Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

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M&S is the main event in a busy morning of corporate updates. The retailer admits that there was a lot of false dawn. CEO Steve Rowe says “given the history of M&S, it was clear to us that we would not overestimate our progress”.

But by reporting half-year profit before tax of £ 187 million – compared to a loss of £ 88 million last year – the retailer exceeded expectations, and the forecast for full-year profits would also be better than expected at around £ 500 million .

Rowe said it was “clear that the underlying performance is improving”. Food sales were 10 percent higher than two years ago and operating profit (excluding one-time narcissists) for the unit increased by about half. In its clothing and home division, meanwhile, while retailers fell by 1 percent overall, the volume of full-price sales increased by 17 percent, an indication of a major turnaround in performance.


Asos holds a capital market day today, despite divorcing its CEO just a month ago. The fast-paced fashion retailer is setting out the details behind its plan to boost sales and profits. But since the group has a new chairman who is about to start (albeit one who has been on the board for eight years) and soon a new CEO, it may be difficult to put too much weight on that to post plans.

ITV has “had an outstanding nine months”, “by any standards”, says boss Carolyn McCall. As advertising returned, ITV’s revenue also rose 8 percent from two years ago.

Sir Martin Sorrells digital ad listing S4 Capital said net income has increased by 42 percent year-on-year in the most recent quarter, and 65 percent compared to two years ago. Sir Martin’s post-WPP project prioritises revenue growth over profitability, for now, an investment in picking up and serving mega-spending clients, they call it “woppers”. It now has six “woppers” with another 19 in its sights.

Utility warehouse will pay a £ 1.5 million fine to watchdog Ofgem for failures involving clients in debt between 2013 and 2019.

Vodafone shuffles its subsidiaries and transfers its majority stake in Vodafone Egypt to Vodacom Group Limited, its subsidiary in sub-Saharan Africa. The transaction, which involves the issuance of new shares by Vodacom, will increase Vodafone’s ownership of Vodacom from 60.5 percent to 65 percent.

Car and bicycle dealers Halfords reported revenue for the first 20 weeks of its financial year by 19 percent higher than two years ago (10.5 percent on last year). But he is struggling with the supply chain challenges in his cycling business, with “significant capacity constraints” and “low availability of bicycles through the period”. If you are an adult after a regular pedal bike, think again.

JD Wetherspoon gives a lot of color to the country’s drinking habits in its trade update this morning, with a “significant increase in sales of the range of drinks often consumed by younger customers” over the past 15 weeks, which includes cocktails (more than 45 percent) and rum (up 26 percent) while traditional beer sales are down 30 percent and strong sales up 20 percent. It added that trade in many towns and cities was positive, with poorer performance in the suburbs. Similar sales were 9 percent lower than two years ago.

FTSE 100 software group half-year results are also available today I had.

Beyond the square mile

Electric truck maker Rivian praised his IPO, and as expected, it’s going to be a real lure. Rivian priced its shares at $ 78 each, significantly above expectations, and sold more shares than expected. At that price, it will have a market value of $ 66.5 billion or $ 77 billion on a fully diluted basis. At the beginning of the month, he set a price range of $ 52- $ 62 for his shares. Our US correspondents have more here.

The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing a crackdown on corporate crime, a senior official told the FT, with matters concerning “some of the largest corporations” operating in the US coming within weeks. John Carlin, a senior official at the DoJ said FT correspondent Stefania Palma that one potential target was companies that violated the provisions of deferred prosecution agreements.

And is meme trading finally over? Shares in Currency base fell nearly 15 percent yesterday after the crypto exchange reported disappointing third-quarter earnings and a shrinking number of active users, Hannah Murphy reports from San Francisco. Revenue in the third quarter was $ 1.3 billion, more than 300 percent more than the same period last year, but less than analysts’ expectations of $ 1.58 billion. Trading volume fell to $ 327 billion, 29 percent lower from the previous quarter.

My colleague Helen Thomas takes up pre-emptive rights, which she calls the “inviolable core of London market management”. Let’s hope she survive the encounter unharmed.

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