Updates from Wetherspoon and Interserve
The FTSE 100 dipped sharply on Tuesday, down -1.25% to 6,738.4; an 85-point drop. British Airways owner IAG saw its shares take the steepest dive, down 7% to 335p; easyJet shares also were hit hard, down 5.81%. Both airlines were rattled by an Air France-KLM profits warning.
The Dow Jones also fell, down 117 points - or -0.69% - bringing it under the 17,000 threshold to 16,906.6; IT stocks were the most vulnerable as investors unloaded. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Let's commence with a pre-close statement from Wetherspoon. For the 10 weeks to 6 July 2014, like-for-like sales increased 4.9% and total sales were up 10.3%. In the year to date (49 weeks to 6 July 2014), like-for-like sales increased 5.4%.
Total sales rise 9.8%. But sales have been slightly weaker during the World Cup says the pubs player. The operating margin, in the 10 weeks to 6 July 2014, was 8.1%, in line with 8.1% year-to-date (49 weeks to 6 July 2014).
The full year is now expected to be around this level says Wetherspoon. "Although sales have slowed in recent weeks, the Company remains confident of a reasonable outcome in the current financial year."
Next, house builder Galliford Try. Galliford claims profit before tax is expected to be at the upper end of analysts' range of £92.8 - £95.2 million. Average Linden Homes [its housebuilding division] private sales prices climb 15% to £305,000 (2013: £266,000).
During the second half of the year sales rates averaged 0.73 per site per week (H2 2013: 0.67 per week). There is a record £348 million year end sales carried forward, up 11% (2013: £313 million), it claims.
"With a solid balance sheet," chief exec Greg Fitzgerald says, "minimal debt, a record landbank in housebuilding and excellent visibility of work in construction, we are starting the new financial year in a strong position."
Lastly, support services player Interserve claims it's "encouraged" by its "substantial future workload". The integration of its expanded UK Support Services business is, it claims, progressing well.
Following the completion of its US$350m issue of US Private Placement loan notes in June, "we remain well placed to continue to invest in our growth strategy".
Last month Interserve launched a legal challenge on the MoD's defence estates contracts to Carillion, which saw the MoD suspend the procurement process, thought to be worth several billion pounds.