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UK Economy Set to Grow 0.2% in 1Q as Omicron Wave Ebbs

01/12/2022 | 03:47am EDT

UK Economy Is Set to Grow 0.2% in 1Q as Omicron Wave Ebbs

0750 GMT - U.K. GDP is expected to expand by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2022, up from zero previously expected, as Covid-19 cases in the country seem to be peaking and the government is unlikely to have to extend "Plan B" restrictions in England, Pantheon Macroeconomics says. In addition, the confirmation that the Omicron coronavirus variant is less severe than previous variants prompted an upward revision in economic growth forecasts in 2Q and 3Q, returning them to the level envisaged before the variant emerged, Pantheon's chief U.K. economist Samuel Tombs says. Pantheon expects U.K. GDP to expand by 4.2% in 2022, up from 4% previously estimated. (xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com)

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Companies News: 

Sainsbury Upgrades FY 2022 Views on Lower Costs, Higher Christmas Grocery Volumes

J Sainsbury PLC said Wednesday that like-for-like sales including fuel for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 fell, but upgraded its full-year market expectations on lower costs, market-share growth and higher grocery volumes during Christmas.

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Whitbread 3Q Total Sales Rose 5%

Whitbread PLC said Wednesday that total sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 grew 5% and that its performance in the U.K. to Jan. 6 has been resilient despite the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

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Bunzl Acquires New Jersey-Based PPE Distributor for Undisclosed Sum

Bunzl PLC said Wednesday it has acquired New Jersey-based Tingley Rubber Corporation, a personal protective equipment distributor, for an undisclosed sum.

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UK Antitrust Regulator Clears IAG, Air Europa Merger

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday that International Consolidated Airlines Group SA's planned acquisition of Air Europa doesn't qualify for investigation under the Enterprise Act 2002.

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JD Sports Fashion 22-Week Revenue to Jan. 1 Rose; Sees FY 2022 Headline Pretax Profit of $1.19 Bln

JD Sports Fashion PLC said Wednesday that revenue for the 22-week period to Jan. 1 in its like-for-like businesses rose more than 10% compared with the same period in 2020, and that it expects headline pretax profit for fiscal 2022 of 875 million pounds ($1.19 billion).

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Vistry Says 2021 Adjusted Pretax Profit Rose as Completed Sales Increased

Vistry Group PLC said Wednesday that it expects full-year adjusted pretax profit to rise in line with guidance, after a strong increase in completed sales.

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PageGroup Says 2021 Operating Profit Was Above Expectations

PageGroup PLC said Wednesday that it expects to report operating profit for 2021 marginally ahead of its previous guidance of around 165 million pounds ($225 million), boosted by continued improvement through the year.

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Dunelm Says 1H Pretax Profit, 3Q Total Sales Grew

Dunelm Group PLC said Wednesday that total sales rose in the third quarter of fiscal 2022, boosted by a strong performance from its stores, and that it expects to post pretax profit growth for the first half.

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Trustpilot Sees 2021 Revenue at $131 Mln; Total Bookings of $150 Mln

Trustpilot Group PLC said Wednesday that it expects to report revenue of $131 million for 2021 and total bookings of $150 million.

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M Winkworth Expects 2021 Rev, Pft to Beat Views; Declares Special Div

M Winkworth PLC said Wednesday that it expects 2021 revenue and pretax profit to exceed forecasts, and declared a special dividend.

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S4 Capital Performance in Line With Market Expectations; Media.Monks, 4 Mile Analytics to Merge

S4 Capital PLC said Wednesday that performance remains in line with market expectations and that Media.Monks and 4 Mile Analytics will merge.

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DFS Furniture 1H Sales Rose 10% Vs Fiscal 2019; Backs FY 2022 Guidance

DFS Furniture PLC said Wednesday that sales for the first half of fiscal 2022 were up 10% compared with the same period in fiscal 2019, before the pandemic hit, and backed its full-year guidance.

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Hostelworld's Revenue Recovered in 2021, But Took Omicron Hit

Hostelworld Group PLC said Wednesday that it recorded a consistent recovery in bookings and revenue in 2021 when compared with pre-pandemic levels, except for the latter part of the year amid the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

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Nichols Revenue Rose in 2021; Backs Profit Guidance

Nichols PLC said Wednesday that 2021 revenue rose 22% and was broadly in line with 2019's levels, and backed its profit guidance for the year.

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Probe Into Microsoft Acquisition of Nuance Communications Launched by UK Antitrust Watchdog

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday that it has started a formal investigation into Microsoft Corp.'s planned acquisition of Nuance Communications Inc. to determine whether the merger would lessen competition within U.K. markets.

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Savills Sees 2021 Profit Significantly Ahead of Its Expectations

Savills PLC said Wednesday that it expects underlying pretax profit for 2021 to be significantly ahead of the upper end of the board's expectations, following a strong final business period.

 
Market Talk: 

JD Sports Fashion Has Potential for Stronger Position as a Partner of Major Brands

JD Sports Fashion should continue to strengthen its position as a preferred partner of brands such as Nike and Adidas considering its strong retailing skills and premium positioning, RBC Capital Markets says. In the growing sportswear and athleisure category, the sports-and-fashion company is viewed as one of a minority of U.K. retailers that can scale its offering globally, RBC says. Specifically, potential is seen for stronger online sales and U.S. performance than the market is expecting. Recent acquisitions in the U.S. should also provide JD with an opportunity to broaden its customer demographic. RBC has an outperform rating on the stock with a price target of 275 pence. Share trade up 1.8% at 222.8 pence. (kyle.morris@dowjones.com)

Sainsbury's Upgraded FY 2022 Underlying Pretax Profit Is Highlight of 3Q Update

0825 GMT - J Sainsbury's profit delivery for the full year was strong despite its sales miss, Jefferies says. The U.K. grocer's very weak nonfood sales in the closing stages of 2021 hasn't prevented the FTSE 100 company from lifting its fiscal 2022 underlying pretax profit guidance by 9%, Jefferies says. Grocers such as Sainsbury appear to have the ability to withstand temporarily elevated supply-chain costs, the bank notes. Shares are up 2.4% at 285.90 pence. (sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Dow Jones Newswires; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-12-22 0347ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ADIDAS AG 0.54% 172.8 Delayed Quote.-32.12%
BUNZL PLC 1.73% 2815 Delayed Quote.-4.09%
DFS FURNITURE PLC 1.24% 163 Delayed Quote.-39.25%
DUNELM GROUP PLC -1.61% 827.5 Delayed Quote.-39.10%
FTSE 100 1.19% 7389.98 Delayed Quote.-1.11%
HOSTELWORLD GROUP PLC 2.41% 89.1 Delayed Quote.27.01%
INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP, S.A. 2.11% 125.08 Delayed Quote.-14.02%
J SAINSBURY PLC -1.52% 233.4 Delayed Quote.-14.07%
JD SPORTS FASHION PLC -0.57% 121.5 Delayed Quote.-43.89%
M WINKWORTH PLC 0.00% 193 Delayed Quote.-1.53%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION -1.09% 250.06 Delayed Quote.-24.73%
NICHOLS PLC 0.57% 1322.5 Delayed Quote.-11.89%
NIKE, INC. -0.46% 105.88 Delayed Quote.-36.14%
ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION -2.28% 54.74 Delayed Quote.-17.45%
PAGEGROUP PLC 0.36% 450.4 Delayed Quote.-29.16%
S4 CAPITAL PLC 6.66% 291.6 Delayed Quote.-56.88%
SAVILLS PLC 0.09% 1067 Delayed Quote.-24.29%
TRUSTPILOT GROUP PLC -0.27% 109 Delayed Quote.-66.62%
VISTRY GROUP PLC 1.28% 834 Delayed Quote.-30.45%
WHITBREAD PLC 1.87% 2667 Delayed Quote.-12.59%
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