UK Housing Market Boom Could Lift Pound
The strength of the U.K. housing market could have positive implications for the pound, Bank of America says. The housing cycle has traditionally been a strong driver for sterling as it matters for the Bank of England's policy reaction function in terms of the importance it attaches to broader inflation metrics, BofA analysts say. "As per our economists' base-case scenario, the official policy rate is unlikely to shift much before 2023, but the strength of underlying price pressures pushes the BOE increasingly into a hawkish stance to the extent that the UK rates markets starts to price an earlier liftoff."
Record PLC FY 2021 Profit Fell on Higher Costs
Record PLC on Thursday reported a fall in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 on higher costs.
Toople 1H Pretax Loss Narrowed; Sees Improving Activity Levels
Toople PLC said Thursday that its pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2021 narrowed and that activity is returning to more normalized levels after the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Syncona Swung to FY 2021 Profit; Names New CFO, Chief Medical Officer
Syncona Ltd. said Thursday that it swung to a profit in fiscal 2021 on the back of net gains on financial assets, and named new chief financial and chief medical officers.
CPI Property Extends Offer Deadline for Globalworth Shareholders Again
CPI Property Group SA said Thursday that the 1.57 billion-euro ($1.88 billion) offer it made together with Aroundtown SA for Globalworth Real Estate Investments Ltd. has been extended.
Hurricane Energy Says U.K. Authority Approved Field Development Plan Amendment
Hurricane Energy PLC said Thursday that it has received approval from the U.K. Oil and Gas Authority for an amendment to its development plan for the Lancaster offshore field, meeting a key condition for a financial restructuring.
CareTech 1H Profit Climbed, Raises Dividend
CareTech Holdings PLC said Thursday that its pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2021 more than doubled and raised its interim dividend.
NextEnergy Solar Fund NAV per Share Edged Down in FY 2021
NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd. on Thursday reported that its net asset value per share declined slightly in fiscal 2021.
Cambria Africa Shares Rise on Return From Suspension
Shares of Cambria Africa PLC rose 10% as the company returned from suspension after reporting fiscal 2020 earnings and saying that its subsidiaries in Zimbabwe are operating at above break-even levels, which is expected to continue this year.
Kingswood Holdings 2020 Pretax Loss Widened
Kingswood Holdings Ltd. said Thursday that its 2020 pretax loss widened after booking higher costs and that it was finalizing the implementation of its change management program to improve its cost to income ratio and enhance margins.
Maternity-Wear Brand Seraphine Mulls London IPO
British maternity- and nursing-wear brand Seraphine said Thursday that it is considering an initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
PPHE in Discussions to Sell 49% Stake in Two London Hotels
PPHE Hotel Group Ltd. said Thursday that it is in advanced discussions to sell a 49% stake in two London hotels to Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd., for around 265.6 million pounds ($371.5 million).
U.K. Fintech Wise to Go Public in London Direct Listing
Wise, an online money-transfer service, kicked off plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, taking advantage of surging investor interest in financial technology companies.
Cake Box Says Share Fall Is Due to 2020 Data Breach
Cake Box Holdings PLC said Thursday that its share fall is related to informing its customers via email that it had a data breach in 2020.
NCC Group Seems a Great Entrance to Cybersecurity Market
1018 GMT - Cybersecurity company NCC Group's share price looks very attractive and it remains a great way to enter the cybersecurity market, given the spotlight on the topic at this year's G-7 conference, Jefferies says. Now cybersecurity is one of the top three most important risk-management worries for most companies, NCC looks to be an increasingly attractive way into this burgeoning professional-services sector, the U.S. bank says. While NCC's spending this year was constrained by the coronavirus, meaning savings on travel and conferences will normalize in fiscal 2022, the new year will also capture the full reopening of western markets, Jefferies says. Jefferies retain its buy rating and price target of 333.0 pence. Shares are up 1.6% at 288.0 pence.
NCC Group Seems Set for Positive Development
1000 GMT - Cybersecurity company NCC Group's assets and capabilities remain critical to clients, and investors should expect to see continued positive development across the business in coming years, Shore Capital says. NCC's update confirmed its resilience and a stronger performance towards the final weeks of the year, and with recovery and growth in the top-line, a return to underlying cost growth and inflation should also be expected, the investment group said. "NCC's strategic position demands a premium, now on a stable platform, in our opinion," said Shore, retaining its buy rating and fair-value target of 355 pence on the stock. Shares are up 1.8% at 288.5 pence.
Spirax-Sarco's Sustainability Targets Seen Lacking Some Specifics
0952 GMT - Steam-system engineering company Spirax-Sarco's investment in sustainability is refreshing and its raft of new targets will enhance its green credentials, Shore Capital says. That said, Spirax didn't include specific, quantifiable targets for scope 3 emissions, which cover purchased goods and services, business travel, employee commuting, transport and distribution, among other areas. "Whilst we do not believe Spirax has higher scope 3 emissions than many peers, we believe they should have been more prominent in the new sustainability targets," the investment group says. Shore maintains its hold recommendation, though it adds there is significant scope to upgrade forecasts and upside to its fair value, given the outlook for industrial production. Shares are down 2.3% at 13,285 pence.
BOE's First Rate Rise Expected in August 2022
0945 GMT - The Bank of England will overlook the temporary spike in consumer prices and raise interest rates only in August 2022, says Morgan Stanley. "[May] inflation surprised to the upside, but while there were signs of broad-based strength, the main drivers of the beat were volatile clothing and recreational items," the bank says. After the annual consumer price index unexpectedly jumped to 2.1% in May, Morgan Stanley raised its CPI forecast up to 1.8% year-on-year in 2021 from 1.6%, while staying flat at 1.9% in 2022. "Next year, with core inflation around 2%Y, we expect the Bank to hike in August 2022," it adds.
Whitbread Sees Business Demand Increase Despite Extended Restrictions
0916 GMT - Whitbread's guidance is unchanged despite the four-week extension to restrictions in the U.K., Jefferies says. The company is seeing a continued gradual increase in business demand as its market share gains in the U.K. continue with quarter-on-quarter momentum building, the U.S. bank says. Cash outflow is in line with guidance for the Premier Inn owner, with 1Q net debt of GBP70.6 million being helped by customer deposits, the bank says. "We see a material share opportunity in the U.K. and Germany," the bank says. Jefferies has a buy rating on the stock and a 4,000 pence target price. Shares are up 2.7% at 3,380 pence.
Blue Prism Seen Showing Some Positive Signs
0906 GMT - Blue Prism Group's shares have underperformed this year and its first-half results don't appear to move the needle that much, but investors can take encouragement in solid growth in annualized recurring revenue and bookings, Shore Capital says. The U.K. maker of robotic-process-automation software secured more software deals with new and existing customers and increased the rate of monthly recurring revenue, Shore says. "This is a creditable performance, in our view, given the pandemic-related headwinds," Shore says. Blue Prism's full-year guidance remains unchanged, but strength in bookings could prompt upward revisions to consensus estimates as the second half of the year progresses, Shore says. Shares rise 7.1%.
Whitbread's Occupancy Levels Bode Well for Summer
0857 GMT - Whitbread's occupancy levels post the May 17 reopening in the U.K. are a positive and bode well for the summer months, Goodbody says. If the Premier Inn owner can retain the occupancy levels experienced in the first 30 days since reopening this summer, it can put upward pressure on Goodbody's 1H revenue per available room--a performance metric--forecast of GBP26.30. "The group still believes it is too early in the year to change guidance, but recent trading is encouraging for the remainder of the year," the Irish brokerage says. Goodbody has a hold rating on the stock, and a GBP32.90 closing price. Shares are up 3.1% at 3,391 pence.
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