Updates from Domino's Pizza and FirstGroup
A 54 point bump for the FTSE 100 yesterday, climbing to 6,652.6. Aberdeen Asset Management was the biggest climber by a substantial margin, up 6.71% to 416.50p following new cost-cutting moves. ARM Holdings climbed 4.91% to 1047p. The biggest faller was Sainsbury's, down more than 2%.
The Dow Jones climbed 0.46% or 75 points to 16,532.6 helped by better US construction spending data. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
A Q1 trading statement from Domino's Pizza kicks off proceedings. System sales climb by 14.8% to £188.5m (2013: £164.1m), largely driven by strong like-for-like sales growth in the first part of the quarter. Franchisee demand for new stores is claimed to be healthy.
Like-for-like sales in the UK in 725 mature stores increased 10.8% (2013: 6.6% in 670 mature stores). Like-for-like sales in the Republic of Ireland remained in positive territory, rising by 3.4% (2013: 8.1%) in the period.
The proportion of sales taken via e-commerce grows with 69.4% of all UK delivered sales (2013: 61.9% of UK delivered sales) now coming via the internet, says the pizza player.
We move onto a trading statement from FirstGroup. Overall operating profits are in line with expectations it claims, excluding £14m impact of unprecedented weather conditions on First Student and Greyhound in the fourth quarter says the company.
Like-for-like passenger revenue growth is expected to be 1.8% for the year for UK Bus, with better passenger volume growth. FirstGroup says UK Rail continue to perform positively, with like-for-like passenger revenue expected to increase 5.9%.
However the company has seen its share tumble after Merrill Lynch snipped its rating on the stock, plus price target, downgrading the stock from Buy to Neutral.
Lastly, new numbers from fashion player ASOS. The retailer saw pre-tax profits slip 22% to £20m for the six months up to the end of February. Group revenues though climb to £472.3m and there's growth of 36% in its customer base to 8.2m.
"Our £68 million investment during the current year," says boss Nick Robertson, "will more than double the sales capacity with greatly enhanced efficiencies at our UK warehouse, a new Eurohub in Berlin, an expanded facility in Ohio in the US and a new warehouse in Shanghai."
ASOS gross margin rises by 60 basis points from 49.9% to 50.5%. Robertson claims the scale of the global opportunity remains "as exciting as ever".