UK markets made a nervy start ahead of crucial US-China trade talks on Thursday, with the FTSE 100 down 8.8 points at 7,148 and the FTSE 250 down 6 points at 19,145. The one bright spot were the miners, with Anglo American (AAL) at the top of the leader board up 2% at £18.898.

On the charge today were shares in fashion retailer Brown (N) (BWNG), flying 7.35% higher to 107.35p after reporting strong growth in online sales in the first half after repositioning the business to an online only retailer and shutting all its stores last year.

The company, which targets older women and larger sizes said that adjusted pre-tax profit rose 3.9% to £31.8m for the six months ended 31 August.

PAPER PRESSURE

Shares in paper and packaging company Mondi (MNDI) slid 3.5% to £14.915 after reporting an 18% decline in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to €383m for the third quarter. Demand remained soft and prices for key paper grades were below those seen in the first half.

Peers DS Smith (SMDS) and Smurfit Kappa (SKG) slide in sympathy, down 4.9% and 2.8% respectively to 321p and £23.68.

Also weaker today were shares in homewares retailer Dunelm (DLMN), falling 6.1% to 765.25p after reporting 7.5% growth in sales to £262.6m for the 13 weeks ended 30 September. Despite seeing a strong start to the quarter the company was experiencing ‘mixed trading’ so far in September, reflecting a softer market.

Shares in UK’s second largest home collected credit company Morses Club (MCL) were in retreat today, off 8.26% to 105.5p following the release of its interim results for the 27 weeks to 31 August, where adjusted pre-tax profit fell 8.6% to £9.6m. The company’s digital division is ‘going through a significant period of change’ offset by good results from the core home credit business.

As usual there are a number of company’s trading ex-dividend today and a full list of the can be found here.

 

 

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Issue Date: 10 Oct 2019