Mike Ashley-controlled retail powerhouse Sports Direct International (SPD) slumps 11.7% to 587.5p as interim profits fall short of expectations, up only 3.6% to £166.4 million against tough comparatives which were boosted by the build up to the 2014 World Cup.
Commercial software support outfit Micro Focus (MCRO) surges 10.7% to £14.74 as it posts stellar revenue and underlying profit growth thanks to last year’s $1.2 billion (£800 million) merger with US tech firm Attachmate. Statutory earnings per share and profit after tax is lower than a year earlier at 26p and £90.9 million, respectively, for the six months ended 31 October 2015.
Online supermarket Ocado (OCDO) sheds 4.5% at 343.1p despite reporting its thirteenth quarter of double-digit sales growth on the spin. Retail sales rose 13% to £351.8 million in the fourth quarter, though this fell short of the 15.5% Bloomberg consensus and a material 2.3% decline in average order size and the absence of an international deal weigh on sentiment.
Online travel agent Tui (TUI) rises 5% to £11.76 on a 23% rise in EBITA (earnings before interest, tax and amortisation) to €1.07 billion in the year to 30 September, driven by a particularly strong performance from its Northern Region, Hotels & Resorts and Cruises divisions. The group says current trading for winter and summer is in line with expectations, taking into account the ban on flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh. It has announced a dividend of 56 cents per share, an increase of 70%.
Whitbread (WTB) slips 1.8% to £43.99 after revealing in a call to analysts that trading in November was weak with like-for-like sales growth of just 0.5% at Costa and 1.5% at Premier Inn. Sales in the third quarter were up 2.5% and 4.7% respectively, and the group says full year results will be in line with market expectations.
Photobooth operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) falls 3.5% to 150p as the weak euro drives revenue down 3.7% to £92.8 million in the six months to 31 October, with EBITDA down 1% to £33.4 million. On a constant currency basis revenue and EBITDA are 2.4% and 6% higher respectively, driven by strong trading in Japan and Continental Europe. It says its growing laundry business is increasingly having a positive impact.
Advanced engineering materials group Versarien (VRS:AIM) falls 5.2% to 13.75p after first half losses at the £14.3 million widened significantly. WH Ireland has run the numbers on the business model with 'conservative estimates' and believes the stock should be worth 25p a share within the next 12 months, saying it has engineering solutions capable of having a 'highly disruptive impact' on multiple sectors.