Updates from Tesco, Victrex and Asos

More dire trading news from Tesco as full year profits expected to slump

savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Asos, Victrex
The FTSE 100 lost more than 70 points on Monday, dipping to 6,672.1. More than a 1% fall. Weir Group and easyJet took the biggest thumps, down 5.2% and 3.1% respectively (to 1741p and 1705p). M&S also came under investor sell-off pressure, slumping 2.7% as news emerged it was struggling with online distribution logistics. Only ARM Holdings climbed strongly, up 1.7% to 963p.

Stateside, the Dow Jones saw a 106.3 point slump, down to 17,852.4 - heavy falls from McDonalds and Chevron - as Japanese and Chinese growth worries took a grip.

The big news this morning is more dire tidings from Tesco. Tesco claims full year profits will come in substanially lower than market predictions, unlikely to exceed £1.4bn. Previously the £1.8-£2.2bn range had been pencilled in.

"Whilst the steps we are taking to achieve this are impacting short-term profitability," says boss Dave Lewis, "they are essential to restoring the health of our business. We will not engage in short term actions that compromise in any way our offer for customers."

Tesco's recent profits debacle has seen the Financial Reporting Council warn retailers that the must be more transparent in how information is framed, particularly about the relationship retailers have with their suppliers.

Next, FTSE 250 polymer operator Victrex. Full-year revenues climb 14% to £252.6m while profit before tax rises 9% to £102.7m. Earnings per share climbs 9% also, to 94.6p.

Victrex have proposed a special dividend of 50 pence per share, in addition to the final dividend of 33.76p. This reflects its strong cash position it says, even after "significant" capital investment in new manufacturing capacity.

"Our 2015 financial year," says boss David Hummel, "has started well and although currency headwinds remain considerable, we now anticipate being able to fully cover the FX impact, reflecting our positive trading momentum and more recent exchange rates."

Lastly, fashion retailer Asos says sales for the three months up to November climbed 8%. UK sales however accelerated 24%, substantially better. International sales overall though are much more of a struggle, falling back from a total of 63% this time last year to 57%.

"September and October were challenging," says boss Nick Robertson, "as we completed the automation programme in Barnsley in time for peak. Our sales have since gathered momentum and we had our biggest ever trading week over cyber weekend in November."

Asos has received £6.3 million of insurance proceeds related to a fire at Barnsley in June which its deploying to accelerate investment in international pricing. "After taking this into account, we expect full year profits to be in line with expectations."
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