LONDON BRIEFING: Carpetright Says Back On Path To Sustainable Profits

(Alliance News) - Retailer Carpetright said Tuesday its business turnaround is on track to ...

Alliance News 25 June, 2019 | 8:06AM
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(Alliance News) - Retailer Carpetright said Tuesday its business turnaround is on track to deliver GBP19 million in annualised savings as part of its company voluntary arrangement.

For the financial year ended April 27, revenue fell to GBP386.4 million from GBP446.3 million in 2018, while its pretax loss narrowed to GBP24.8 million from GBP69.8 million.

Carpetright said it saw a significant improvement in trading in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter, with a return to like-for-like sales growth in the new financial year. In the UK, like for like sales in the first 8 weeks of financial 2020 were up 8.5% and in Europe like-for-like sales in the same period were up 4.3%.

Chief Executive Wilf Walsh said: "2018-19 was a transitional year for the business as we took tough but necessary action to address our legacy property issues and restructure the UK store estate. This difficult task was carried out against the backdrop of a challenging trading environment but was essential to put the business back on the path to sustainable profitability."

The stock was up 19% in early trade Tuesday.

Here is what you need to know at the London market open:
FTSE 100: down 0.6% at 7,375.71
Hang Seng: down 1.3% at 28,161.05
Nikkei 225: closed down 0.4% at 21,193.81
DJIA: closed flat at 26,727.54
S&P 500: closed down 0.2% at 2,945.35
GBP: up at USD1.2759 (USD1.2729)
EUR: firm at USD1.1400 (USD1.1393)

Gold: up at USD1,430.06 per ounce (USD1,415.84)
Oil (Brent): firm at USD64.50 a barrel (USD64.25)

(changes since previous London equities close)
Tuesday's Key Economic Events still to come

1100 BST UK CBI distributive trades survey

0800 CEST EU new commercial vehicle registrations in Europe statistics

0745 EDT US Retail Economist/Goldman Sachs weekly chain store sales index
0855 EDT US Johnson Redbook retail sales index
0900 EDT US monthly house price index
0900 EDT US S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller indices
1000 EDT US new residential sales
1000 EDT US Richmond Fed business activity survey
1000 EDT US consumer confidence index
1630 EDT US API weekly statistical bulletin
Iran's foreign ministry condemned the fresh US sanctions on the country that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and several military commanders as well as Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. "The useless US sanctions against the Iranian leader and our diplomatic commander (Zarif) have ultimately closed the path for a diplomatic option," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi wrote on Twitter. US President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order imposing what he called "hard-hitting" new sanctions.
The US and China's top trade negotiators spoke on the phone ahead of a planned meeting between the countries' presidents, state media said. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke on the phone with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, news agency Xinhua reported. The call was held at the US' initiative, days before US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The meeting could determine whether the trade war ends or continues indefinitely. The US and China announced last week they have resumed talks, after negotiations to end the protracted trade war failed last month.
US President Donald Trump said he received birthday wishes in "a very friendly letter" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The president provided no other details when he mentioned the correspondence after a reporter asked him about North Korea during a question-and-answer session at the White House. Trump celebrated his 73rd birthday on June 14th. It was unclear when Trump received the letter. The president reiterated that he believes North Korea "has a phenomenal future". The acknowledgement of the birthday letter comes a day after North Korean state news agency KCNA reported that Kim received a personal letter from Trump. What Trump wrote was not revealed, however Kim said it was "of excellent content," according to KCNA. Trump plans to travel to Seoul on Saturday for talks on North Korea's nuclear programme, the office of South Korean President Moon Jae In said earlier Monday. Trump will make the trip after attending the G20 summit in Japan.
Bank of Japan said the country's producer prices were up 0.8% year-on-year in May, versus 1.0% growth recorded in April. On a monthly basis, producer prices dipped 0.3% in May versus a 0.1% fall in the month of April.
Miner Anglo American said its De Beers rough diamonds sales in its fifth sales cycle of 2019 dropped on a year-on-year basis due to higher inventories and a tough sales environment in China. De Beers's fifth sales cycle in 2019 - as of Tuesday - was at a provisional USD390 million. This was down 6.3% from USD416 million in the fourth sales cycle of this year, and a 32% drop from the USD581 million sales reported for the fifth cycle of 2018.
Anglo American Platinum said it expects to see a strong rise in earnings for the first half of 2019, mainly due to a rise in the basket price of platinum group metals. For the six months to the end of June, Amplats expects to see basic earnings more than double from ZAR2.18 billion and 831 cents per share reported for the year before. This is attributed to a rise in the price of platinum and one-off impairments in 2018.
Board members at Smith & Nephew have talked about moving the company's share listing to the US, the FT reported, in a bid to boost pay for new chief executive Namal Nawana. The FT reported that, "according to two people familiar with the matter", the company was considering the US listing in order to "narrow the gap" between Nawana's pay at his previous company Alere and his pay at Smith & Nephew. Nawana, who joined the medical device company as CEO in May last year, earned USD2.8 million for the seven months he headed Smith & Nephew in 2018, according to the newspaper. The FT pointed out that, at Alere, Nawana's pay package was USD8.6 million in 2016 and USD11.1 million in 2015.
Oilfield services firm Petrofac said current trading is in line with prior guidance, and the company is delivering a solid operational performance. New order intake for the half year ending on Sunday, stood at USD1.7 billion in the year to date and net debt is expected to be around USD0.1 billion at the end of the first half. Looking forward, Petrofac said it is well positioned for the second half of the year with around USD15 billion of bid opportunities due for award. Chief Executive Ayman Asfari said: "We continue to maintain excellent client relationships in all of our markets, although new order intake in the year to date reflects our recent challenges in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. We are making good progress delivering our strategic objectives."
Office provider IWG said CEO Mark Dixon bought 207,039 shares at an average of GBP3.388 each, in a series of transactions worth GBP701,448 in total. Last week, Dixon made a series of share purchases worth GBP836,769.
Vehicle hire company Northgate said it delivered an annual financial performance in line with guidance, continuing progress with its strategic objectives. For the financial year ended April 30, revenue increased 6.2% to GBP745.5 million from GBP701.7 million in financial 2018, and pretax profit rose 15% to GBP60.4 million from GBP52.7 million. Northgate proposed a final dividend of 12.1 pence per share. This takes the total dividend for the year to 18.3p per share, an increase of 3.4% from 17.7p in 2018. CEO Kevin Bradshaw said: "We are disappointed with the share price performance and remain focussed on addressing the undervaluation of the group. The search for our new chairman is well advanced with an exceptionally strong shortlist. The board and management look forward to working alongside a new chair appointment to maximise value for shareholders."
Tuesday's Shareholder Meetings

Aston Martin Lagonda Holdings
FirstGroup (re Coast Capital Resolutions)
Morses Club
Cabot Energy
Silence Therapeutics
Asiamet Resources
Universe Group
FireAngel Safety Technology Group
Argo Blockchain
By Tom Waite;

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Carpetright PLC
Great Portland Estates PLC 621.00 GBX 2.58 -
ITV PLC 67.56 GBX 0.39 -
Derwent London PLC 2,946.00 GBX 1.80 -
Polymetal International PLC 1,613.00 GBX 0.88 -

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