UK WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: IG Rises After Strong First Quarter Trade

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

Alliance News 17 September, 2020 | 10:29AM
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(Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Thursday.

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FTSE 100 - WINNERS

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Next, up 1.9%. The clothing and homewares retailer posted a swing to loss for the first half of financial 2020, predicting a drop in sales for the full year but raising its profit guidance as it reported better-than-anticipated sales since the re-opening of stores. For the six months ended July 25, Next posted a pretax loss of GBP16.5 million, swinging from a profit of GBP327.4 million the year prior. This was as revenue dropped 26% to GBP1.29 billion from GBP2.01 billion. Excluding the impact of IFRS 16, an accounting rule related to leases, Next posted pretax profit of GBP9.0 million, dropping from GBP319.6 million a year prior. Full price sales were down a third on last year, though Next highlighted that sales in the last seven weeks have been up 4% on a year ago. In the last 13 weeks, since stores reopened, brand full price sales have "been much better" than anticipated, down 2% on last year. For the rest of the year, full price sales are expected to be down 12%. Pretax profit is guided for GBP300 million, up from GBP195 million given in July's trading statement.

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FTSE 100 - LOSERS

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Informa, down 2.7%. JPMorgan cut the events and business publishing company to Neutral from Overweight.

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FTSE 250 - WINNERS

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IG Group, up 6.8%. The contracts-for-difference trading provider said it performed "very strongly" in the first quarter. Net trading revenue of GBP209 million in the three months to August 31 was up 62% on GBP129.1 million a year ago, the company said, driven by continued high levels of trading activity from existing clients and a 50% rise in total active clients to 201,500. By divisions, the company's Core Markets unit recorded GBP170.8 million revenue in the quarter, up 56% on the prior year. The revenue growth was attributed to a particularly strong performance of the company's retail client base in UK and Europe. The Significant Opportunities portfolio recorded GBP38.2 million revenue, up 94% on the prior year. The unit remains on track to deliver on its medium-term target of GBP100 million in revenue growth by the end of financial 2022.

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FTSE 250 - LOSERS

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Playtech, down 6.6%. The online gaming and sports betting firm reported a weaker performance in the first half of 2020, mostly as a result of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the lockdown implemented to curb its spread. For the six months to the end of June, pretax profit fell by 71% to EUR10.5 million from the restated EUR36.0 million the year before. Even on an adjusted basis, pretax profit still declined by 45% to EUR52.4 million from EUR96.1 million. Playtech's profit performance was hurt by a rise in interest expenses on bond loans, leading to finance costs for the period increasing by 18% to EUR35.2 million. In addition, revenue declined by 23% to EUR564.0 million from EUR727.8 million, as a strong performance in January and February from Snaitech in Italy and favourable sporting results were more than offset by the effects of the pandemic from mid-March to June, when most sporting events were cancelled. Looking ahead, Playtech said its business is performing well, with stronger trading in July and August. Online trading is expected to continue to perform strongly, but management remains cautious on its outlook for retail.

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Computacenter, down 2.6%. UBS cut the IT services provider to Sell from Neutral.

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By Lucy Heming; lucyheming@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Playtech PLC 366.30 GBX 1.33 -
IG Group Holdings PLC 777.00 GBX 0.52 -
Next PLC 6,328.00 GBX 1.80 -
Computacenter PLC 2,408.00 GBX -3.68 -
Informa PLC 449.00 GBX 2.91 -

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Alliance News

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