Daily Business Live

BP soars | SSE | Ocado loss | Bellway | Mattioli Woods | Beeks


7am: BP profits soar

Soaring commodity prices saw BP post a full-year underlying replacement cost profit of $12.8 billion compared with a net loss of $5.7bn in the previous year, marginally ahead of forecasts.

It said fourth-quarter net profit came in at $4.1bn, beating analyst expectations of $3.9bn.

Full story here

7am: SSE raises expectations

Energy firm SSE intends to recommend a full-year dividend of 81p per share plus RPI for 2021/22 and continues to target an RPI linked dividend in 2022/23, followed by a rebase to 60p in 2023/24 and at least 5% increases in 2024/25 and 2025/26.

The company said it remains on track to report full year 2021/22 capex in excess of £2bn.

Net debt is expected to be around £9bn at 31 March 2022, assuming the proceeds from the disposal of SSE’s 33.3% stake in SGN are received prior to the year-end.

7am: Ocado increases loss

Online grocer Ocado reported an increased loss of £176.9 million for the year to the end of November against a £52.3m loss last time. This was largely a result of higher investment.

Tim Steiner, chief executive, said: “The past year has further reinforced that demand for online grocery is here to stay.

“In the majority of mature markets, the fastest growing channel is online and to truly win here food retailers need to deliver the best offer with the best economics across all customer missions.”

7am: Bellway on track

House builder Bellway said it remains on target to deliver volume growth of around 10% to more than 11,100 homes this financial year (31 July 2021 – 10,138 homes) and annual output of around 12,200 homes in financial year 2023.

Jason Honeyman, chief executive, commented: “Bellway has delivered a strong first half performance, achieving record volume output and housing revenue, notwithstanding the wider economic challenges presented by labour, material and fuel shortages and COVID-19 related absenteeism. 

“We have continued our disciplined investment in land and enter the second half of the financial year with a strong order book and a backdrop of ongoing, positive trading conditions. 

“Going forward, Bellway is on track to deliver its target volume growth of around 10% this financial year and further growth to around 12,200 homes in financial year 2023.  Thereafter, our strong balance sheet and capacity to invest positions the Group well to continue its long-term and disciplined growth strategy.”

7am: Mattioli Woods benefits from acquisitions

Mattioli Woods said the eight acquisitions completed since 1 June 2020, including its two largest acquisitions to date – Maven Capital Partners and Ludlow – contributed £19.4m (1H21: £2.0m) of revenue in the six months to the end of November.

The contributions from these recent acquisitions, organic growth and continued cost management resulted in adjusted EBITDA up 77% to £15.8m (1H21: £8.9m).

Profit before tax of £3.3m (1H21 restated: £4.2m) was down 23% driven by increased acquisition-related costs of £2.6m (1H21: £0.1m) , while adjusted profit before tax was up 96 % to £ 14.1 m (1H21 restated:  £ 7.2m).

Ian Mattioli, chief executive, said: “The first six months of this financial year saw the group build momentum, having shown resilience in spite of the economic and political complexities that persisted throughout 2021.

“During the period, we proactively balanced securing good financial outcomes for our clients with ensuring the long-term sustainability of our business, remaining true to our purpose of putting clients first in all that we do.

“We are pleased to report further material progress towards our strategic medium-term goals, with total client assets now up 24.4% to a record £15.1bn (31 May 2021: £12.1bn). This also sees the Group pass a significant milestone, delivering on one of our previous strategic goals to manage more than £15bn of client assets.

“Revenue of £49.9m was 69% higher than the equivalent period last year (1H21: £29.5m) driven by positive performances in our pensions consultancy and administration, and investment and asset management operating segments.”

7am: Beeks contract extension

Beeks Financial Cloud has signed a £2.5 million contract extension over three years with an existing customer. The contract is for the provision of private cloud services into an additional geography.

This follows the announcement last week of a $2.2m contract for the Group’s Proximity Cloud, bringing the total contract value of deals signed in the current quarter to over $6m – a record for the Hillington-based group and evidence of the momentum behind Beek’s specialist cloud offerings for financial markets.

Gordon McArthur, CEO of Beeks Financial Cloud commented: “We continue to secure notable contracts with some of the world’s largest players in the financial services industry, demonstrating our growing reputation and the quality of our offerings.

“This latest contract contributes towards underpinning our FY23 expectations. With growing levels of committed future revenues and a record pipeline, we are confident in continued growth.”

Global markets

There was a mixed session on Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained unchanged, while the S&P 500 index dropped 0.37% and the tech-stocked Nasdaq fell 0.58%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 rose 0.51%.

The market still unclear about how the Federal Reserve will react to inflation data on Thursday.

One analyst said: “The American central bank has already hinted that it is likely going to start interest rate lift-off next month, but the number of interest rate hikes to be held in 2022 and by how much they are going to be raised is still a mystery.”

Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s Kospi rose above the flatline, gaining 0.13% and 0.05%, respectively.

The Shanghai composite in China lifted 0.52% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.98%.

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