Package holidays firm TUI (TUI) is firmly on the back foot in early trade on Thursday after the company warned of a €35m hit to profits this year as foreign currencies move against it.

The news comes alongside third quarters figures showing a 7.5% fall in underlying earnings, sending the stock sliding close on 10% to £14.33. That makes TUI the biggest loser across a fairly weak FTSE 100, the index sliding around 45 points to 7,734.70 in early trading Thursday.

Part of the reason for the FTSE 100 decline is the longish list of companies going ex-dividend today, including pharma giants AstraZeneca (AZN) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), oil majors BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), Barclays (BARC), BT (BT.A), Diageo (DGE) and Direct Line (DL.).

All of these stocks will now trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out, trimming a little more than 39 points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters’ calculations

The pound also continues to weaken versus the dollar, down a further 0.18% at $1.2859 on Thursday, although that is clearly not enough to drive the heavy overseas revenues of the UK’s blue-chip index.

CARDS ON THE TABLE, OR THE FLOOR

There’s also a profit hit being flagged up at high street business Card Factory (CARD), which is blaming weaker trading on ‘continuing uncertainty around the UK consumer environment’ and that regular retail excuse – the weather.

Shares in the company slump 7.5% early on Thursday to 195.2p after the business reported a 0.2% fall in like-for-like sales during the first half of its financial year.

Card Factory now expects full year underlying profit of between £89m and £91m but caveats that estimate with the veiled threat ‘dependent on the key fourth quarter trading period.’ The company had been expected to report a £93.5m annual profit.

Going the other way is cinemas operator Cineworld (CINE), whose shares head the FTSE All-Share leader board after rallying around 6% to 293p. The Shares play idea from May at 264.4p posted interim sales growth of 4.9% while pre-tax profit jumped by 164% to $160.2m, bolstered by the $5.8bn acquisition of the Regal Entertainment.

MIXED BAG OF RESULTS

Elsewhere, bottling business Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) said net sales were flat at €3.2bn for the six months to 29 June. Pre-tax profits rose to €290.1m from €254.2m, pulling the share price 1.5% lower to £27.08.

Security group G4S (GFS) slumps nearly 7% in early Thursday trade to 262.95p after reporting a fall in pre-tax profits to £139m for the six months to 30 June. It had posted a £219m equivalent figure in 2017.

Revenues fell to £3.6bn from £3.9bn.

Russian steel producer Evraz (EVR) said sales rose by 24.2% to $6.3bn, while pre-tax profits jumped to $1.5bn from $294m. But this was largely anticipated by the market, which nudges the stock about 1% lower to 555.5p.

Worries about the UK housing markets, particularly in London, drag the share price of estate agency and adviser Savills (SVS) into the red despite unveiling a 2% rise in revenues to £727.8m for the six months to 30 June.

But investors are more concern about profits, which fell to £26.7m from 32.4m this time last year. Shares in Savills slide more than 3% to 835.25p.


Issue Date: 09 Aug 2018