Market report

Dr Martens admits mistakes | Nationwide | Auto Trader


9.30pm: AI drives Wall street

The AI mania has prompted sharp rallies in the wake of Nvidia’s stellar results. Retail traders have ploughed $285m into the company over the past week.

Investors piled into AI firms such as Palantir Technologies, Marvell Technology and UiPath, data from Vanda Research show. 

Equity markets in the US ended on a positive note, with both the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 closing at their highest points in more than nine months.

The FTSE 100 ended the day higher as the US debt ceiling deal was approved by the House of Representatives, virtually guaranteeing it will be signed off ahead of the extended 5 June deadline.

The index closed the session 44.13 points higher at 7,490.27.

7am: Dr Martens

Dr Martens

Dr Martens, the boot and shoe maker and retailer, posted a near-30% slide in annual profits to £128.9m on the back of “mistakes” in its American market which cost it almost £15m.

The company said it was making good progress on resolving issues around its Los Angeles distribution centre after blaming “people and process” errors, which caused a bottleneck of stock at the plant.

The fall in profit was also attributed to impairment and foreign exchange charges.

On a more positive note, revenues pushed through £1bn for the first time.

Kenny Wilson, CEO, said the firm had made operational mistakes in the US, in particular how it executed its marketing campaigns and e-commerce trading.

“We have undertaken detailed reviews to understand why these issues occurred and have begun to embed the lessons learned into the business. We are fixing the issues in America, including a significant strengthening of the team there, and returning America to good growth is our number one operational priority.”

The firm said trading since the start of FY24 has been in line with its expectations.

7am: Nationwide house prices

House prices in the year to May fell by 3.4%, a bigger decline than a drop of 2.7% the month before, according to Nationwide Building Society.

Martin Beck, Chief Economic Adviser to the EY ITEM Club, says: “Values are now down 4% from the peak last August, a modest fall given the scale of previous increases and headwinds from rising mortgage rates and falling household real incomes.

“The dominance of fixed-rate mortgages has protected many mortgagees from an immediate interest rate shock, while the significant savings built up by households overall during the pandemic have provided a cushion of support.”

7am Auto Trader

Auto Trader’s core marketplace business grew revenue by 9% over its last financial year, operating profit was up by 10% and operating margin was maintained at 70%.

Overall revenue rose 16% but operating profit fell by 9%, due to a loss of £11m at the recently acquired leasing business, Autorama.

The new financial year is said to have started well and the board said it is confident of meeting its growth expectations for the year.

7am: Scotgold CEO resigns

Phil Day has resigned as chief executive of Scotgold Resources, operator of the gold mine near Loch Lomond, saying he wants to return to his family in Australia.

Full story here

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