London stocks sink into the red in early trade on Wednesday despite relatively positive UK jobs data and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting minutes. The FTSE 100 index slides 26 points to 6,142.
Luxury leader Burberry (BRBY) loses 3.6% at £11.02 as full-year results confirm a very disappointing year to March, adjusted profit before tax down 10% to £421 million on sales off 1% at £2.5 billion amid slowdown in Hong Kong and Macau.
Chief Creative and CEO Christopher Bailey expects 'the challenging environment for the luxury sector to continue in the near term', though the trench coats-to-cashmere scarves purveyor expects to deliver 'at least £100 million' of annualised cost savings by 2019. A net cash position supports a 5% rise in the full-year dividend to 37p and the company also makes further commitments to return cash to shareholders.
Beer brewing behemoth SABMiller (SAB), in the process of being taken over by AB InBev (BUD:NYSE) in a beverages mega-merger, adds 16p at £42.26. Full-year results demonstrate strong underlying growth, albeit the strengthening dollar impacted reported earnings per share, off 6% at 224.1 cent.
Chilean copper miner Antofagasta (ANTO) slumps as it confirms that two major development projects have been slowed to preserve cash. The market doesn't like the news, marking the shares 4.4% lower at 414.7p.
Posh cakes and casual dining chain Patisserie (CAKE:AIM) fattens 4.4% to 352.8p on a 20.6% rise in pre-tax profit to £8.4 million in the six months to 31 March, with revenue 14.4% higher at £50 million. The group opened 12 new stores in the first half and says its pipeline for the second half is healthy, including its first store in Northern Ireland. Read our web story exclusive here.
Pub group Marston's (MARS) rises 3.9% to 155.9p after reporting like-for-like sales growth of 3% across its managed and franchised pubs in the six months to 2 April, with underlying pre-tax profit up 11.8% to £33.1 million. Comparatives in the second half are more challenging, but the group says it's confident of achieving its full-year targets. The interim dividend has been lifted by 4% to 2.6p per share.
Airport and railway food and drinks concession operator SSP (SSPG) gains 1.7% to 305.1p on like-for-like sales growth of 3.3% in the six months to 31 March, driven by growth in air passenger travel and retailing initiatives. Pre-tax profit is up 41.5% to £23.2 million, with revenue 4.4% higher at £896.7 million. The group has signed a deal with healthy eating brand Leon to open stores in train stations, starting with London's Liverpool Street and Paddington.