The Dow Jones managed to return past the 16,000 barrier again, ending at 16,025.5.
We start with Costa owner Whitbread. Quarterly total sales are up 13.8% and like-for-like sales 4.3% up driven by Premier Inn and Costa strength, Whitbread says. The robust quarterly sales figures are on track to deliver full year results in line with expectations claims the hospitality player.
For hotels and restaurants, total London sales grew 16.3% in the quarter. Costa saw total system sales in the 39 weeks up to 28 November increase 19.4% to £882.0 million. Costa Asia system sales grew 53.5% to £51.9 million.
"Costa's total sales have grown by 20.8%," says Whitbread, "with the opening of 246 net new stores worldwide, including 133 in the UK and 54 in China, bringing our total number of stores to 2,773."
Next, prelim numbers from TUI Travel. TUI claims underlying profit growth of 20% for the year. Underlying operating profit climbs to £589m from £490m while underlying operating profit rises 13% to £555m on a constant currency basis.
"Overall, Winter 2013/14 trading is in line with our expectations, with 60% of the programme sold." TUI says it's pleased with Summer 2014 trading, "despite strong comparatives from the prior year".
We end with numbers from Carpetright numbers for the 26-week trading period up to 26 October. UK group revenues slip 2.2% to £222.2m. Underlying profits are down 24.1% to £4.1m while underlying profits before tax plunge 33.3% to £3m.
On the upside, Carpetright now claims 224 or its stores have been modernised. Carpetright shares have been under pressure in recent months, slipping from 696p in mid September to its current 532p price.
"Against a backdrop of volatile trading conditions," says exec chairman Lord Harris, "our first half performance reflects an improvement in profits in the UK, driven by the continued success of our self-help initiatives, offset by a move into loss in our Rest of Europe business."