WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: Crest Nicholson Warns On Annual Profit

LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main ...

Alliance News 17 October, 2018 | 10:31AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Wednesday.
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FTSE 100 - WINNERS
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Pearson, up 4.5%. The education publisher said it is on track to meet its 2018 expectations after nine months of trading. Pearson said total revenues were flat year-on-year to the nine months ended September. Pearson said revenue at US Higher Education Courseware division is down, but this was offset by the rest of the company growing in aggregate. The company's Online Program Management division saw "good" revenue growth in the first nine months of the year, with global course registrations up 13%. This drove a 2% rise in revenue in Pearson's Core segment. The "strong" growth seen in its Pearson Test of English Academic, rising 25%, also aided the segment's growth. Pearson's adjusted operating profit guidance for the full year remains unchanged at between GBP520 million to GBP560 million.
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Rentokil Initial, up 2.0%. JPMorgan double upgraded the pest control company to Overweight from Underweight.
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FTSE 250 - WINNERS
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Contourglobal, 3.5%. The power generation company said it is in negotiations with Iberdrola regarding a potential acquisition of a 50 megawatts concentrated solar power plant in Spain. Contourglobal issued the statement in response to press speculation regarding the acquisition by the Spanish news website elEconomista. The site reported the acquisition value between EUR150 million and EUR190 million.
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FTSE 250 - LOSERS
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Mediclinic International, down 20%. The private healthcare company said it saw a drop in earnings and revenue on a reported basis for the first half of its financial year. For the six months to the end of September, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortisation on a reported basis were down by 8.0% at around GBP210 million from GBP231 million the year before. This was on revenue that dipped by 1.0% to approximately GBP1.40 billion. However, on a constant currency basis, adjusted Ebitda was down 4.0% and revenue was up 2.0%. The company's Swiss subsidiary Hirslanden also suffered "weaker than expected growth in inpatient admissions", Mediclinic said.
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Crest Nicholson, down 6.5%. The housebuilder said Chief Financial Officer Robert Allen will step down after a short handover period as it warned over its annual profit, amid challenging markets conditions. Crest said it now expects pretax profit for the year to the end of October to come in between GBP170 million to GBP190 million. In the prior year Crest Nicholson posted pretax profit of GBP207.0 million. The company explained that the market environment for new homes in London as well as for higher-end properties in the south of England were more difficult than previously expected, amid the UK's impending exit from the European Union. Moreover, sales have not picked up during the traditionally stronger early Autumn selling season, after volumes reduced in July and August, Crest added.
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Stagecoach Group, down 4.5%. HSBC cut the transport company to Hold from Buy.
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OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - WINNERS
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ASOS, up 15%. The online fashion retailer said it made substantial progress in its recent financial year, as it saw revenue and profit jump. For the year ended August, ASOS posted pretax profit up by 28% to GBP102 million from GBP80 million the year before, as revenue increased 26% to GBP2.41 billion from GBP1.92 billion. Retail sales at group level was up 26% to GBP2.36 billion from GBP1.88 billion, with strong contributions both domestically in the UK and overseas. In the UK, ASOS reported an "outstanding year" amid a difficult trading backdrop. Retail sales increased 23% to GBP861.3 million from GBP698.2 million. In the bigger International division, sales jumped 27% to GBP1.49 billion from GBP1.17 billion a year prior. "If the UK retail sector is supposedly in the doldrums, ASOS has not got the memo. It has hailed an 'outstanding' year, as both growth and market share have improved. Meanwhile, European and US sales have also shown strong progress as the company’s ambitions remain undiluted," said Interactive Investor's Richard Hunter.
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OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - LOSERS
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Berkeley Energia, down 40%. The clean energy company said it has received no news from the Spanish government, amid media reports Berkeley will be denied permits for its Salamanca project. Reuters on Tuesday said Spain had dealt a "serious blow" to Berkeley after deciding not to permit what would be the European Union's only open-cast uranium mine. Berkeley, which has requested its shares be halted from trading on the Australian Securities Exchange, said both Spain's Nuclear Safety Council and the Energy & Environment Ministry have declined to comment. It added: "The company has received no official notice in this regard from the Nuclear Safety Council nor any other government department to date.
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Flybe Group, down 38%. The regional airline said it expects its annual adjusted profit figure to come in below market expectations due to "increasingly adverse" fuel and currency headwinds. Flybe had a higher load factor and increased revenue per seat in the second quarter ended September, but consumer demand in domestic and near-continent markets has weakened in recent weeks. Looking ahead, Flybe said it expects higher fuel prices and weaker sterling to continue to impact its profit in the second half of its financial year. It now estimates its adjusted pretax loss to be GBP12 million for its year ending March, narrowed from GBP19.2 million reported a year earlier. The result includes the benefit of GBP10 million onerous lease provision release. Higher fuel costs, currency headwinds, and increased carbon prices are estimated to have a GBP29 million year-on-year impact for its current financial year.
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By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2018 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
Taylor Wimpey PLC 181.95 GBX -5.36 -
Crest Nicholson Holdings PLC 387.00 GBX -3.39 -
ContourGlobal PLC 211.50 GBX 2.92 -
Flybe Group PLC
Barratt Developments PLC 602.60 GBX -2.37 -
Persimmon PLC 2,270.00 GBX -2.62 -
Pearson PLC 865.00 GBX -0.07
Rentokil Initial PLC 386.50 GBX -0.59 -
Mediclinic International PLC 347.00 GBX 0.26 -
Stagecoach Group PLC 121.70 GBX 5.37 -
Berkeley Energia Ltd 18.75 GBX -2.60 -
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) PLC 3,782.00 GBX -1.59 -
ASOS PLC 4,066.00 GBX 3.04
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