Sterling Seen as Vulnerable as UK's Fiscal Reputation Is Tarnished

0855 GMT - Sterling looks vulnerable given the U.K.'s tarnished fiscal reputation and after U.K. Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng pushed back against reports he would bring forward his debt-cutting plan, ING says. GBP/USD falls 0.1% to 1.1465 but has returned to levels seen before Kwarteng's mini-budget sent it tumbling to a record low of 1.0349 last Monday, lifted by the government's U-turn on plans to cut the highest rate of income tax. "We suspect that the sterling rebound and the dollar correction may have come far enough and could easily see cable [GBP/USD] reversing to the 1.1200 area," ING analyst Chris Turner says in a note. (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

 
Companies News: 

Tesco 1H Pretax Profit Fell on Increased Costs; Backs FY 2023 Guidance

Tesco PLC said Wednesday that its pretax profit fell in the first half of fiscal 2023 on increased costs, and it backed its guidance for the full year despite post-coronavirus market normalization and customer cost-of-living increases.

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Vertu Motors Launches GBP3 Mln Share Buyback

Vertu Motors PLC said Wednesday that it has agreed a further 3 million pounds ($3.4 million) share buyback.

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Assura Portfolio Performed Well in 1H; Annualized Rent Rose

Assura PLC said Wednesday that it has performed well in developing its portfolio in the first half of fiscal 2023, with its annualized rent toll rising on year.

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Hyve Group Says China Uncertainty to Continue; Expects Revenue Rise for FY 2022

Hyve Group PLC said Wednesday that it expects the uncertainty around running events in China to continue in fiscal 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that it expects to report a rise in revenue for fiscal 2022.

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PCF Group Suspends New Lending, Accelerates Business Review

PCF Group PLC said Wednesday that it will suspend any new PCF Bank lending activities until further notice, effective immediately, and accelerate a review process of its operational structure.

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LondonMetric Property Says 1H Occupancy Remained High

LondonMetric Property PLC said Wednesday that occupancy has remained high in the first half of fiscal 2022 and it is operating with a low earnings from operational activities cost ratio.

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Vertu Motors 1H Pretax Profit Fell on Higher Costs; FY 2023 Profits Seen Ahead of Views

Vertu Motors PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit fell in the first half of fiscal 2023 after booking higher costs, and that the board anticipates full-year profits to be ahead of market expectations.

 
Market Talk: 

LondonMetric Seen Well-Placed to Face Rising Interest Costs

1044 GMT - LondonMetric Property's update ahead of its 1H results is reassuring, given that the group seems to be well placed to mitigate costs amid the current backdrop and despite a share price fall of 37% year-to-date, Peel Hunt analysts Matthew Saperia and James Carswell say in a research note. The U.K. real-estate investment trust has shown a top-line growth through the capture of reversion, letting and portfolio activity, the analysts say. This, combined with low-cost leakage, offers a strong base from which to absorb rising interest rates, they add. Peel Hunt has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of 275 pence. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

Halfords's Latest Acquisition Looks Strategically Sound

1030 GMT - Halfords Group gains 3% after the U.K. bike and car-accessory retailer said it was buying the holding company of tyre retailer Lodge Tyre for GBP37.2 million to expand its garage-services business and focus more on motoring services. Halfords's latest move to pivot away from discretionary spending toward more needs-based revenue is important strategically, Hargreaves Lansdown says. "The business-to-business automotive-services sector has an extra level of resilience as fleet managers have no choice but to replace worn or damaged tyres," HL Head of Equity Research Derren Nathan writes. "Considering the synergies Halfords has identified, we believe they're paying fair value for Lodge Tyre," he says. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Tesco's 1H Was Resilient But Outlook Remains Mixed

0940 GMT - Tesco's interim results met expectations with a resilient first half, but the outlook remains challenging, Jefferies says. The British grocer delivered stable gross profit in the first half, offsetting accelerating operating expenditure pressures, but more cautious fiscal 2023 guidance suggests this balance may be more difficult to achieve in the coming months--and most likely in fiscal 2024, Jefferies analysts say in a research note. Tesco's earnings revision momentum is likely to remain negative for now, with downside protection provided by heightened inflation on its working capital and, by extension, its free cash flow, Jefferies says. The U.S. bank retains its hold rating and 260.0 pence price target. Shares are down 2.4% at 205.0 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Tesco's Lower Guidance Shows It Isn't Immune to Weak Environment

0923 GMT - Tesco may be more resilient than most in a weak consumer environment as it sells essential staples rather than discretionary items, but it isn't immune as its modestly lowered profit guidance shows, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a research note. The British grocer has to try and offer attractive prices to stave off the competitive threat from German discounters Aldi and Lidl, and while it can rely on its purchasing power to some extent, it is still having to sacrifice margins to meet this challenge, Mould says. "The uncertainty is palpable in the company's outlook comments and inevitably this will make the market rather nervous," Mould says. Shares are down 2.2% at 205.4 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Tesco's Dominance Should Give It Cushion of Support

0913 GMT - Tesco's first-half sales are up and profits are down, a refrain to be expected from supermarkets in the months to come as the sector weathers the storm of higher inflation and squeezed consumer budgets, IG Group says. Shares in the U.K.'s biggest grocer are only slightly down, but would likely slip further were it not for the recovery in general risk appetite, IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp says in a research note. "Now the focus will be on which of the supermarkets can perform best in such an environment, and in this Tesco's dominance of the space is something that should give it a cushion of support for the time being," Beauchamp says. Shares are down 3.7% at 51.8 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

 

Contact: London NewsPlus; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2022 07:14 ET (11:14 GMT)

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