Updates from Ryanair, Lloyds and Sainsbury's


The FTSE 100 continued its downward drift on Friday, losing 28 points to 6,510.4. Coca-Cola HBC AG saw the biggest loss, down 3.24% to 1613p. BT Group though climbed 3.34% to 383p while Burberry saw a 2.62% lift to 1448p.

The Dow Jones plunged almost 150 points to 15,698, down 0.94%, not helped by a rash of weak corporate earnings.

We commence with news of a net loss for Ryanair for the last three months of 2013. The airline says average fares came under pressure, slipping 9% meaning a £28.8m loss for the quarter in total. Promotions saw passenger numbers climb 6% however.

While bookings look strong for the fourth (current) quarter, weaker pricing remains the company warns. Other revenues - or "ancillary" earnings - such as credit card fees and priority boarding climbed 13%.

In December it opened four new Italian bases in Rome (Fiumicino), Catania, Lamezia, and Palermo in response to concerns about Altalia. "Advance bookings on these new routes are well ahead of expectations," says the company.

Next, Lloyds says it's upping provision for payment protection insurance provision by some £1.8bn. The news means takes the total Lloyds has put aside for these costs rises to close to £10bn.

Lloyds also says it expects to report "substantial" progress on its strategic plan, a Group underlying profit of £6.2 billion for 2013, ahead of analyst consensus expectations, more than double that in 2012.

"We expect," says António Horta-Osório, Group Chief Executive, "to apply in the second half of 2014 to restart dividend payments and to deliver progressive and sustainable payments to shareholders thereafter."

Lastly, Sainsbury's takes full ownership of Sainsbury's Bank plc. Sainsbury's says the transaction completed on 31 January. "Sainsbury's Bank plc," says the grocer, "is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company and will be fully consolidated within its accounts from 31 January 2014."

Its new boss, Michael Coupe, was confirmed last week, replacing Justin King. Sainsbury's has managed more than 30 quarters of like-for-like growth, while boosting profits substantially.

Last month Sainsbury's said it was cutting sales expectations after growth concern, not to mention increasing competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl.