Thu. May 19th, 2022


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Get ready, it’s a busy morning for earnings today.

EasyJet is the latest airline to mark the disruptive impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which knocked the aviation recovery off course in December. But easyJet said there had been a “sustained step change” in discussions since the UK government removed the pre-departure testing earlier this month, with plans for restriction-free travel ahead of next month’s school holidays giving a further boost. It predicted a return to near 2019 capacity levels by the summer.

Performance picked up in October and November, easyJet said, with aircraft packed more than before. That momentum stopped in December and is expected to affect the current quarter as well, the airline added. But its loss for last quarter was nearly half the same period last year and operating cash burn was “significantly” lower, he said.

Is a return to normalcy really almost here? Tell me what you think citybulletin@ft.com

Briefly

Drinking giant Diageo reported a 23 percent increase in half-year operating profit as consumers shifted alcohol consumption to spirits and were willing to spend on more expensive brands coming at higher margins.

White goods retailer AO World is to undertake a strategic review of its German business after facing stiff competition, higher marketing costs and limited supply. Revenue from the e-commerce group fell 14 percent year-on-year in the most recent quarter, with sales down 24 percent in Germany.

It was a gloomy period for retail landlords, but Hammersonthe group behind Birmingham’s Bullring shopping center, said adjusted earnings would now be at the top of its forecast range, between £ 75 million and £ 80 million.

Boatmaker Dr Martens emphasizes the shift of brands to sell directly to their customers rather than through wholesalers: in the company’s third quarter, so-called “DTC” revenue increased by 33 percent from last year. Overall revenue rose 11 percent in the quarter, with in-store sales up more than 70 percent and e-commerce sales up 16 percent.

The British competition watchdog has an investigation into the music streaming market and especially the roles that record companies and music streaming services play.

British car production fall on his lowest level since 1956 last year, as the semiconductor shortage drove factories to cut or interrupt production while waiting for parts, the car lobby group said. And more bad news for motorists: rising energy costs will put pressure on UK carmakers to raise prices this year, reports Peter Campbell.

High Street bank TSBowned by Spanish borrower Sabadell, returned to profit last year as improved economic conditions led to lower loan value declines and the boom in the real estate market propelled record mortgage lending.

Moving in people, Whitbread has a new CFO (internal candidate Hemant Patel), and one of the founding members of the management team at St james’s place wealth management, Ian Gascoigne, is retiring after more than 30 years at the group.

Even today, updates from Saga, IG Group, 3i, Fever tree, Euromoneya real estate agent Foxtonswhich said adjusted operating profit would be at the top of market expectations (at around £ 7m).

Beyond the square mile

Pre-tax profit at Deutsche Bankinvestment bank almost halved in the last quarter of last year, reports Olaf Storbeck, hit by declining trading revenues, rising costs and higher provisions for bad loans.

Samsung Electronics predict stronger global demand for technology devices this year after achieving its highest operating profit in the fourth quarter in four years, but still disappointing analysts, reports Song Jung-a from Seoul. Memory chips remain the main driver of earnings, but the South Korean company has warned that supply chain disruptions remain a risk.

Australian oil and gas group Woodside Petroleum is Leaving Myanmar, James Fernyhough reports from Melbourne, citing continued political instability and human rights abuses in the Southeast Asian country. Pressure continues to build on multinational corporations to boycott it since last February’s coup.

Chinese technology stocks has Asian markets led lower in the wake of yesterday’s Federal Reserve meeting, when Chairman Jay Powell refused to series of aggressive rate hikes. E-commerce group Alibaba fell 5.5 percent, food delivery company Meituan fell 3.9 percent and the Hang Seng technology index fell 3.5 percent.

But Tesla battery supplier LG Energy Solution made a strong debut in South Korea. Its shares nearly doubled from its IPO price when trading opened overnight. LG’s battery business is now South Korea’s second most valuable company.

My pick for the day is not a commentary, but it’s worth reading through one of the FT’s highest profile columnists. John Gapper tells the twisted story of the battle between Norway’s AutoStore and the UK’s Ocado in this magazine about a remote village, a world-changing invention and the epic legal battle which followed.

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