High street fashion giant Next (NXT) cheapens 3.15% to £73.80 despite delivering full-year results at the top end of expectations, with pre-tax profits up 12.5% to £782.2 million. Disappointment surrounds lowered guidance from the cash-generative retailer, flagging tough spring and summer comparatives ahead and product range weakness, prompts profit-taking after a strong run. Next now says its full-price sales aren't expected to grow by as much as it previously guided in January.
Gambling stocks open lower this morning following the Chancellor's decision to introduce a horse racing betting right just one week after consulting on the issue. It will replace the 53 year old horse race betting levy and will apply to all bookies, wherever located, who take bets from British customers. Ladbrokes (LAD) sees the biggest fall, down 2.7% to 110p, after having its target price lowered from 150p to 120p by analysts at Jefferies.
Luxury shoe designer and retailer Jimmy Choo (CHOO) takes a step backwards, off 2.3p at 172.7p following a good share price run. Full-year results are strong, showing a good like-for-like sales performance, though there's a mixed outlook statement citing a 'more challenging macroeconomic environment', including a drop off in business with Russian travellers.
Electronics distributor Premier Farnell (PFL) is among the early risers, up 0.6% at 193p. Sales per day, a key metric for the business, improved in the fourth quarter to 4%, taking the full-year total to 3.3%, according to a full-year results statement.
Real estate investment trust Tritax Big Box (BBOX) slips 1% to 111.1p after raising £175 million through a placing at 110p, a modest discount to Wednesday’s closing price. The proceeds will enable the REIT to bring new assets into the portfolio, with three deals said to be in solicitors’ hands.
Estate agency Savills (SVS) falls 2.8% to 755.7p, despite reporting a 21% surge in pre-tax profit to £84.7 million for 2014. CEO Jeremy Helsby guides towards a greater than usual second half weighting of sales towards the second half, due to tighter lending controls in Asia and uncertainty surrounding the UK general election in May.