Updates from Burberry, Barratt and Halfords

The FTSE 100 climbed 63 points yesterday, up +0.98%, to 6,513. Vedanta Resources was the biggest climber, up +8.53% to 1094p while RBS also rose strongly, up 5.40% to 304p. ITV was the biggest loser, down -1.70% to 150.20p.

The Dow Jones finished Tuesday up +0.50% at 15,300. Overnight the Nikkei 225 slips -0.87% to 14,347. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
First off, a first quarter trading update from bags-to-macs-to-fragrance player Burberry. On an underlying basis retail sales are up +18% to £339m with comparable store sales up +13%. Buberry claims the new numbers are on the back of the "exceptional performance" of Spring/Summer 2013 fashion.

By region, there was double-digit comparable store sales growth in Asia Pacific and the Americas and high single-digit growth in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), the newly formed region integrating Europe and Rest of World.

There's no change in guidance but first half adjusted profits before tax are still expected to be below the year before.

Next, a trading update fro the year up to 30 June from house builder Barratt. Sales are up +17.9% in the second half with the sales rate up +34.7% since the launch of Help to Buy in April. There's total completions, including joint ventures, of 13,663 for the full year, with private completions up by 16.1% in the second half.

The private average selling price is up by around 9% in the second half to about £221,000. Profit before tax and exceptional items for the full year is now expected to be around £192m, ahead of the top end of analysts' expectations, Barratt claims.

"We are," says Mark Clare, chief exec, "increasing our investment in land whilst reducing debt and have delivered a performance ahead of expectations. Momentum is continuing to build and with forward sales up substantially, we are confident we can improve our performance."

Finally, a first quarter interim from Halfords. Group revenues are up +8.8% in total with its retail operation up +9.0% and a +7.8% increase from its Autocentres. Halfords does acknowledge that the new numbers are set against a weak comparative period.

Stronger performing elements include Cycle Repair, up +32.1% and car maintenance parts sales, up +16.7%. Car technology sales was down -3.5%. Online Retail sales were up +15.5% with cycling making up over half of online revenues. Sat Nav online sales climbed +9.4%.

"We are in the early stages," says chief exec Matt Davies, "of our Getting Into Gear 2016 plan as outlined on 23 May 2013, designed to significantly improve our Retail customer experience. Our focus is on delivering this plan over the medium term to drive sustainable and profitable revenue growth."
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