Updates from Sports Direct International and Mondi
Another push forward for the FTSE 100, climbing 0.90% to 6,796 points on Tuesday. BT Group lead the charge, up 3.41% to 418.10p with RBS behind, up 2.39% to 360.20p. The biggest faller was InterContinental Hotels, down -3.22% at 1981p as investors were given short shrift on the cash return front.
In contrast the Dow Jones slipped 0.15% to 16,130. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We commence with news from Sports Direct International. Group sales for the 13 weeks up to 26 January 2014 climbed 11.2% to £655.4m (2013: £589.5m) and gross profit increased 14.6% to £280.7m (2013: £244.8m). Online sales were also strong.
Sports Retail sales in the 13 week period are up 6.9% to £529.9m (2013: £495.8m); Sports Retail gross profit increased 12.9% to £230.0m (2013: £203.7m).
The non-UK online gross profit contribution is expected "to be greater than the UK equivalent by the end of this financial year," said chief exec Dave Forsey. Forsey is also confident of hitting its full year internal underlying EBITDA target of £310m, before Employee Bonus Share Scheme costs.
Next, a trading update from paper and packing player Mondi. Underlying operating profit for the year ended 31 December 2013 are expected to be above that achieved in 2012 (€574m).
Earnings per share for the year ended 31 December 2013 should be within the 77-82 (2012: 50.1) cents region, Mondi claims.
Mondi recently had its Outperform rating reaffirmed by Credit Suisse; it has also had its Buy rating re-stated from Bank of America.
Lastly, housebuilder Galliford Try claims record numbers in its half year report. Group revenue comes in at £803.5m, up 18% while pre-tax profits climb to £38.1m, also a 18% rise. The dividend climbs 25% from 12p to 15p. Net debt though increases from £58.2m to £85.9m.
Galliford claims a "robust" order book at £1.25 billion (H1 2013: £1.2 billion); 100% of projected revenue is secured for the current financial year with 65% secured for 2015 (31 December 2012: 100% and 65% respectively).
"In the first six months of the financial year," says CEO Greg Fitzgerald, "we have secured a significant increase in our landbank and the land market remains generally positive."