LONDON BRIEFING: Wizz Air and Ryanair top pre-pandemic traffic in June

(Alliance News) - Wizz Air Holdings and Ryanair Holdings on Monday both reported a jump in ...

Alliance News 4 July, 2022 | 7:12AM
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(Alliance News) - Wizz Air Holdings and Ryanair Holdings on Monday both reported a jump in passenger numbers in June.

Wizz Air said its June passengers numbers more than doubled to 4.3 million from 1.6 million a year earlier. The traffic figure beat June 2019's pre-pandemic figure of 3.6 million.

Capacity rose to 5.0 million seats from 2.4 million and load factor improved to 86.1% from 64.0%.

Ryanair, meanwhile, said its June passenger numbers surged to 15.9 million from 5.3 million a year earlier. Ryanair's June passenger numbers were its best so far this year, eclipsing May's 15.4 million, and also topped the 14.2 million passengers reported in June 2019.

However, Ryanair's July could be more turbulent as cabin crew staff have planned further strikes in Spain for better working conditions.

The walkouts have been scheduled for July 12-15, 18-21, and 25-28, the Spanish unions USO and Sitcpla announced on Saturday.

Numerous airports are affected by the Ryanair strikes: Madrid, Barcelona and Mallorca, as well as Malaga, Seville, Alicante, Valencia, Girona, Ibiza and Santiago de Compostela.

Ryanair cabin crew had already gone on strike in Spain at the end of June and also between Thursday and Saturday. The Dublin-based airline "does not respect court rulings and laws and uses fear, coercion and threats against its workers," USO said. Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz must intervene, it said.

The cabin crew of rival easyJet will also stop work in Spain on a total of nine days between through the end of July - as early as this weekend, as well as between July 15-17 and between July 29-31.

Shares in Wizz Air were up 1.7% in London in early dealings.

Here is what you need to know at the London market open:

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MARKETS

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FTSE 100: up 0.9% at 7,232.33

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Hang Seng: down 0.2% at 21,816.48

Nikkei 225: closed up 0.8% at 26,153.81

S&P/ASX 200: closed up 1.1% at 6,612.60

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DJIA: closed up 321.83 points, or 1.1%, at 31,097.26

S&P 500: closed up 1.1% at 3,825.33

Nasdaq Composite: closed up 0.9% at 11,127.84

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EUR: up at USD1.0425 (USD1.0406)

GBP: up at USD1.2103 (USD1.2034)

USD: up at JPY135.41 (JPY135.19)

Gold: up at USD1,810.78 per ounce (USD1,806.73)

Oil (Brent): up at USD111.98 a barrel (USD110.84)

(changes since previous London equities close)

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ECONOMICS AND GENERAL

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Monday's key economic events still to come

11:00 CEST EU PPI

US Independence Day. Financial markets closed

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have penned a joint article to outline what they are calling "the single biggest tax cut in a decade" in a show of unity on the cost-of-living crisis. Writing in the Sun on Sunday, Johnson and Sunak said when the National Insurance threshold rises overnight this coming Wednesday from GBP9,880 to GBP12,570 it will save 30 million British workers up to GBP330 a year. They added that the historic tax cut will amount to GBP6 billion in value and lift 2.2 million people out of paying "any ­National Insurance or income tax on their earnings at all", with "around 70% of British workers" paying less National Insurance. In the rare joint op-ed from the pair, they outline the billions the government is planning to spend to cushion the blow of inflation by also providing relief for council tax bills, fuel duty and energy costs.

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China placed 1.7 million people under lockdown in central Anhui province, where authorities reported nearly 300 new cases Monday in the latest of a string of outbreaks testing Beijing's no-tolerance approach to Covid-19. The country is the last major economy wedded to a zero-Covid strategy, responding to all cases with strict isolation orders and tough testing campaigns. The outbreak in Anhui – where officials first found hundreds of cases last week – comes as the Chinese economy begins to rebound from a months-long lockdown in Shanghai and disruptive Covid restrictions in the capital Beijing. Two counties in the province – Sixian and Lingbi – announced lockdowns last week, with more than 1.7 million residents only permitted to leave their homes if they are getting tested. The province reported 287 new infections on Monday, including 258 people who had no symptoms, according to China's National Health Commission, bringing the total cases found to just over 1,000.

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Germany reported a surprising trade deficit in May, as imports surged and exports to Russia continued to decline year-on-year in the wake of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. According to Destatis, Germany swung to a trade deficit of EUR1.0 billion in May, from a surplus of EUR3.1 billion in April. The trade surplus in May 2021 stood at EUR13.4 billion. May 2022 deficit fell short of market expectations of a surplus of EUR2.4 billion, according to FXStreet. At EUR125.8 billion, exports were down 0.5% monthly in May but up 12% yearly. Imports stood at EUR126.7 billion, up 2.7% monthly and 28% annually. Exports to Russia were down 55% annually in May, Destatis noted. However, on a monthly basis, exports to Russia were 29% higher. They had dropped 9.9% monthly in April and roughly 60% in March.

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BROKER RATING CHANGES

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RBC cuts Dunelm to 'sector perform' (outperform) - price target 950 (1,400) p

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RBC cuts Pets at Home to 'underperform' (sector perform) - price target 280 (330) p

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Numis cuts Assetco to 'add' ('buy') - target 928 (938) pence

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COMPANIES - FTSE 100

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Spirax-Sarco Engineering said it is in exclusive negotiations to buy European industrial electric heating firm Vulcanic for EUR261.7 million. Vulcanic is headquartered in Paris, France, with over 700 employees worldwide. "Vulcanic will play a significant role in supporting the group's drive to help customers decarbonise their critical industrial processes through electrification, for which there is already strong demand from European customers," said Spirax-Sarco.

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COMPANIES - FTSE 250

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Selco owner Grafton said Gavin Slark plans to step down as chief executive, after 11 years at the helm. He will stay on as Grafton's boss until the end of the year, "in line with his service agreement". "A process to appoint a successor will commence immediately with the support of an executive search firm," Grafton said.

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Supermarket Income REIT said it has purchased a Tesco superstore in Basingstoke and an Asda supermarket in Doncaster for a combined GBP82.9 million. The Tesco deal also includes an M&S Foodhall and an Iceland unit, as well as a 16-pump petrol filling station. "The store is an online hub for Tesco, operating 13 home delivery vans and a dedicated Click & Collect facility in the car park. The property also includes an M&S Foodhall, Iceland and further complementary non-food tenants. The Tesco store has a remaining lease term of 12 years and is subject to 5-yearly open market rent reviews," the real estate investment trust said. It has paid GBP82.9 million in total for the sites, representing a combined net initial yield of 4.9%. Supermarket Income has also sealed a GBP412.1 million unsecured credit facility with a bank syndicate comprising Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Wells Fargo and Royal Bank of Scotland International.

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COMPANIES - SMALL CAP

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Filtration, laboratory and environmental technology firm Porvair reported an improved interim performance. Revenue in the six months to May 31 increased 18% to GBP82.3 million from GBP69.7 million a year earlier. Pretax profit rose 6.7% to GBP9.5 million from GBP8.9 million. It lifted its payout to 1.9 pence per share from 1.8p. "While the group has managed supply dislocation and inflationary pressure satisfactorily thus far, both are expected to persist for the rest of 2022," it cautioned. "The strong current order book is flattered in places by extended lead times, but the underlying order position remains healthy, with aerospace and laboratory demand notably stronger than one year ago. The focus for the coming months is on margins. The group will continue to pass on cost increases where necessary and has accelerated investments in productivity. 2022 has started strongly and provided economic conditions allow the outlook for the balance of the year is promising."

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Pawnbroker H&T said demand for pledge lending increased in the first half of 2022. Its pawnbroking pledge book surged to GBP84.2 million at June 30 from GBP48.3 million a year earlier. "Pledge lending remains at record levels, with incremental growth month on month over the period. Lending volume is currently over 40% above pre-pandemic levels. Average loan sizes, loan to value ratios and redemption rates have been maintained," H&T said. Retail sales, meanwhile, are line with expectations, and gold purchasing has been "buoyant". Foreign currency revenue doubled annually and volumes are edging closer to pre-pandemic levels. The company also announced a GBP4.3 million deal to buy Swiss Time Services, an independent watch servicing and repair centre based in Essex.

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COMPANIES - GLOBAL

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Tesla produced 258,580 vehicles and delivered 254,695 in the second quarter of 2022. The electric car made noted that June was the highest vehicle production month in its history, despite supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns.

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Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has criticized President Joe Biden for calling on oil companies to lower sky-high gasoline prices, prompting the White House to come to the US leader's defense on Sunday. "My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril," Biden tweeted Saturday. "Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you're paying for the product. And do it now," Biden added. Bezos said Biden's remarks amounted to "either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics." "Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this," the US billionaire tweeted Saturday. Gasoline prices at the pump have become a symbol of broader price rises in the US, and they are sapping Biden's approval rating ahead of legislative elections in November.

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Monday's shareholder meetings

Active Energy Group PLC - AGM

Clean Invest Africa PLC - AGM

Securities Trust of Scotland PLC - AGM

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By Lucy Heming; lucyheming@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2022 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Wizz Air Holdings PLC 2,329.00 GBX -5.17
Ryanair Holdings PLC 13.00 USD 0.00 -

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