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SSE shares soar on profit rise | M&S takes Russia hit
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4.45pm: London edges higher
The FTSE 100 closed 38.4 points higher at 7,522.75. Energy company SSE ended the day at the top of the index, up 5.6%, after posting a headline profit rise of 44%.
11.30am: Sue Gray report published: read it here
8.10am: London opens higher
The FTSE 100 opened 42 points higher at 7,526.58.
7am: SSE reports hike in profits
Energy giant SSE, whose shares slumped yesterday on talk of a windfall tax on electricity generators, has reported a 44% surge in profits.
Reported pretax profit came in at £3.48 billion in the year ended 31 March, from £2.42bn a year earlier. Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 23% to £1.16bn from £949m.
7am: M&S takes Russia hit
Marks & Spencer has blamed ‘failed council and government policies’ for exiting town centres and unveiled more relocations and closures.
It has seen profits rise by almost a third but said it will take a £31 million charge from its exit from Russia.
Pre-tax profits came in at £522.9m for the year 2 April – up 29.7% on the previous year. Profits are unlikely to rise this year as the retail sector feels the effects of the cost-of-living crunch.
7am: Pets At Home
Pets accessories chain Pets at Home has posted record annual profits and pledged to keep prices competitive.
The group reported a 65.3% surge in underlying pre-tax profits to £144.7 million for the year to 31 March on like-for-like sales up 15.8%.
Reported pre-tax profits on a 53-week basis rose to £148.7m, from £106.3m the previous year.
The company said it was not immune from the impact of raw material, energy and freight costs but added: “We have clear plans in place to keep our pricing competitive for customers, while doing everything we can to reduce our own costs.”
Minutes from the Federal Reserve appear to indicate fears of a larger interest rate hike this month were overblown.
“Fed chair Jay Powell also said that based on current data, that the Fed had no intention of going faster than 50 bps in a single month, burying any imminent prospect that the Fed would be much more aggressive in subsequent months, a narrative that has shifted somewhat in the past couple of weeks,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.
Wall Street gave a mixed response. The Dow Jones closed 0.15%, higher, while the S&P 500 was 0.8% lower and the Nasdaq fell 2.35% as the tech sector continued to digest the profit warning of social media company SNAP.
Asia stocks rose even as central banks piled into aggressive rate hikes to battle soaring inflation and left investors worried about slower global growth.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.72%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s main indexes also traded higher, while Japan’s Nikkei share average slipped 0.04%.