Updates from Moneysupermarket and Tesco
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The big news this morning is Tesco sales, specifically for the 13 weeks to 25 May. UK and Europe sales are both under pressure with UK like-for-like sales - which account for two thirds of Tesco profits - down -1.0% while Europe has reported a -5.0% slide.
Total sales including VAT and petrol grew by just +0.1% and by +1.0% excluding petrol. The results do not indicate a strong return on the £1bn turnaround investment programme that chief exec Phil Clarke instigated following Tesco's worrying profits warning last year.
Tesco put a gloss on the figures, claiming "good progress with our plans to improve the shopping trip for customers and are seeing steady increases in customer perception scores across all aspects of our offer." Online grocery and clothing both saw solid improvement.
Next, price comparison player Moneysupermarket.com. Group performance remains "in line with the Board's expectations" and Group revenues for the year to date are in excess of 10% up on the same period last year, it claims.
A special interim dividend of 12.92p per ordinary share will be paid on 26 July 2013. Bid rumours have helped the company's share price recently (currently 207.70p, close to a 12-month high).
Moneysupermarket founder Simon Nixon is now offering up to 80,000,000 existing ordinary 0.02 pence shares of MoneySupermarket, representing up to approximately 14.8% of the issued share capital of the company.
Finally, plastic packaging operator RPC Group claims a dip in revenues of £1,051m (2012: £1,130m) reflecting the impact of a weaker euro versus sterling and an exit from certain sectors. There's adjusted operating profit of £89.7m (2012: £93.5m) at the same level as last year when measured at constant exchange rates.
The return on sales improves to 8.5% (2012: 8.3%) though net profit for the year comes in at £25.5m (2012: £44.7m) after incurring £36.0m (2012: £20.6m) of restructuring costs, impairment losses and other exceptional items says the company.
"I am confident that the underlying business improvements will continue to be achieved with RPC well positioned to benefit from an economic recovery going forward," says chairman Jamie Pike.