in accordance with Rules 2.4 and 2.6 of the Takeover Code.

UK pre-market stocks update – Tesco, M&S, Asos, Persimmon, Halfords, BT

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