Markets: Live

Burberry challenged | AMTE Power CFO | Mitie


5pm: London closes lower

The FTSE 100 clawed back a 60 point deficit earlier in the session to close 4.65 points lower at 7,346.54 following the Autumn Statement.

Full Autumn Statement report

7am: Burberry


Luxury fashion house Burberry said half-year revenue and adjusted operating profit were up 5% and 6%, respectively, both at constant currency.

Near term guidance is maintained despite challenging macro environment and recessionary risks in Europe and the Americas.

New CEO Jonathan Akeroyd has set out a plan to drive acceleration in revenue growth, targeting medium term sales of £4bn.

Charlie Huggins, Head of Equities at Wealth Club, comments: “Burberry’s new chief executive, Jonathan Akeroyd, faces a mammoth task to turn around the struggling luxury fashion house.

“The group’s performance has been disappointing for many years. Growth and margins have significantly lagged that of rivals like LVMH, and much more still needs to be done to revitalise and elevate the brand.

“Burberry has promise. Its brand still carries weight in the world of luxury fashion. But to challenge the likes of LVMH, some tough choices will need to be made, especially around new products. The culture probably also needs reinvigorating – with an injection of much-needed dynamism not going amiss.  

“It won’t be easy. Talking a good game is one thing, delivering is quite another.”

7am: Mitie Group

Operating profit before other items for the six months to 30 September was £68m, down 20% (H1 FY22: £85.3m).

The interim dividend is increased 75% to 0.7p per share (H1 FY22: 0.4p per share).

Guidance for FY23 is increased with operating profit before other items now expected to be at least £145m.

Phil Bentley, group chief executive, said: “Our strong performance in the first six months of the year reflects good underlying momentum across all divisions. 

“New contract wins, recent acquisitions and pricing have more than replaced the short-term revenue boost from COVID-related contracts in the first half of last year. 

“Our strategy is delivering underlying revenue growth and cost savings from our margin enhancement initiatives, whilst inflationary pressures are being carefully manage.”

7am: AMTE Power appoints CFO

Scottish battery manufacturer AMTE Power has hired Anita Breslin as chief financial officer. She will join the board on 28 November and become CFO on 1 December.

Ms Breslin has more than 20 years’ experience in financial and commercial operations, most recently as group finance director at Blue International Group, a privately owned Integrated mining, energy, and infrastructure business in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Prior to this, she worked at Joule Africa, a renewable energy business as Interim CEO and CFO and has also held senior roles at Vattenfall Heat UK and BG Group. 

Ms Breslin qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

7am: Royal Mail loss

Industrial action and weak parcel volumes saw Royal Mail slump to a £219 million half year adjusted operating loss from a £235 million profit as chair Keith Williams warned that the business was ‘at the crossroads’.

Full story here

Global markets

The FTSE 100 was expected to open slightly lower ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which is expected to contain a number of tax increases and spending cuts.

In the US, Republicans have secured the 218 seats needed for a majority in the lower chamber of Congress a week after the midterm elections.

While the party’s margin in the House of Representatives is tight, it is enough to stall President Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years. Democrats will keep control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January.

European stocks fell back despite the release of stronger-than-expected monthly retail sales figures in the US. The German Dax was 1% lower and Spain’s Ibex 35 fell by 1.06%.

Investigations were also still ongoing into a missile hit that killed two people in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine.

The news lifted weapons makers like BAEThalesLeonardo and Dassault, but airlines with routes to eastern Europe, such as Wizz Air, were sold.

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