Updates from JD Sports and Debenhams
The FTSE 100 lifted 22 points on Monday to 6,583.7. By some margin, grocer Sainsbury's was the biggest climber, up 5.46% to 326.50p with Tullow Oil also rising sharply, up 3.87%. In contrast, Ashtead Group saw the biggest investor hit, down 4.32% to 842p.
The Dow Jones recovered 0.91%, ending Monday almost 147 points higher at 16,173.2. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We start with full numbers from JD Sports. Pre-tax profits before tax and exception items soar 27.3% to more than £78m. Strong sales performance in Sport with gross margins maintained and operating profit (before exceptional items) is upped 20% to £93.4 million (2013: £77.9 million).
Like-for-like sales for the 52 week period in the UK and Ireland combined increased by 6.7%. There was a more difficult year in Fashion with operating losses (before exceptional items) rising to £6.4 million (2013: loss of £1.7 million).
Exec chairman Peter Cowgill described 2013 as a year of "substantial progress". He added: "I am encouraged that the Blacks and Millets business achieved a significant improvement in the second half of the year and we expect continued progress in the new financial year."
Next, a deep pre-tax profits slump for high street store Debenhams, tumbling 24.5% to £85.2m. Earnings per share dive 21.1% to 5.6p. The interim dividend of 1p per share is maintained. One brighter area is online sales, up 24.1%, though only taking 15.4% of total gross transaction values.
"Whilst this has been a challenging first half," says boss Michael Sharp, "we are clear on the issues and are taking decisive action to address them. In particular we are focused on building a more competitive multi-channel offer for our customers."
Debenhams claims its market share remains resilient, though it adds more caution about the strength of the UK consumer economic recovery.
We end with an interim management statement from engineering services provider GKN. Sales for the three months ended 31 March 2014 reaching £1,915 million. This is a 7% organic increase which was offset by 6% adverse currency translation.
Trading profit increased 19% to £166 million. Organic trading profit is up, to £35 million, helped by the absence of £23 million of restructuring in 2013, while the adverse currency translation impact was £9 million says the company.
"Tougher prior year comparators," says boss Nigel Stein, "mean that organic growth is likely to be more modest. However, our market leading positions, advanced technology and extensive global footprint should make 2014 another year of progress."