FTSE 100 futures
FTSE 100 futures are rebounding 0.4% after the blue-chip index sank to its lowest level in over three weeks yesterday. Below is a chart of the UK 100, which is following 0.2% higher this morning.
Top UK stock news
Keep an eye on the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) after the Financial Conduct Authority outlined plans to simplify the listing process in the hope of attracting more companies to London after struggling to stop several UK businesses from listing overseas. The regulator hopes to have made ‘substantial progress’ on the reforms by the end of 2023.
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) said pretax profit rose to £2.26 billion in the first quarter from £1.54 billion the year before, coming in ahead of the £2.04 billion estimate. That was driven by higher net interest income thanks to increased rates and partly countered by higher costs. Its net interest margin came in softer than anticipated at 3.22% and Lloyds reiterated expectations for this to be greater than 3.05% in 2023 as it ups spending and battles inflationary pressures.
Barratt Developments (BDEV) said it has continued to see positive trends since February and revealed it is now ‘fully forward sold’ for 2023, putting it on course to meet expectations this year. Still, its forward sales of £2.96 billion as of April 23 are down sharply from £4.51 billion the year before as construction rates have slowed and the number of reservations being made has dropped to 0.65 per week from 0.93 last year. Still, that has improved from 0.30 per week in the final quarter of 2022 and from 0.49 per week in early February.
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer plans to start offloading its 32% stake in consumer healthcare giant Haleon (HLN) as it tries to raise cash to pay down debt and boost shareholder returns. Pfizer CFO Dave Denton told the Financial Times that it will start a ‘slow and methodical’ sale of Haleon shares within months in order to ensure it doesn’t undermine the company’s valuation. Haleon said this morning that revenue rose 13.7% in the first quarter thanks to higher prices and volumes while operating profits jumped 34.5% as the cost of separating from GSK last year fell away.
Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) said it has ‘greater confidence’ it can deliver positive organic Ebit growth in 2023 as it reported 24.4% growth in first quarter net sales, with organic growth of 16.6%. That was aided by higher prices as it took ‘decisive actions to mitigate cost inflation’.
Aston Martin (AML) reported a 27% year-on-year jump in revenue in the first quarter to £295.9 million and saw its loss before tax shrink to £74.2 million from £111.6 million. That was driven by a 9% rise in wholesale volumes and aided by higher prices. The carmaker said 95% of its current range of GT and Sports models are sold out for 2023 and that its DBX order book will keep it busy until the third quarter. It reiterated its 2023 and medium-term guidance.
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) said revenue rose 15.2% year-on-year in the first quarter to EUR869.8 million (with constant currency growth of 14.9%). Both its divisions delivered double-digit growth and sales increased across all geographical regions. It left its guidance for the full year unchanged.
RS Group (RS1) said chief financial officer David Egan has resigned with immediate effect and been replaced by Jane Titchener, who has been with RS Group for 15 years, on an interim basis while a search for a permanent successor is conducted. ‘Very recently I notified the board of a personal relationship with a colleague. Following a detailed review by the board, I recognise that there have been some shortcomings of judgment on my part and my actions have fallen short of the high standards expected of RS leadership. Therefore, it is right for me to step down from my role,’ said Egan in a statement.
Embattled Cineworld (CINE) has secured approval from a US court to raise $2.26 billion as it tries to escape bankruptcy after settling with a small group of lenders that were opposed to its fundraising plans. It is now hoping to secure a new $1.46 billion loan and raise $800 million in new equity in the hope it can pay-down its burdensome debt pile and emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2023.
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