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Cineworld files for bankruptcy | Barratt progress



Cineworld  has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US in a move to shore up its financial position. Its cinemas will remain open.

The cinema operator said the filing involves businesses in the US, UK and Jersey and the Chapter 11 restructuring process is expected to significantly reduce debt and strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position. Shares were up 10%.

Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “We have an incredible team across Cineworld laser focused on evolving our business to thrive during the comeback of the cinema industry. The pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for our business, with the enforced closure of cinemas and huge disruption to film schedules that has led us to this point.

“This latest process is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen our financial position and is in pursuit of a de-leveraging that will create a more resilient capital structure and effective business. This will allow us to continue to execute our strategy to reimagine the most immersive cinema experiences for our guests through the latest and most cutting-edge screen formats and enhancements to our flagship theatres.”

On Wall Street, stocks ended higher despite more tough talk from the Federal Reserve. The tech-heavy Nasdaq broke its seven-day losing streak, up 2.14%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.4% and the S&P 500 added 1.83%.

In London the FTSE 100 index ended down 62.61 points, 0.9%, at 7,237.83.

Best performers were energy supplier SSE and British Gas owner Centrica. The duo rose 4.5% and 2.1%, as new PM Liz Truss rejected calls for a windfall tax.

Brent oil was trading at $89.34 a barrel at the time of the London equities close, down from $93.17 late Tuesday and falling below the $90 mark for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Shares in oil majors Shell and BP fell 1.7% and 2.3%.

Barratt Developments 417p −5.20p (1.23%)

Housing group Barratt Developments posted a 14.7% rise in adjusted full-year profit to £1.054bn on a 9.5% rise in revenue as completions increased 3.9% to reach pre-pandemic levels.

In the year to 30 June, it said had “made excellent progress in a year of strong housing demand”.

The company announced a share buyback programme of up to £200 million to be completed no later than 30 June 2023.

WH Smith 1460.38p −18.62p (1.26%)

WH Smith said it was continuing to see a “strong performance” from its travel unit in the second half, despite recent disruptions, with group revenue coming in “comfortably in excess” of pre-Covid levels.

Travel revenues soared to 129% of 2019’s pre-Covid level in the 26 weeks ended 27 August and group revenues hit 112% of 2019’s result over the same period.

The FTSE 250-listed group noted that high street revenues were still behind 2019 trading figures.

However, it expects its full-year results to be in line with recently upgraded expectations.

Halfords 156.56p +23.06p (17.27%)

Motoring and cycling products group Halfords has cut prices on almost 2,000 motoring items is offering free MOTs to its 10,000+ employees to help with the cost of living.

In a 20-week trading update it said total revenue is up 9.2% against the previous period and down 1.9% LFL against strong prior year comparatives, when sales benefited from the UK emerging from the final COVID-19 lockdown.

Graham Stapleton, chief executive said: “Over 70% of our sales now come from motoring products and services, and the fact that this area of spend tends to be more needs-based rather than discretionary is leading to a very resilient group performance, despite the wider macroeconomic uncertainty.” 

Global markets

In Asia, markets were lower after some disappointing China trade data, pointing to a downturn in Europe today.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index was down 0.8%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1.7%.

Wall Street also ended lower on continuing concerns over the hawkish tone of the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.6%, the S&P 500 closed 0.4% lower and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.7%.

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