Below are the key morning press headlines, featuring the The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail & more - see the full Press section here.
is on track to make more than £1 billion in sales for the first time after shoppers flocked to its website for cheap metallic bikinis and clingy summer dresses. The fast-fashion online retailer made an unscheduled announcement yesterday that its sales would be higher than anticipated, a welcome change for retail investors who have become used to profit warnings from the sector amid weakening consumer confidence. The company said that its performance in the first half had been ahead of expectations and it expects sales to be between 33% and 38% higher than last year, compared with its previous guidance of between 25% and 30%.
announced that its chief digital officer will take over from Philip Bowcock as chief executive. The bookmaker said that Ulrik Bengtsson, a former chief executive of Betsson, an online gaming company listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, had been appointed chief executive designate and would replace Mr Bowcock at the end of the month. The departure of Mr Bowcock, 51, who will remain an employee until the end of December, comes as William Hill starts closing about 700 of its betting shops after the hit on profits from the government crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals, putting 4,500 jobs at risk.
reported another slump in its loss-making mobile phone business but a boost in sales of fridges and game consoles helped the retailer to avoid another profit warning. The electricals retailer reassured investors in a trading update yesterday that its turnaround was on track and that it was sticking with its financial guidance, which boosted its share price. However, Dixons Carphone suffered a backlash from shareholders later in the day at its annual meeting. Almost a quarter of investors rebelled after ISS, a proxy adviser, recommended a vote against long-term share awards for Alex Baldock, chief executive, with a face value of £2.3 million.
said its revival of GKN was taking hold following its bitter £8.1bn fight to take control of the ailing aerospace and automotive parts manufacturer. Posting interim results, turnaround investor Melrose said it had boosted margins at the aerospace business, while managing to maintain profits at the car parts unit despite a global slump in the automotive industry. Melrose reported group headline revenue of £5.7bn, up from £2.8bn last time round. The increase reflected it swallowing up the much larger GKN 14 months ago, which propelled Melrose into the FTSE 100.
The boss of came out in defence of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme as the housebuilder delivered record results for the sixth year running. The scheme has been criticised by many for boosting housebuilders’ profits while failing to solve the plight of first-time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder. “There’s been lots of accusations of profits growing all off the back of Help to Buy,” said John Tutte, Redrow’s executive chairman. “That’s certainly not the case with us. “It might be the cherry on the cake but it’s not been the icing. We have driven growth in our business irrespective of Help to Buy. We’ve grown more because of it but we still would have had very commendable growth without it.”
Banks have been hammered by a rush of last-minute PPI claims that will cost them an extra £17billion. The deluge of compensation demands lodged before the August 29 cut-off date is expected to bring lenders’ total bill to more than £50billion. The previous running estimate was put at £36billion, with analysts saying the final cost was ‘well beyond people’s expectations’. As the Co-op Bank became the latest bank to warn of a late spike in claims, shares in Clydesdale Bank owner crashed by more than 21% after it revealed it had been hit with nearly 10,000 per day in the weeks before the deadline. It came just a day after state-backed said it was having to lock away up to £900million more to cover the stampede of claims it was also facing.
The boss of transport giant has signalled potential interest in rival FirstGroup’s under-review UK bus arm as he revealed rail woes sent annual earnings tumbling. Speaking to the PA news agency, Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said the group looks ‘at all opportunities that come along’ and is in the market for buying bus businesses that need turning around. While has not decided if it will sell its UK bus business, it has confirmed aims to separate out the division and is reviewing options for ‘structural alternatives’, including a sale. Asked if Go-Ahead would be interested in FirstGroup’s bus business, Brown said: ‘We consider all opportunities. We are in the business of buying businesses on the bus side that we can turn around.’
North Sea-focused oil group was boosted by news it has hired former BG Group operations chief Martin Houston as chairman from October 1. Enquest also said that it has chipped away at its debt pile, which stood at £1.3billion by the end of June, compared with £1.4billion at the same time last year.
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Next is ‘weathering the retail storm’ as it enjoyed a rise in half-year profits, the store’s boss revealed, The competition watchdog said JD Sports £90m takeover of Footasylum could lead to “higher prices” and “worse choice” for shoppers, but fell short of explaining its reasons in more detail
Travel firm Thomas Cook has been hit with a last-minute demand, from its banks, to find £200m in extra funding in order to secure its future. The troubled operator hoped to seal a rescue deal this week but without this, the firm is likely to collapse.
Salt Lake Potash explain the significance of producing premium grade water soluble sulphate Of potash from its Lake Way Project. Iconic Labs discuss their strategy and recent deals. Chris Bailey on Next, Diageo & Johnson Matthey. John Meyer on Kodal Minerals, Arc Minerals & BlueJay Mining.
SP Angel research note on commodities and miners, featuring: Asiamet Resources (ARS LN) - Logistics enhancements Bushveld Minerals* (BMN LN) BUY – Valuation 92p – Conference presentation in South Africa highlights forecast growth of vanadium electrolyte demand Kodal Minerals* (KOD LN) - ESIA Progress Report IronRidge Resources* (IRR LN) - Aircore results from Cote d'Ivoire Ironveld (IRON LN) – NED director resignation Solgold* (SOLG LN) - Constitutional Court ruling in Ecuador
The main trade union at Royal Mail has served notice for a strike ballot among 110,000 workers, Hong Kong is under growing pressure to sweeten the terms of its £32bn offer for the London Stock Exchange Group as a takeover battle for the British bourse intensifies
The US central bank has cut interest rates for only the second time since 2008, amid concerns about slowing global growth and trade wars. As expected the Federal Reserve lowered the target range for its key interest rate by 25 basis points to between 1.75% and 2%.