The suspected terrorist attack on Manchester concert-goers last night – killing 22 – saw the pound weaken overnight to 1.2984 as investors absorbed the political implications.
The pound was already under pressure late yesterday on fresh UK-EU bickering on Brexit separation terms.
Last night the Dow ended up 0.43% at 20,894.83 with Boeing rising 1.61% and 3M at 1.38%. Pfizer was the biggest faller, down -1.05%. The UK FTSE 100 finished at 7,496.34 up +0.34% with M&S surging 2.75% to 395.50p ahead of Wednesday’s new numbers.
Today at 9am there’s the Shell AGM in the Netherlands with some investor grumbles over the company’s long-term market performance. New ONS public sector data arrives at 9.30am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,496.34 +0.34%
- Dow 20,894.83 +0.43%
- S&P 500 2,394.02 +0.52%
- Nasdaq 6,133.62 +0.82%
- DAX 12,619.46 -0.15%
- CAC 40 5,322.88 -0.03%
- Gold 1,262.80 +0.12%
- Oil WTI 50.81 +0.95%
Severn earnings climb
We commence with utility player Severn Trent. Group turnover rises 3.7% to £1,819m with pre-tax profits up 4.3% to £525m. Reported basic earnings per shares from continuing operations is up 4.9% to 140.1p for the UK's biggest water player.
“Sewer floodings are down 21%, and we have further reduced both supply interruptions and leakages,” said the company in a statement. Boss Liv Garfield claims “the lowest bills in Britain”. Around £100m of additional savings have been identified.
“We don't consider,” Severn says, “the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations as a Principal Risk in itself, but it will be an influencing factor on the potential causes of some of our Principal Risks.” Severn's share price is up more than 10% YTD at 2,448.51p.
Better tasting profits
Next, food producer Cranswick. For the year end 31 March revenues lift 12.7% on a like-for-like basis with revenue up overall 22.5% at £1,245.1m. Adjusted profits before tax climb 17.2% to £75.5m.
Adjusted earnings per share rises 17.6% to 120.9p. The final dividend is lifted 19.7% to 31p. Net debt is down to £11m compared to £17.8m this time last year. Cranswick report “strong progress” in major export markets including the Far East. Its share price (2,825p) is up 20% YTD.
“We have further strengthened the solid foundations of our business,” says CEO Adam Couch, “and we believe we are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable organic growth going forward."
Weaker pound supports AVEVA
Lastly AVEVA. The engineering operator says revenues were up 7.1% to £215.8m assisted by currency gusts though constant currency revenue slipped 3.8%.
Adjusted profit before tax climbs 7.4% to £55m. The total dividend lifts 11.1% to 40p taking into account the 27p final dividend.
Aveva’s performance is resilient says chief executive James Kidd, “in the context of challenging conditions in our core Oil & Gas and Marine end markets. This demonstrated the strength of our business model, with high levels of recurring revenue.”
Breaking news: Nationwide profits slip 17% to £1.054bn but reports a 35% climb in new accounts opened.