Updates from Barclays and Britvic
The FTSE 100 put a stop to the losses yesterday, climbing 0.33%, or 21.67 points, to 6,572. Severn Trent was the biggest climber, up +4.59% to 1778p while Hargreaves Landsdown recovered from earlier losses, up almost 4% to 1485p.
The Dow Jones also put some weight back, climbing +0.57% to 15,928, up 90.68 points. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We begin with news that Barclays plans to close 400 UK branches - a quarter of its total load - as part of its restructuring program. However some outlets will pop up again - in Asda supermarkets. There's no confirmation on the impact of the jobs front.
It's thought Barclays will also swing the axe at several hundred jobs in its investment banking business. Barclays boss Antony Jenkins is attempting to rejig the company's blemished image following the Libor rigging and PPI mis-selling scandals.
"This is a fundamental 100-year transformation of the banking industry, that's what I think we are seeing," one person told the FT, who claimed to be familiar with the new measures. It's likely other UK banks may follow the Barclays lead.
Next, new Q1 numbers from Robinsons and 7UP maker Britvic for the 12 weeks to 22 December 2013. Britvic says it should deliver full year EBIT in line with previous guidance of £148m to £156m. GB revenue growth climbs 1.5% with international growth 4.7% up.
Fruit Shoot continued to grow in the quarter whilst Robinsons and J20 volumes were cut due to competitor price activity and an ongoing focus on driving improved returns, says Britvic.
"We delivered," says chief exec Simon Litherland, "a robust Q1 performance in each of our core markets despite a challenging consumer environment. We continued to make good progress implementing our new strategy and remain on-track to deliver our cost reduction initiatives."
Finally, a Q1 update from Brewin Dolphin. Core income increased 15% to £63.8m (2013:£55.4m) with £0.3bn net inflows in its core discretionary service, in line with a 5% per year target.
Total managed/advised funds increased by 2.5% in the quarter to £28.9bn from £28.2bn in September 2013. Income growth was driven, Brewin claims, by good investment performance, on-going new client inflows to its discretionary service.
"Continuing improvement," says Brewin, "in equity market conditions, allied to the increasingly encouraging outlook for the broader UK economy gives us growing confidence that successful implementation of our strategy will create long term value."