Updates from BP, Next and Domino's Pizza
Yet more pressure on the FTSE 100 on Monday with the Big Board tumbling 1.1% to 6,505.1, a 74-point drop. Pearson and MerlinEntertainments took the biggest hits, down 4.7% and 4.2% respectively to 1161p and 405p. SageGroup was also down significantly taking a 3.8% tumble to 520.50p. However Bunzl and ReckittBenckiser shares climbed 1.7% and 1.4% respectively to 1791p and 5993p.
Things weren't much better Stateside with the Dow Jones down 127 points to 17,440 as fears on Chinese share prices, and global growth prospects, widened; Boeing shares dived 2.1%. Chinese shares continued to sink this morning.
We start on the high street with a new trading statement from Next. Full price sales for the first half of the year were up 3.5%, of which 1.7% came from the opening of new space. Full price sales for NEXT Retail were up 0.8% and NEXT Directory was up 7.5%.
Total sales including markdown sales were up 3.3%. Sales were better than expected and marginally ahead of the 0%-3% guidance range given in March. "We believe," the retailer said in a statement this morning, "the improvements experienced at the end of the season were mainly driven by warmer weather."
The mid-point of Next's full-year profit guidance has consequently been upped by 1.9% from £810m to £825m; full year sales guidance range has been increased and is now 3.5%-6%.
Not such good news for BP: lower oil and gas prices saw underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter coming in at $1.3bn compared with $2.6bn for the last quarter and $3.6bn for the second quarter of 2014.
In the second quarter Brent crude averaged $62 a barrel, compared with $54 a barrel in the first quarter and $110 a barrel in 2Q 2014. In the third quarter to date, the price averaged $58 a barrel.
BP put a brave face on the numbers: "Our work to increase efficiency and reduce costs," said BP chief exec Bob Dudley, "is embedding sustainable benefits throughout the Group and we continue with capital discipline and divestments."
Lastly, a brief nibble atDomino's Pizza half-year numbers. Sales are up 14% to £426.7m overall while UK like-for-like sales climb 10% to £378.8m. Underlying operating profit soars 30% to £32.1m.
Online sales were ahead by 24.4% with app-based sales now taking the largest distribution channel driving 51.6% of online sales, so Domino's claims.
"We've had a strong first half," says boss David Wild, "driven by an excellent performance in our core UK business, which has again recorded double digit like-for-like sales growth. Our international operations have also shown improvements compared to last year."
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