FTSE 100 Falls as Energy Stocks, AB Foods Decline
0847 GMT - The FTSE 100 falls 0.2% to 7460 points with energy shares among the worst performers while Primark owner Associated British Foods declines after a trading update. Oil and gas stocks including BP, Harbour Energy and Shell fall as "the oil price is set for sharp weekly losses as Brent crude futures stabilise around $77 a barrel, as renewed recession fears take hold," Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sophie Lund-Yates writes. "The concerns around a global slowdown are outshining optimism from the relaxation of zero-Covid policies and China." AB Foods drops 0.8% after saying it continues to expect full-year adjusted operating profit to fall and warned of further significant input cost inflation. Berkeley Group climbs 0.3% after the housebuilder backed its full-year guidance. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Associated British Foods Backs FY 2023 View Despite Cost Inflation
Associated British Foods PLC said Friday that it backed its full-year outlook, but that it was mindful of further significant input cost inflation.
Berkeley Group 1H Profit Fell; Backs FY 2023 Guidance
Berkeley Group Holdings PLC said Friday that pretax profit and revenue fell for the first half of fiscal 2023, and backed its full-year expectations.
Anglo American Sees 2022 Production Down 3%
Anglo American PLC said Friday that 2022 production was down by around 3% as the Quellaveco copper ramp-up and strong diamond production was offset by ore grades in Chile and lower production from Kumba and platinum group metals.
Pendragon Says Hedin Mobility Has Abandoned Takeover Offer
Pendragon PLC said Friday that Hedin Mobility Group AB has decided not to make an offer for the company due to challenging market conditions and an uncertain economic outlook.
Crestchic Agrees to GBP122 Mln Takeover by Aggreko
Crestchic PLC said Friday that it has agreed to a 122 million-pound ($149.3 million) takeover by privately-owned temporary power supplier Aggreko Ltd.
Bonhill Gets GBP6.6 Mln Offer for UK, Asia Units; Cuts 2022 Guidance Further
Bonhill Group PLC said Friday that it has received a 6.6 million-pound ($8.1 million) offer for its U.K. and Asia businesses, but further cut its guidance for 2022.
ProCook Group Sees FY 2023 Revenue of GBP60 Mln-GBP65 Mln Amid Softer Consumer Demand
ProCook Group PLC said Friday that it has seen weaker sales performance than expected in recent weeks amid softer consumer demand and it now expects full-year revenue for fiscal 2023 to be between 60 million pounds and 65 million pounds ($73.4 million-$79.5 million).
Gemfields Gets $66.8 Mln from December Ruby Auction
Gemfields Group Ltd. on Friday said that it secured auction revenue of $66.8 million for a ruby auction held from Nov. 21-Dec. 8.
Taylor Maritime 1H Pretax Profit Hit by Investment Loss
Taylor Maritime Investments Ltd. on Friday reported a substantial drop in pretax profit and net asset value for the first half of its fiscal 2023 as it booked a loss on the value of its investments compared with a credit for the comparable period
Nanoco Placed First in Trial Schedule Against Samsung; Shares Rise
Nanoco Group PLC shares rose Friday after the company said that it has been placed first in a trial schedule starting Jan. 6, in its case against Samsung Group for infringement of its intellectual property.
Porvair Sees FY 2022 Revenue Up 18%, EPS Beating Forecasts; Shares Rise
Shares of Porvair PLC rose as much as 13% on Friday after the company said that it expects to report an 18% rise in revenue for fiscal 2022 and to beat market forecasts for adjusted earnings per share.
Glantus CFO Grainne McKeown Steps Down; Diane Gray-Smith Takes on Interim Role
Glantus Holdings PLC said Friday that Chief Financial Officer Grainne McKeown has stepped down and left the company for personal reasons.
Man Group Launches $125 Mln Share Buyback Program
Man Group PLC said Friday that it is launching a $125 million share buyback program, in line with its policy to distribute capital to shareholders while maintaining a prudent balance sheet.
GreenRoc Mining Raises GBP315,000 to Develop Greenland Graphite Project
GreenRoc Mining PLC said Friday that it has raised 315,000 pounds ($385,402) via a discounted placing, with the proceeds to be used toward developing the Amitsoq graphite project.
International Public Partnerships Buys New Zealand Portfolio for $128 Mln
International Public Partnerships Ltd. said Friday that it has agreed to acquire five infrastructure investments in New Zealand for around 200 million New Zealand dollars ($127.6 million) from Morrison & Co managed Public Infrastructure Partners.
Thales's Transport-Systems Sale to Hitachi Likely Delayed Amid UK Antitrust Concerns
A sale of Thales SA's transportation-systems business to Japan's Hitachi Ltd. is likely to be delayed by months until the second half of next year amid antitrust concerns in the U.K, the French aerospace-and-defense group said Friday.
Global Invacom Group Executive Chairman Tony Taylor Steps Down
Global Invacom Group Ltd. said Friday that Executive Chairman Tony Taylor is stepping down from the company after 16 years' service, and that Gordon Blaikie will become interim chief executive officer while the board looks for a replacement.
Associated British Foods' Primark Has Rollout Potential in Europe, US
0818 GMT - Associated British Foods' Primark business offers a rollout story in Europe and the U.S. and remains the leading value player in the U.K. retail space, RBC Capital Markets analysts Richard Chamberlain and Manjari Dhar say in a research note. Primark should see a strong recovery in sales given trends for store-based retailing, but margins are likely to be hit by currency and other inflation pressures, they say. For the food operations, margins are seen to be pressured by higher input costs from energy. RBC has a sector perform rating on the stock with a 1,600-pence price target. Shares trade down 0.5% at 1,645.50 pence.(email@example.com)
Berkeley Group's 1H Looks Reassuring Despite Guidance Cut
0820 GMT - Berkeley Group Holdings has released a reassuring first-half update, though it revised its three-year guidance to reflect softer demand dynamics, Citi says. The house builder's pricing remained firm over the period with cancellation rates at 20%, but it is now targeting underlying pretax profit of GBP1.05 billion over fiscal 2024 to fiscal 2025, down from previous guidance of GBP1.25 billion, Citi analyst Ami Galla says in a research note. "Reservations, though down in recent months, are relatively better versus the broader market, benefiting from a more resilient performance in London," the U.S. bank says. Citi retains its neutral rating and 3,654 pence price target on Berkeley's stock. Shares are up 0.7% at 3,826.0 pence. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sterling Faces Hit From BOE Inflation Survey
0824 GMT - Sterling faces a hit from the Bank of England's latest inflation attitude survey Friday as it could show inflation expectations remain high and confirm the public's dissatisfaction with the BOE's passive approach to raising interest rates, Commerzbank says. Inflation expectations remain well above the BOE's 2% target over a two-year horizon, which makes it difficult for the central bank in taming inflation and £underlines the risk of increased volatility in sterling," Commerzbank currency analyst Esther Reichelt says in a note. The "depressed" economic outlook, cautious monetary policy and continued high inflation continue to "principally put pressure on sterling," she says. The BOE survey is due at 0930 GMT. GBP/USD rises 0.2% to 1.2262 but EUR/GBP is flat at 0.8626. (email@example.com)
Berkeley Group's 1H as Good as can be Expected
0904 GMT - Berkeley Group's first-half results were solid given the circumstances, with performance weakening but guidance firm, Goodbody Research says. The house builder's tapering sales rates and spiking cancellations are unsurprising given peer updates but maintenance of fiscal 2023 guidance is comforting, Goodbody analyst Shane Carberry says in a research note. "Questions will remain over how the business will perform into fiscal 2024 given the challenges faced but short-term, Berkeley still looks to be well-placed and has one of the best platforms to continue to outperform in the sector given its quality, positive trends in London, and a customer base which is less impacted by interest rates," the Irish research firm says. Goodbody retains its buy rating on Berkeley's stock. Shares are up 0.2% at 3,807.0 pence. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thales Sale Delay Isn't Major, But Comes as a Disappointment, Jefferies Says
0943 GMT - "The slippage in timing is a slight disappointment," Chloe Lemarie at Jefferies rues in a note, after Thales said a $1.75 billion sale of its transport-systems business may be delayed until 2H next year as a result of competition fears in the U.K. The U.K. market watchdog said a merger of the business with Japan's Hitachi Rail would lessen competition for signaling business, and warned it would open a deeper probe if its concerns aren't met. The deal is likely still to go ahead without any material remedies, but the delay to the sale--which had been set to be completed early in 2023--is slightly disappointing, Lemarie says. Jefferies has a buy rating and a EUR140 target on Thales stock; shares lose 1.5% to EUR120.90. (email@example.com; @joshualeokirby)
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