Market report

Dr Martens profits alert | YouGov CEO | National Grid


Dr Martens puts boot into profits

Dr Martens

Bootwear maker Dr Martens has lowered its profit guidance for the second time in four months as a result of higher costs at its Los Angeles distribution centre and lower wholesale revenues.

An assurance that the problem had been “fixed” and news that the bootmaker had broken through £1 billion for full-year revenue for the first time was warmly welcomed by investors.

The company, which issued a profits warning in January, said it now expects core earnings of £245m for the full year, down from a previous range of £250 – £260m.

Chief financial officer Jon Mortimore said is to retire but will remain in post until a successor was in place to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities.

Shares jumped 15p (10.5%) to 156¼p.

Housebuilders, which have struggled amid a cooling property market and falling consumer confidence, built on their recent revival. Crest Nicholson rose 7p to 246p; Persimmon put on 41.5p to close the week at 1274p.

The FTSE 100 closed 28.53 points higher at 7,871.91.

A drop in retail sales suggested the economy had not slowed rapidly enough to prevent a rate rise in May. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.4%, but it was still up more than 1% on the week.

YouGov hires CEO

YouGov, the international research and data analytics group, has appointed Meta’s Vice President for Northern Europe Steve Hatch as chief executive.

He succeeds Stephan Shakespeare who becomes non-executive chair, as previously announced.

Roger Parry will stand down as chair on 31 July. Nick Prettejohn will take on the role of senior independent director, taking over the role from Rosemary Leith who will stay on the board following this planned transition and will continue as chair of the remuneration committee.

Prior to joining Facebook, Mr Hatch spent 15 years at WPP, his final role being CEO of media agency, MEC. Before joining WPP, he worked in strategy roles at Omnicom and Y&R. 

He has been a non-executive director at Daily Record owner Reach, since 2015 and will be stepping down from this role before he joins YouGov.

The search was led by Egon Zehnder which considered a wide range of both internal and external candidates.

National Grid

Electricity transmission company National Grid said it expects underlying earnings per share growth for the year in the middle of the 6%-8% growth range.

It also said that the UK government’s full-expensing tax relief for capital expenditure from April 1 to March 31 2026, whilst economically neutral to it, is expected to hit underlying earnings from fiscal 2024 to fiscal 2026. It is not likely to affect the 2023 results.

Expected lower cash tax payable will lead to reduced revenue in UK electricity transmission and distribution. Taken alongside an increase in IFRS deferred tax liabilities, it should result in a net adverse impact to statutory and underlying earnings..

Thursday markets

The FTSE 100 index closed up 18.54 points, or 0.2% at 7,843.38 as European markets maintained a positive end to the week. The CAC 40 closed at record highs, while the DAX also eked out a modest gain.

The upbeat mood was maintained on Wall Street with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 1.1%, the S&P 500 up 1.3% and the Nasdaq Composite up 2.0%.

Sentiment was buoyed by a cooler-than-expected wholesale inflation figures.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 index was up 1.2%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was 0.4%, higher, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.2%.

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