On a busy day of corporate reporting, Howden Joinery’s (HWDN) shares rise 7% to 441.2p on a good trading update covering the period from 12 June to 28 October. There is a greater emphasis on driving volume over price. The fact the kitchens seller has maintained full year earnings guidance is impressive given a patchy consumer backdrop and other ‘big ticket’ retailers issuing profit warnings.
Grocer Morrisons (MRW) is marked down 2.3p to 221.7p, despite CEO David Potts reporting on another period of positive like-for-like sales growth, up 2.5% (ex-fuel) in the third quarter to 29 October. This represents the supermarket’s eighth consecutive quarter of like-for-growth, though momentum is slowing from the pace at the start of the year.
Morrisons is working hard to shield cash-strapped shoppers from the impact of lower sterling on imported food prices and is becoming more competitive; its Price Crunch and new Way Down campaigns holding prices lower for longer.
Food ingredients giant Tate & Lyle (TATE) sweetens up 4.1% to 691.5p on half year results showing a 13% surge in profit before tax to £169m, driven by volume growth in its Speciality Food Ingredients and Bulk Ingredients divisions and a boost from currency. CEO Javed Ahmed now expects full year profits to be modestly higher than anticipated coming into the year, driven by the strong first half performance.
Intu Properties (INTU) perks up 6.2% to 226.4p on a third quarter update that reassures on full year rental growth guidance. Intu also confirms the disposal of 50% of its interest in Intu Chapelfield, in Norwich, for £148m to LaSalle, a deal that provides more headroom to progress its sizeable development aspirations.
Gambling industry software and services supplier Playtech (PTEC) slumps 24% to 747.5p after warning full year profits will be below the gloomiest of market expectations. It blames the shortfall on its Sun Bingo contract, which ‘remains challenging due to lengthier seasonality and the re-launch of the new Sun Bingo site’, as well as tougher market conditions in parts of Asia.
Don't panic about Electra Private Equity’s (ELTA) shares falling nearly 50% to 959.75p. That's simply the shares going ex-dividend. It is paying 914p special dividend.
Acacia Mining’s (ACA) chief executive and chief financial officer have both quit the troubled gold miner. This follows a terrible period for the business amid Tanzanian government interference with the mining sector. Acacia’s shares fall 3.3% to 175.95p.
Online gambling business GVC (GVC) says it is time to increase its focus on regulated markets, hence why it has sold its Turkish operations for up to €150m. We believe it is cleaning up the business and raising some extra cash ahead of its next acquisition spree. Its shares stay flat at 947.75p.