MetiNews.Com FTSE falls as leisure and travel sectors reopen Breaking news
MetiNews.Com - Having opened positively, the FTSE 100 fell 0.36% to 7,017.96 by 9am on Monday as optimism over the reopening of the leisure sector indoors in England and the lifting of the ban on foreign holidays was weighed against continuing fears over inflation.
Breaking News ! Having opened positively, the FTSE 100 fell 0.36% to 7,017.96 by 9am on Monday as optimism over the reopening of the leisure sector indoors in England and the lifting of the ban on foreign holidays was weighed against continuing fears over inflation. The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 index also fell after an earlier gain, dipping 0.03% into the red at 22,239.08. Investors will be keeping a close eye on consumer behaviour over the coming days to see if leisure stocks will be able to capitalize on the relaxation of social distancing rules, or whether people will be reluctant to visit pubs and restaurants after months at home. Meanwhile in Asia the picture for stocks was mixed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 falling 0.92%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.48% and China’s Shanghai Composite traded 0.78% higher. As for commodities, with inflation very much in investors’ minds gold continued its upward trajectory and gained 0.5% to $1,853.21 per ounce, while Brent crude oil futures were trading 0.13% lower to $68.62 per barrel. POSITIVE VACCINE NEWS FOR GLAXOSMITHKLINE In company news, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) dipped 0.2% to £13.67 even as it reported positive phase two trial results for the Covid-19 vaccine it’s developing with French company Sanofi. The vaccine showed 95% to 100% antibody development following a second injection in all age groups, from 18 to 95 years old, and across all doses, with what the company called ‘acceptable tolerability’ and ‘no safety concerns.’ The firm said a global phase three study is expected to start in the coming weeks. It hopes to have the vaccine approved by regulators and available to patients by the end of the year. Gold miner Petropavlovsk (POG) increased 1.4% despite swinging to a full-year loss for 2020. In the 12 months to 31 December, the Russian gold miner reported a loss for the period of $48.9 million compared to a $25.7 million profit in 2019. However, underlying EBITDA rose 32% to $350.7 million with revenue up 33% to $988.5 million. Also impacting profitability was a big jump in the firm’s all-in sustaining costs of producing gold, which rose 29% during the year to $1,312 per ounce, though the miner’s average realized gold price did also rise 30% to $1,748 per ounce. RYANAIR SWINGS TO BIG LOSS Budget airline Ryanair (RYA) traded almost flat at €16.84 as it swung to a big full-year loss. Net losses for the year through March amounted to €815 million, compared to a year-on-year profit of €1 billion. Revenue plunged 81% to €8.
.6 million. Ryanair slashed operating costs 66% to €7.37 billion, while it continued to tout the strength of its balance sheet, which it again described as one of the best in the industry, and had €3.15 billion in cash at 31 March.
Looking forward, Ryanair said it was impossible to provide meaningful guidance. However, it stuck to a recent prediction that annual traffic is likely to be towards the lower end of its previously guided range of 80 million to 120 million passengers.
Ryanair also said it ‘cautiously’ believed that its likely outcome for annual profit was ‘close to breakeven’, assuming a successful vaccine rollout across Europe and easing of restrictions.
VISTRY, DIPLOMA UPGRADE GUIDANCE
Housebuilder Vistry (VTY) gained 1.7% to £13.18 after upgrading its annual earnings guidance amid a rise in sales rates in the first half. Adjusted pre-tax profit for the year through December is now expected to be around £325 million, up from previous guidance of at least £310 million.
Vistry said the upgraded reflected strong trading in the first half and increased expectations for annual home completions. In the year to date, the company’s average weekly private sales rate had risen to 0.75, up from 0.44 year-on-year and 0.62 in the same part of 2019.
Technical products and services provider Diploma (DPLM) jumped 7.3% to £29.51 as it upgraded its outlook on annual performance following a strong first half that continued into the second half of the year amid a boost from acquisitions.
The company expects reported revenues to be slightly better than 40% ahead of its 2020 financial year, with an increase in the margin towards 19%, which it said ‘reflects the strong H1, continued excellent performance from acquisitions, WCW in particular, and improving underlying trading momentum in our existing business.’
For the six months ended 31 March, pre-tax profit increased by 2% to £42.5 million year-on-year and revenue increased by 29% to £365.2 million. After the Covid-related deferral of an interim dividend last year, the company declared an interim dividend of 12.5p per share.
Customer relationship software provider Cerillion (CER:AIM) jumped 6.6% to 650p after it raised its interim dividend as new business wins helped its first-half adjusted profit more than double. Cerillion declared an interim dividend 2.1p per share, up 20% year-on-year.
Ten-pin bowling alley group Hollywood Bowl (BOWL) firmed 1.3% to 239.5p, even as it swung to a first-half loss after it was forced to close its business temporarily due to the pandemic. Hollywood Bowl said it was confident demand would bounce back, ahead of a further lifting of UK Covid-19 restrictions today.
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