Updates from Easyjet, Samsung and HMV

More pressure on the FTSE 100 yesterday; the Big Board lost -1.19% overall, slipping to 6,344. Miners saw the best and the worst of it with Vedanta Resources climbing +6.0% and Randgold Resources down -4.0%.

Despite poor employment news from the US, the Dow Jones climbed 55 points to 14,606. Overnight, the Nikkei 225 climbs +1.84%.
First off this morning, Easyjet, the first update since the carrier joined the FTSE 100. Revenue per seat growth at constant currency for the six months to 31 March 2013 was around +8.5%, ahead of the guidance issued in late January, driven by strong late bookings in the run up to Easter.

Cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency growth of +3.5 % was within guidance given in January despite load factors being 1.7 percentage points higher and the impact of adverse weather said the company.

"It is expected that the weakening of sterling against the Euro, US dollar and Swiss Franc," says Easyjet, "will have had a £30 million to £35 million adverse impact in the first half of this financial year, with an additional c. £5 million adverse impact from changes in the fuel price."

Next, Samsung anticipates an operating profit of 8.7tn won - £5bn - for the first three months of the year thanks to booming smartphone sales; the numbers are stronger than expected. Full quarterly numbers will be published at the end of April.

It's estimated Samsung sold as many as 70m smartphones in the last quarter compared to 63m in the quarter before. Its latest smartphone offering enables users to control its screen using their eyes.

Robust sales for its latest model, the Galaxy S4 - a major competitor to Apple's iPhone 5 - are predicted though some think the S4 is not yet the game-changer some had hoped for.

Lastly, is there life in the old dog yet? Restructuring specialist Hilco is thought to be on the cusp of agreeing to snap up 130 HMV stores - HMV had 230 shops nationwide originally - plus nine Fopp stores in a deal backed also by several major music labels, anxious to see UK high-street competition to Amazon retained.

Deloitte has managed the winding-up HMV process so far. Hilco has past form: it managed to turn around HMV's Canadian business in the last two years. If a deal goes ahead, it could see around 2,500 HMV jobs saved.

Last week also saw the return of Blockbuster after Gordon Brothers Europe bought more than 260 stores.

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