Updates from Royal Mail and Samsung


A 53-point slump for the Big Board yesterday. The FTSE 100 finished -0.78% down at 6,773.2 with Pearson helping drag the numbers lower, falling -8.24% to 1191p. easyJet also slipped sharply, down -4.0% at 1672p. The biggest riser was Fresnillo, up +3.38% at 780p.

The Dow Jones finished more than -1.0% down at 16,197 as investors fretted about corporate earnings.

We start with Royal Mail. The ex-state controlled delivery service reports a climb in parcel delivery revenues of 8% in the last nine months. Higher delivery charges helped push these revenues further. Like-for-like group revenues overall climbed 2% in the last nine months.

Parcels accounted for 51% of revenues. Total letter revenue declined by 3% on a like-for-like basis, compared with a 4% like-for-like decline in the first half of the year. Meanwhile there's a new argument brewing.

Business secretary Vince Cable looks likely to face down the £1.5m remuneration package of Royal Mail boss Moya Greene. Cable will be backed by the unions but there is also unease on the deal, as Greene still earns less than predecessor Adam Crozier.

Next, a sharp profits hit for Samsung. The mobile 'phone and tablet giant saw net profits dip to £4bn for the October to December quarterly period. Much of the earnings slip was from falling mobile 'phone margins, not to mention currency fluctuations.

Weaker seasonal demand for its products, the company said, will exert pressure in the meantime.Though Samsung has been massively successful, particularly in the smartphone space, there's growing competition, not least from cheaper Apple models (5C) and other players like Lenovo.

It's expected Samsung will release the Galaxy S5 in April, as well as updating its Gear smart watch. It's though this new update will see a change in design direction (the Galaxy S4 was criticised for being too much of an evolutionary change from its predecessor).

Lastly, Workspace Group. The London-based provider of space to new and growing companies sees a total rent roll of £56.7m up 7.6% (£4.0m) in the nine months since 31 March 2013. There is like-for-like rent roll-up of 1.8% (£0.9m) in the quarter to £46.5m and up 5.6% (£2.5m) in the nine months.

Like-for-like rent per square feet of £14.65 is up 1.9% in the quarter and up 4.6% in the nine months since 31 March 2013 with like-for-like occupancy stable at 90.7%. Workspace claims its making progress on refurbishment and redevelopment.

"We are currently achieving better than expected results at our completed refurbishments, with the launch of more new and refurbished centres to come during 2014." Workspace currently owns and manages 97 properties across London providing 5.1 million square feet of space.