Bellway builds fewer homes, cuts jobs | Tui surges
House builder Bellway said it will build fewer homes and is cutting jobs as it reviews operations in the light of continuing inflationary pressures and higher mortgage costs.
It completed 10,945 homes in the year ended 31 July, against 11,198 in the same period last year.
It did not specify the scale of any cutbacks but one report suggested 90 jobs will be shaved from its 3,000-strong workforce.
“While inflation persists, it will place further downward pressure on profit margins in the current financial year,” it said in a trading update.
“Given the weaker trading backdrop and uncertain economic outlook, we continue to focus on maintaining Bellway’s balance sheet resilience and we will maintain a highly disciplined approach to production expenditure in the year ahead.
“Following a review of overheads, we are also taking steps to reduce headcount across the group. Importantly, to protect the long-term health of the business, these changes will not compromise the group’s ability to return to growth when trading conditions improve.”
The company has maintained a strong balance sheet. Committed land obligations are lower than the prior year and remain modest, at around £335 million (2022 – £393.4 million).
The board expects to maintain the total dividend in line with the prior year payment of 140p per share. The £100 million share buyback programme is “progressing well”, and 2.9 million shares have been purchased in the period at a cost of around £66 million.
Holiday company Tui has swung to a third-quarter profit after seeing a surge in demand.
The heatwave across southern Europe only “dampened temporarily” demand for trips to the Mediterranean, it said.
Underlying group earnings before interest and tax of €169m (£145m) in the third quarter, up from a loss of €27m (£23m) this time last year.
Revenues surged by nearly a fifth over the period and summer bookings have been 6pc higher compared to last year, partly due to higher prices, the firm reported.
Gambling giant Flutter Entertainment, which includes Paddy Power and FanDuel, reported a return to first-half profitability following a period of substantial growth, particularly in the United States.
The UK and Ireland market also experienced a revenue increase of 13%, supported by strategic product enhancements and efficient generosity strategies.
It posted a 73% increase in adjusted group EBITDA to £823m, while its adjusted profit after tax surged 138% to £420m.
It said it remained on course for a US listing, aiming for late in the fourth quarter, or early in 2024.
The company anticipates the second half will continue in line with expectations, assuming normalised sports results.
The FTSE 100 was driven higher by banks, miners and oil majors, improving by 59.88 points to 7,587.20 and the FTSE 250 added or 0.5%.
BP added 12.75p to 492.75p and Shell was ahead by 56.5p at 2428p, supported by a rise in oil prices as tighter supply — caused by output cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
This overshadowed concerns about a slowdown in demand from China, the world’s biggest importer of oil. Hopes for further stimulus in China gave miners a lift, including Glencore, which rose 10.5p to 455p, and Antofagasta, which gained 24.5p to 1607p.
China has fallen into deflation as the world’s second-largest economy struggles to revive demand after years of zero-Covid policies.
The consumer prices index fell 0.3% in the year to July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
It was the first year-on-year decline since February 2021. Inflation was unchanged in June.