The Ohan Lewis Partnership has reported half-year losses of £99 million and described the outlook for the rest of the year as “highly uncertain”.
The department stores and Waitrose supermarket business said the losses largely reflect inflation that has not been fully passed on to customers, ignoring Covid shopping patterns and supporting costs of living for employees.
Meanwhile, oil giant Shell has announced that its chief executive Ben van Burden is to step down after nearly nine years. Early next year he will be succeeded by Val Savannah, who has worked for Shell for 25 years.
List of outgoing FTSE 100 CEOs tallies to 18 for 2022
News that the top job at London’s most valuable company is changing hands at the end of the year, with the resignation of Ben van Burden at Shell, raises the number of departures of 100 FTSE CEOs to 18.
You can find here the complete list of related companies along with the names of the CEOs and their successors.
The list is worth mentioning to investors, city experts and senior executives alike.
US stocks set to fall after retail sales numbers create mixed picture on inflation
Wall Street’s S&P 500 was expected to decline in early trading as more data on inflation tuned investors into mixed signals on the outlook for rate hikes in the US.
A decline of about 7 points was forecast for the broader New York stock index, which would take it to 3959.50.
Any such slip would follow retail sales figures, which saw a 0.3% increase over the headline level, as lower fuel prices freed up overall spending power, leading to a 2.8% increase in automobile sales. Hui. But the main retail sales number, which separates car sales, saw a 0.3% decline.
Inflation in general, and US inflation in particular, is driving sentiment on global markets, as investors consider the potential pace and extent of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive moves to raise interest rates to contain rising prices. The central bank is scheduled to hold its policy meeting next week in September, amid discussions that extremely high inflation figures could push up 1%.
Rate outlook propels Lloyds and NatWest shares
Bets on another big interest rate hike put UK lenders NatWest and Lloyds Banking Group at the forefront of recovery in London’s FTSE 100 index today.
Talks of an unprecedented 0.75% increase by the Bank of England next Thursday followed yesterday’s data showing continued core inflationary pressures.
Earnings growth from a potential 2.5% increase in the base rate helped add a penny to Lloyd’s shares at 47.3p and propelled NatWest from 3.5p to 273.2p, the most pre-RBS business the city saw. Seen as more capable. high rates.
Their progress came during a generally steady session for markets after Wall Street panicked over a possible 1% hike in US interest rates last night.
The FTSE 100 index slipped 34.97 points back to 7312.27, after losing more than 1% in the past two sessions. Others on the risers board include Tesla-backer Scottish Mortgage, which has stakes in several Nasdaq-listed firms and added 2.6p to 829.6p. The cost impact of higher interest payments on their debt meant that Severn Trent and United Utilities fell 30p to 2654p and 16p to 1023p, respectively.
The biggest stock move was found in the FTSE 250 index, with the UK-focused benchmark rising 50.63 points to 18,899.83. Housebuilder Redro jumped 4%, or 18.6p to 493.2p, in a delayed response to yesterday’s full-year results.
But meat and fish packing firm Hilton Food fell 28%, or 261p to 680p, after its interim results included a warning that full-year production would be below market expectations.
Revenue rose by a fifth to £2 billion in the half-year but higher interest costs reduced the adjusted profit figure to £34.4 million to make up for a 3.9% decline. The company said consumers were becoming more cost-conscious and these trends in seafood were exacerbated by unprecedented increases in raw material prices.
John Lewis loses £99m from inflation bites
John Lewis lost £99 million over the past six months and promised to pay £500 to full-time workers to help ease the crisis at the cost of living.
It also promised free meals at work for 14 weeks over the winter, a 4% increase in wages for new partners at a cost of £10 million, and increased grants to employees hardest hit by inflation.
But the annual bonus to the partners based on profit is clearly at risk.
President Sharon White told Standard: “The partnership model means we can take a long-term perspective. We’ll hit profits to help our partners. We’ll make sure they can and do eat well.”
She said the outlook is “highly uncertain” and she could not say when the group could return to profits. It earned £69 million for the same period of July last year.
“I’m a realistic optimist,” she said. “We will control the controls.”
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Looking for IG US Boost
England cricket sponsor IG is looking to expand its presence in the US, hiring a new marketing boss to boost its appeal.
Katherine Davis has been asked to “reinvent the business experience” for US customers as part of wider expansion plans.
Today IG said revenue rose 11% to £242 million over the last quarter. This includes a sale from TastyTrade, a futures broker IG bought last year for $1 billion.
During the lockdown, brokers saw many thousands of new customers open accounts to invest the money they had saved from the closure of pubs and restaurants.
That trend seems to be coming to an end. Broker Peel Hunt noted today that in “mixed market conditions,” active client numbers were “largely unchanged” from 279,300 a year ago.
There has been some concern from regulators that new customers may not understand the risks they are taking. This has especially been applied to the crypto currency market.
IG’s own shares have largely withstood market turmoil.
They are down 5% in the last year and were stable today at 786p.
The company is in the middle of a £150 million share buyback program that should help investors.
FTSE 100 correction, Hilton Food down 29 per cent
Wall Street’s panic over a possible 1% hike in US interest rates eased last night, helping the FTSE 100 index find positive territory, rising 37.62 points to 7314.92.
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which has stakes in several Nasdaq-listed firms, led London’s top flight Riser Board, up 4%, or 30.6p to 838p.
Shares of lenders Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest corrected 0.7p to 47.1p and 4.4p to 274.1p respectively on expectations of a 0.75% hike in rates by the Bank of England next week.
But rising debt interest bills for Severn Trent and United Utilities meant their shares fell from 117p to 2669p and 39.5p to 1032p.
The FTSE 250 index rose 102.59 points to 18,951.79, with shares rising another 4% after Dunlam reassured yesterday’s full-year results.
Meat packing firm Hilton Food led the FTSE 250 fallers board after downgrading full-year guidance along with today’s interim results, slipping 29%, or 285p, to 682p.
John Lewis Partnership posts £99m loss
The half-year loss of £99 million recorded today by the John Lewis Partnership compares with a reduction of £29 million in 2021/22 and a profit of £192 million in 2019/20.
Waitrose’s operating profit fell £93 million to £432 million after a 5% drop in sales, and department store profit remained unchanged at £295 million after a 3% improvement in sales. £2.1 billion.
It is not unusual for a business to have losses in the first half of the year as business is heavily skewed for Christmas.
The partnership’s president, Sharon White, described the outlook as “uniquely uncertain” and said the first half was crucial to a successful Christmas business.
He added: “We will need to strengthen performance beyond what we typically achieve in the second half, to generate sufficient profit to share partnership bonuses with partners.
“A lot will depend on the macroeconomic outlook and consumer sentiment.”
Shell’s chief executive post will be removed
Ben van Burden is due to step down as chief executive of Shell later this year, ending his career with the oil giant that began in 1983.
Chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie said: “Ben can look back with great pride at an extraordinary 39-year Shell career that ends at nine years as an exceptional CEO.
“Over the past decade, he has been the vanguard for Shell’s transition to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and has become the industry’s leading voice on some of the most pressing issues affecting society.”
The new boss is Val Savannah, who has been with Shell for 25 years and is currently director of Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions. Sir Andrew said: “Vail Savannah is an exceptional leader, with all the qualities needed to safely and profitably drive Shell through the next phase of transition and growth.”
FTSE 100 stable after huge sell-off
Markets have stabilized after Tuesday’s big sell-off, when the bigger-than-expected US inflation figure was 8.3% on Wall Street’s expectation of slowing interest rate gains.
The S&P 500 closed 0.4% higher last night in its worst session in more than two years, but negative sentiment in Europe persisted as the FTSE 100 index fell sharply for the second day in a row, down 1.5%.
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 33 points higher at 7310, but with the risk that strong US retail sales data could reinforce the hawkish narrative ahead of next week’s interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve.
Traders are still pricing in a 0.75% increase for the third time in a row, but for now the 1% increase seems unlikely…
Credit: www.standard.co.uk /