The British Retail Consortium claims UK retail sales picked up +1.3% in August compared to a -0.9% dip this time last year for the same month.
Overall, that's the strongest growth since Easter though on a quarterly basis the sales trend is still slowing – blame (still) stagnating wage inflation for many; a significant number of UK retailers themselves are under huge pressure from online operators.
The main currency-moving news this morning is the UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) at 9.30am. Overnight sterling was down -0.03% at $1.2928 while the euro rose +0.10% to $1.1906. The euro was also up +0.11% against sterling at 0.9210 not helped yesterday by a grim showing from the UK construction industry (economic activity slipping from 51.9 in July to 51.1 in August).
Markets dipped yesterday on the on-going US-North Korean tensions with safe-haven assets continuing to do well. Gold is selling at $1,335.96. up +0.87% while the yen has also gained. Eurozone Q2 GDP numbers emerge this morning.
- UK FTSE 100 7,411.47 -0.36%
- Dow 21,987.56 +0.18%
- S&P 500 2,476.55 +0.20%
- Nasdaq 6,435.33 +0.10%
- Nikkei 225 19,389.92 -0.61%
- DAX 12,102.21 -0.33%
- CAC 40 5,103.97 -0.38%
- Gold 1,341.60 +0.84%
- Oil WTI 47.46 +0.36%
'Staycations' boost Halfords revenues
First off this morning a 20-week trading update from Halfords. Retail centre revenues are up +6.2% while Halfords Group revenues climb +2.7%. However its autocentres saw a -1.4% slowdown overall.
Retail motoring sales though were up +2.3% on the important like-for-like basis, driven by fitting services growth plus dash cams, camping and cycle carriers – evidence that many Britons took a UK holiday this year than endure sterling's depreciation overseas .
Halfords has already warned of an approximate £25m gross cost headwind for the full year. “Our FX mitigation plans have been implemented and are on track.”
Redrow operating profits climb 23%
Next Flintshire housebuilder Redrow – its shares are up +61.5% in the past year at 620p. Final numbers for the year sees a +23% operating profit boost to £322m with earnings per share surging +27% to 70.2p. There’s a +70% rise in the full year dividend to 17p.
"Redrow began the current financial year with a record order book, up +14% year on year to £1.1bn,” says the company. “Sales in the first nine weeks are very encouraging, up +8% on a strong comparator last year.”
Redrow says it anticipates turnover in 2020 of approximately £2.2bn and pre-tax profit of around £430m with the dividend rising to 32p per share.
Breaking news: Software engineering company Aveva Group is to merge with Schneider's Electric's software business (France based). The Financial Ombudsman claims there has been a 13% rise in complaints with PPI complaints taking 50% of the total.