Company news

20 January 2020 | Sakenuus
N Brown sees annual profit below market view

Plus-sized fashion retailer N Brown Group said it expects annual adjusted profit to be below consensus estimates, hurt by poor performance at its financial services unit and more discounting in the market.

The owner of JD Williams, Simply Be, Ambrose Wilson and Jacamo - which have shut shops to focus on online sales – said on Thursday that financial year 2020 adjusted pretax profit would be between 70 million pounds to 72 million pounds (US$91.3 million to US$93.91 million), lower than consensus estimates of

between 78 million pounds and 84.1 million pounds. – Nampa/Reuters

AB Foods keeps earnings guidance after Primark's solid Christmas

Associated British Foods kept its full year earnings outlook on Thursday, partly due to solid revenue growth at its Primark fashion chain in the key Christmas trading period. The group, which also owns major grocery, agriculture and ingredients arms, said on Thursday it still expected "progress" in adjusted earnings per share in the full 2019-20 year.

For the 16 weeks to Jan. 4 group revenue from continuing operations was up 4% year-on-year on a constant currency basis, with Primark sales up 4.5% on the same basis. In the UK, Primark's sales rose 4.0%, with a "marginal" decline in like-for-like sales. Primark said it won market share in a UK clothing sector that has struggled for growth in the run-up to Christmas. – Nampa/Reuters

Wood Group sees higher annual earnings

Oilfield services provider John Wood Group Plc expects higher core earnings in 2019, with strong performance in its engineering services unit in the Middle East, Asia and the Caspian region offseting slowing U.S. onshore drilling demand.

The Aberdeen-headquartered company said on Thursday adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is expected to be in a range of US$850 million to US$860 million for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with US$693.8 million a year earlier. – Nampa/Reuters

Recruiter Hays sounds profit warning as December hiring slows

UK-based recruitment firm Hays Plc warned of lower first-half operating profit, as it struggled with a hiring squeeze in some of its largest markets including UK, France and Australia in December that slowed net fee growth.

Global recruiters have been pummelled by widespread uncertainties around the globe, ranging from Brexit worries in the UK to protests in Hong Kong and poor sentiment surrounding the trade war between the United States and China.

Hays, which has seen increasing signs of weakening business confidence in Germany and Britain, reported a 4% drop in like-for-like net fees in the second-quarter, also blaming a stronger pound for the fall.

Hays, which has been expanding in Europe, Asia and parts of the Americas, said it reviewed its cost base in detail in the second quarter, including that of its German business. – Nampa/Reuters

Genel sticks to dividend growth plans as KRG payments resume

London-listed oil and gas producer Genel said on Thursday it expected free cash

flow of around US$100 million in 2020 would underpin planned growth in dividends, despite delayed payments from authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Genel, which started paying dividends last year distributing US$42 million, said it expected all outstanding amounts from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) owed to it under production contracts would be paid in the first quarter.

It added it was "confident" payments would be paid regularly after delays in recent months. – Nampa/Reuters



Halfords on track to meet profit forecast as bike sales grow

British bicycles and car products retailer Halfords said it was on track to meet profit forecasts, as underlying cycling sales grew 5.9% in the 14 week period to Jan. 3 and its autocentres also performed strongly.

For the full-year 2020, the company said underlying pretax profit would come in in the range of 50 million to 55 million pounds, in line with guidance. – Nampa/Reuters

Whitbread's UK sales dip, takes cautious approach for next fiscal year

Whitbread reported a 1.3% drop in UK like-for-like sales in the third quarter as Britons delayed travel plans amid Brexit uncertainty, and the Premier Inn owner

took a cautious approach to hotel demand for the next fiscal year.

Still, the company - which also owns brands including Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, and Bar + Block - posted a 1% sales growth in its combined UK and international businesses in the quarter ended Nov. 28 on strong demand for its food and beverage offerings. It expects in-line results for the current fiscal year. – Nampa/Reuters

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