BUSINESS LIVE: Kingfisher cuts profit forecast, Ocado sales rise and Trustpilot shares soar


BUSINESS LIVE: Kingfisher cuts profit forecast, Ocado sales rise and Trustpilot shares soar

 Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are Ocado, Kingfisher, Trustpilot, Tui, Henry Boot and Hargreaves Lansdown. Read the Tuesday 19 September Business Live blog below.

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FTSE 100 closes up 7.26 points at 7660.20

Oil prices racing towards $100 a barrel

Motorists are being warned over the potential of rising petrol and diesel prices as the cost of a barrel of oil approaches $100.

The RAC said drivers are ‘in for a hard time at the pumps’ as increasing demand from China and production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia spark a spike in oil prices.

Rising fuel prices are also giving Bank of England policymakers a headache with another interest rate decision due on Thursday.

That’s because UK inflation is expected to have accelerated in August for the first time in six months in an unwelcome reversal of the recent slowdown in the cost-of-living crisis – largely thanks to the cost of filling up.

Tui summer holiday boost

Holiday firm Tui saw a spike in bookings this summer, with holidaymaker numbers almost returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The firm revealed that the bounce back in demand for travel has helped summer bookings soar close to levels seen before the pandemic.

Ocado’s sales rise

Ocado has reported a pick-up in sales as price cuts tempted shoppers back over the summer months.

The online grocer said sales grew 7.2 per cent to £569.9million in the third quarter, with a return to positive volume growth in August in its retail business which is run as a joint venture with M&S.

Henry Boot sees profits decline

Construction group Henry Boot saw profits decline in the first half of the year despite a growth in revenue, as uncertainty in the housing market increased.

The business saw a 24.5 per cent increase in revenue year-on-year to £179.8million, in the six months to 30 June.

Biggest fallers this morning

Kingfisher share price has slipped 6.5 per cent this morning, while Naked Wines is down 7 per cent.

Biggest risers this morning

Trustpilot share price is up nearly 18 per cent this morning, while Tui is up 6.1 per cent and Ocado 3.5 per cent.

Naked Wines chair apologises to shareholders

The chairman of Naked Wines has apologised to shareholders after a ‘tough’ year in which the online wine seller swung to a loss.

New sales dropped from £34million to £26.9million in the year to 3 April 2023 and Naked Wines posted a loss of £15million in 2023, compared to a profit of £2.9million last year.

Shares in Naked Wines plummeted nearly 10 per cent to 63.25p on Tuesday morning and are down over 50 per cent year-to-date.

Last rate rise?

The pound hit a 15-week low against the dollar yesterday as traders bet that an expected interest rate hike this week will be the last.

Sterling dipped to as low as $1.2366 ahead of a Bank of England decision on Thursday which is widely forecast to see rates rise from 5.25 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

The currency could take a further hit if the Bank indicates at this week’s meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) that the hiking is over.

FTSE 100 update

The FTSE 100 index at 10:45am was up 10.71 at 7663.65.

P&O Cruises weathers the storm

lthough the cost of living squeeze is hitting families in the pocket, Britons are still keen to splash out on winter getaways, says the boss of P&O Cruises.

Britain’s biggest cruise lines company has seen passengers flock back to its ships, while parent company Carnival has revealed bookings are at an ‘all-time high’.

Trustpilot shares rise sharply

Trustpilot shares rose sharply on Tuesday morning after the group said it had beaten earnings expectations following a bumper first half of the year.

The review website upgraded earnings guidance to beyond the top of the range of market expectations after a 16 per cent rise in bookings to $99.2million.

‘Inflation to drop to 3% next year’

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: ‘Today the OECD have set out a challenging global picture, but it is good news that they expect UK inflation to drop below 3 per cent next year.

‘It is only by halving inflation that we can deliver higher growth and living standards.

‘We were among the fastest in the G7 to recover from the pandemic, and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) have said we will grow faster than Germany, France and Italy in the long term.’

Hargreaves Lansdown reports higher profits

Hargreaves Lansdown has reported a 50 per cent rise in its profits this year, as rising interest rates pushed customers to its savings offering.

The group said its profit before tax had grown 50 per cent to £402.7million, while revenue increased 26 per cent to £735.1million in the 12 months to 30 June.

Kingfisher cuts profit forecast

B&Q owner Kingfisher has lowered its profit forecast for the year, citing low consumer confidence.

Kingfisher, which also owns Screwfix, has lowered its profit guidance for the year from £634million to £590million.


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