FTSE 100 Live: Festive boost for JD Sports and Sainsbury’s, US inflation hits 7%

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D Sports Fashion, Dunlam & Sainsbury’s followed Next by upgrading their profit guidance in the wake of Christmas trading today.

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Despite supply chain pressures in the festive period, JD said it performed “extremely strong” and supermarket Sainsbury’s reported that it increased market share. Homeware business Dunlam enjoyed a record second quarter, which means profits for the fiscal year will be well ahead of City’s expectations.

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Their updates follow last week’s positive updates from Next and follow yesterday’s set statements from Marks & Spencer, Halfords and Tesco.

live update


US inflation at 40-year high

Annual inflation in the US has risen to 7%—the highest rate of increase in prices since ET’s box office run in 1982.

Consumer prices rose 0.5% in December, well above forecasts of 0.4% and in November by 0.5%.

Food, cars and clothing made rapid gains.

The jump does not reflect well on the Whitehouse or the Fed, which has assumed that inflation will be temporary until recently.

Economists expect the January figure to be even higher, driven by rents and property prices.

Bounced as expected, meaning it may have already been baked in to share prices when trading opens.

Expectations for a hike in interest rates remain unchanged, with a hike expected in March.


Pret Bumps Up Staff Pay

Pret is raising salaries for its employees as hospitality and retail companies struggle to hang on and attract new employees.

The sandwich and coffee chain told employees on Tuesday that 8,000 servers would receive a pay increase of £9.40 to £10.15 an hour from April. 85% of employees will earn at least £10 an hour after the changes.

The Mystery Shopper Bonus – a weekly allowance paid to 80% of employees for good customer service – will increase by 25% to £1.25 an hour.

The move will cost Prat £9.2 million and is the largest one-time investment in salaries and benefits in the company’s 36-year history.

CEO Pano Cristo said: “We’ve always said that as our business recovers, we want to invest back in our people. Today, as we move into a new phase of our transformation strategy, I really like I’m glad we’re in a position to do just that.

“After a tough year, I am delighted to be able to deliver this news to our hardworking shop teams. Importantly, we are proud to be one of the best employers in our industry when you combine our hourly pay, our 50% employee discount, and the Pret Mystery Shopper Bonus. ,

Read the full story.


Savills climbs the upgrade

Savills has said its gains are set to be “far ahead of the upper end of its previous expectations” after an “extraordinarily strong” end of the year.

The property agent was upbeat with demand for warehouse and logistics space in late 2021 and says that demand for prime residential London property is “obviously” improving. A reduction in discretionary spending on things like travel also helped.

Shares have shot up 98p — or 7.4% — to 1418p, at the top of the FTSE 250.


Premier Inn owner Whitbread will raise room rates to combat sector inflation of up to 8% as the hospitality industry faces staff shortages and supply chain constraints amid the fallout from the pandemic.

Nearly £1.4 billion of the FTSE 100 Group’s cost base – from wages and electricity bills to food – is vulnerable to price hikes, but the firm has largely offset those costs through higher prices, efficiency savings and asset growth. expected to do.

About 10% of its 30,000 employees are currently off work in the latest sign of the staffing crisis caused by the pandemic.

more details here


Vistari on the way to doubling profits

Vistary – which was created in early 2020 through the merger of parts of Bovis Homes and Galifford Trai – said it is on track to more than double profits this year due to a boom in UK assets. Pre-tax profit is estimated at £345 million, up from £143.9 million a year ago.

The business jumped to completions and sales increased, as well as soaring home prices. The average purchase price of Vistari increased by 6% in one year.

Vistry expects to “take a significant step forward in profits and returns” this year, the company said, flagging the possibility of a share buyback or a special dividend. It promised an update on the impact of cladding treatment plans on its bottom line after the government gave full details.

Shares fell 10.5p, or 0.9%, to 1152.5p.

Read more, including CEO Greg Fitzgerald’s thoughts on the government’s new cladding proposals, here.


The company’s getaways spawn a unicorn

Travelperk has raised $115 million in a new funding round, which values ​​the $1.3 billion business trip start-up.

General Catalyst and previous backer Kinnevik led the Series D round, which raised a total of $409 million by the London-based company over six years.

Former Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans and GC’s Joel Cutler will join the board.

Travelpark, which manages flights, hotels and car rentals for corporates, has seen revenue exceed pre-pandemic levels as business travel bounces back.

CEO Avi Mir said achieving unicorn status was “a dream and a milestone”.


Record quarter — and year — for the page group

Page Group has become the second recruiter to record record performance in as many days, with profits increasing in the last quarter of 2021.

Gross profit rose 55% to £246.8 million in the fourth quarter, with record-breaking performances in 17 countries. This helped Page Group post a record quarter overall and pushed it into a record year.

CEO Steve Ingham said: “Productivity is at record levels, up 25% on Q4 2019. This is driven by better trading conditions, video interviews, investment in new systems, wage inflation and shorter time to ease facilitated by improving fee rates . is the result of high demand and short supply of candidates.”

The stock rose 5.5p, or 0.9%, to 639.5p.

Read more


Miners top the FTSE 100

The panic of recent sessions was put aside today as hopes of additional support for China’s economy ensured the mining giants operated the FTSE 100 index higher.

Shares of BHP rose 3.5% and Glencore traded near their highest level in four years as lower-than-expected inflation data for December raised hopes Beijing would have room for monetary policy stimulus.

The sight of iron ore prices at their highest levels since mid-October also enabled Rio Tinto shares to correct 3%, or 145p to 5446p, while the commodity sector’s lift-off extended to BP and Royal Dutch Shell as His shares rose about 2%.

Progress means the FTSE 100 index returned to its highest level since the beginning of February 2020 at 7548.52, up 57.23 points.

The return of risk appetite followed in the tech sector after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s reassuring comments yesterday on the fight against inflation.

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust rose sharply for a second straight session and investors turned more defensive stocks to leave both Severn Trent and Croda International 1% cheaper.

The FTSE 250 index rose 70.30 points to 23,098.17, with AI cybersecurity business Darktrace up 5% or 19.2p to 441.2p after yesterday’s positive trading update.

Trustpilot also improved 4% or 11p to 289.8p as the consumer review platform reported 2021 revenue ahead of expectations of $131 million (£96.3 million), representing a 24% increase on constant currency terms. Peel Hunt has a price target of 470p, with the focus now on annual results as well as the possibility of upgrades.

In FTSE 250 fallers, road infrastructure business Hill & Smith fell from 22p to 1722p as the government halted construction of new smart motorways until more safety data became available.

Frontier Developments, whose best-selling video game titles include Planet Zoo and Jurassic World Evolution, posted a 33% increase in half-year revenue and 25% on AIM despite reporting the best sales performance ever in December. registered a decline.

The sell-off comes amid disappointment that it is pushing to release Sigmar’s Warhammer Edge in the 2024 fiscal year, saying it will ensure the game’s quality. The resulting cut to 2023 expectations meant shares fell from 436p to 1336p, although analysts at Librem backed with a price target of 2700p.


Brits fall apart as Christmas cheer for the High Street

There was an injection of Christmas hope for the High Street today when three top retailers reported strong results as pandemic-weary Brits treated themselves to the festive season.

Working from home led to a rise in eating from home, with customers sprinkling on high-end party food and champagne, bumping up profit forecasts for the year as a whole, from £60 million to £720 million.

read more here


Portmeirion Weather Supply Chain Storm

Portmeirion, whose homeware brands include Spode, Royal Worcester and Pimpernel, has raised its guidance for annual profit after an “excellent” Christmas period to at least £7 million.

The upgrade came despite disruptions in the global supply chain, meaning a later start than usual for the festive business period. However, the season ended very strongly, especially in the US market.

The current city’s profit forecast of 9% growth is based on expectations of sales of at least £104 million in 2021, some 12% ahead of pre-Covid levels in 2019.

Chief Executive Mike Raybould said: “Each of our core markets, the UK, the US and South Korea, have grown well into 2021.” Portmeirion’s AIM-listed shares rose 9%, or 55p, to 675p.

Panmure Gordon raised its price target from 920p to 1020p today, saying that solid supply chain management ensured that Portmeirion was not only able to meet strong demand, but could also take market share…


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