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Friday Update

DB Live: Barclays; retail sales; McCarthy & Stone; Nucleus


4.30pm: Barclays drives London higher

London enjoyed a positive end to the week, with good figures from Barclays (see below), up 7% to £11.54, driving the FTSE 100 higher. The index closed 74.63 points (1.29%) higher at 5,860.28.

1pm: More business support

Businesses face a prolonged battle for survival as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the money to support them will run out unless Westminster comes up with a solution.

Full story here

8.15am: London looks positive

The FTSE 100 opened 36 points higher at 5,821.42 as better than expected monthly retail sales figures (see below) lifted the mood.


7am: Barclays higher than expected

Barclays bank has posted better than expected third quarter earnings, as its consumer businesses returned to profit and provisions against bad loans fell compared with the previous quarter. 

The bank reported £1.1 billion profit before tax for the three months to the end of September – double the £507m average of analysts’ forecasts. 

Credit impairment and provision charges for the quarter came in at £608m, below the £1 billion expected. 

The combined effect of these better-than-expected results drove the bank’s core capital ratio, a key measure of financial strength, to 14.6% against expectations of 14%.

In a statement, Barclays said: “Provided macroeconomic assumptions remain consistent with expectations, we expect the second half impairment charge to be materially below that of the first half and it is likely that the full year 2021 impairment charge will be below that of 2020.”

McCarthy & Stone goes private

Private equity giant Lone Star has agreed a £630m deal to buy retirement home group McCarthy & Stone.

The recommended all-cash offer of 115p per share represents a 39% premium to McCarthy & Stone’s closing share price last night.

Retail sales higher

UK retail sales beat expectations in September, with shoppers buying 1.5% more goods than a month earlier, with food stores and online retailers the biggest beneficiaries.

It means sales have continued to increase for the fifth consecutive month, boosted by non-food items including DIY and garden supplies, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Sales were 5.5% higher in September compared with the pre-pandemic level in February.

Dobbies opens in high street

Dobbies, the garden centre retailer, is to open its first small format store – Little Dobbies – in Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.

It is the first for the retailer which operates 68 garden centres across the UK.

David Ferguson

Nucleus AUA rises

Wrap platform Nucleus said assets under administration (AUA) for the three months to 30 September returned to the level at the start of the year, £16.1bn, which was 1.8% up on the previous quarter and 2.6% year-on-year.

By comparison, the FTSE All-Share Index decreased 3.8% on the last quarter and fell by 19.2% year-on-year.

Gross inflows of £373m were achieved in Q3, a slight reduction on the previous quarter (Q2 2020: £384m) as a consequence of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Outflows reduced by 23.2% in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019 and reduced by 24.4% year-to-date 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Net inflows for Q3 2020 decreased by 26.1% year-on-year to £82m, but are up by 44.7% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2019.

The number of advisers actively using the platform remained broadly flat against the comparable period. Customer numbers increased by 4.1% year-on-year.

David Ferguson, founder and CEO, said: “Our focus throughout the pandemic has been to ensure we are well set for the months and years to come, concentrating on the things that matter to our business that are within our control. This has meant a commitment to continuing to invest in the platform.”


The FTSE 100 was expected to rise today after the UK signed its first big trade deal since the Brexit referendum (see below).

Japanese shares edged higher, following a stronger close on Wall Street. The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 0.21% by the midday break.

Wall Street was lifted by signs of progress in stimulus talks and all three main indexes closed higher, though there was little reaction to the final US presidential debate ahead of the November election.

Today’s Agenda

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