FTSE 100 Live 12 January: M&S and Tesco hail strong trading, Centrica upgrades earnings guidance


arks & Spencer today said it had delivered a strong Christmas trading performance after seeing like-for-like sales growth of 7.2% in the 13 weeks to 13 December.

In a busy session for retail updates, Tesco boss Ken Murphy said the UK’s biggest supermarket chain had delivered a strong market share performance over the festive period. Both companies left their annual profit guidance unchanged.

Other updates today include from ASOS, Halfords. housebuilder Persimmon and Centrica, with the British Gas owner forecasting annual earnings ahead of market expectations at more than 30p a share.

Live updates


Centrica lifts 2022 earnings guidance

British Gas owner Centrica today issued a brief trading update in which it lifted its 2022 earnings guidance to more than 30p a share.

When it last briefed investors in mid-November, the FTSE 100-listed company anticipated a figure towards the top end of the City’s forecast range of between 15.1p and 26p.

As well as its British Gas energy supply operation, the company owns gas and oil exploration and production assets and a 20% interest in the UK’s nuclear power generation fleet. In October, it announced the reopening of the Rough gas storage facility.

The company continues to benefit from higher commodity prices, while it said today that “infrastructure asset availability and volumes have remained good.”


Asos to close offices and storage warehouses after reporting drop in UK sales

Asos plans to cut office space and close down storage warehouses after reporting a drop in UK sales.

The beleaguered online retailer said it had embarked on a £300 million package of “cost mitigation measures” as it battles raging inflation and dwindling consumer demand, including rationalising office space and closing three storage facilities.

Asos boss José Antonio Ramos Calamonte said: “We are undertaking necessary strategic and operational changes, with our focus shifting from prioritising top-line growth to building a more relevant and competitive fashion business with a disciplined approach to capital allocation.”

The firm reported sales of £1,337 million in the four months to end December, down 6% at constant currencies, while turnover in the UK fell 8% and revenues outside Europe and the US sunk 31% to £130 million. Asos blamed the downturn in sales in weaker consumer sentiment and disruption in the delivery market which resulted in earlier cut-off dates for Christmas orders.

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