UK Public Finances Stay Vulnerable as Inflation Weighs

1103 GMT - U.K. public finances remain vulnerable to interest-rate rises and further economic shocks, according to a report. The medium-term outlook for the country's public finances has deteriorated since November due to a worsening GDP outlook and higher inflation persistence, the National Institute of Economic & Social Research says. Inflation remains a concern for 2023 at both the macro-economic and household level, it says. "Despite falls in the headline figure, measures of 'core' or underlying inflation suggest inflationary pressures are still present in the U.K. economy," NIESR economists write. "We therefore anticipate inflation will still be above 3% at the end of 2024 and won't reach the Bank of England's 2% target until the third quarter of 2025." (

Companies News: 

Barratt Developments 1H Pretax Profit Rose; Reservation Rate Improved in January

Barratt Developments PLC said Wednesday that it saw a rise in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2023 and said its private reservation rate has modestly improved in January.


Smurfit Kappa 2022 Pretax Profit Rose, Boosted by Investment Program

Smurfit Kappa Group PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit rose in 2022, with performance reflecting the continuing benefits of the investment program.


Severn Trent Backs FY 2023 View

Severn Trent PLC said Wednesday that there have been no material changes to the business performance or outlook since its half-year earnings in November and backed its fiscal 2023 outlook.


Ashmore Group 1H Pretax Profit Halved; Sees Outperformance As Markets Recover

Ashmore Group PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit more than halved in the first half of fiscal 2023 as market volatility in the period led to losses on investments, and that emerging markets are set to outperform as markets recover.


Grainger Early FY 2023 Rent, Occupancy Rose

Grainger PLC said Wednesday that rent and occupancy rose in the first four months of fiscal 2023.


Tate & Lyle Updates Five-Year Targets for Revenue, Earnings Growth

Tate & Lyle PLC said Wednesday that it expects to deliver revenue growth of 4% to 6% a year in the five years to March 2028, underpinned by high single-digit growth in its food and beverage solutions division.


M&C Saatchi Sees 2022 Net Revenue at GBP271.4 Mln, Headline Pretax Profit at GBP31.8 Mln

M&C Saatchi PLC said Wednesday that 2022 net revenue is expected to be 271.4 million pounds ($327 million) and headline pretax profit is seen at GBP31.8 million.


Sosandar to Raise up to GBP4.5 Mln to Fund Growth

Sosandar PLC said Wednesday that it is planning to raise up to 4.5 million pounds ($5.4 million) via a share placing and will use the money to capitalize on the opportunities in its markets and to accelerate future growth.


FirstGroup to Buy Ensign Bus Company for Undisclosed Sum

FirstGroup PLC said Wednesday that it is buying Ensign Bus Company Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.


Future Sees FY 2023 Adjusted Operating Profit in Line on Continuing Good Performance

Future PLC said Wednesday that it expects to deliver fiscal 2023 adjusted operating profit in line with expectations as its diversification of revenue streams and content verticals, together with the operational leverage, continue to deliver.


PZ Cussons 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose; Backs Full-Year Guidance

PZ Cussons PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit significantly rose for the first half of fiscal 2023 together with revenue, and backed its full-year guidance.


Renold Sees FY 2023 Profit Ahead of Views on Strong Performance

Renold PLC said Wednesday that it now sees fiscal 2023 underlying operating profit above current market forecasts as it has performed strongly since its interim results, with order intake running ahead of sales.


Cenkos Securities Sees 2022 Underlying Profit at Break Even

Cenkos Securities PLC said Wednesday that it expects to break even at underlying profit level for 2022 due to significantly depressed market conditions over the year, and that it has seen an encouraging start to 2023.


Speedy Hire Expects One-off Writedown After Identifying GBP20.4 Mln Equipment Shortfall

Speedy Hire PLC said Wednesday that it expects a one-off non-cash writedown after a count of its hire equipment identified a shortfall worth around 20.4 million pounds ($24.6 million).


Beazley Names Clive Bannister as Chair Designate

Beazley PLC said Wednesday that it has appointed Clive Bannister as chair designate and non-executive director with immediate effect.


Renalytix Shares Fall on $20.3 Mln Fund Raising

London-traded shares of Renalytix PLC fell as much as 14% on Wednesday after the company said it is raising $20.3 million via a placing of ordinary and American depositary shares, and that it will use the money for sales and marketing, clinical product development, and corporate support and financing costs.


Cellular Goods Shares Fall After Cannaray Brands, Love CBD Deal Collapses

Shares of Cellular Goods PLC fell 30% on Wednesday after the company said that it no longer plans to buy Cannaray Brands Ltd. and Love CBD Health Ltd. from Cannaray Ltd. as announced in September.

Market Talk: 

Ashmore's 1H Earnings Top Hopes, But EPS Disappoints

1102 GMT - Ashmore Group's first-half pretax earnings before interest were slightly above forecasts, but the asset manager's earnings per share were well below expectations, Numis Securities says. While EBIT at GBP62 million was slightly ahead of market estimates of GBP58 million, mainly driven by unexpected performance fees of some GBP4 million, diluted EPS at about 6 pence was well below market forecasts of 8 pence, Numis says. "Our view remains that Ashmore's weak recent investment performance is likely to hinder its ability to both capture inflows and client/asset retention in the coming periods," Numis analyst David McCann says in a note. (

PZ Cussons Drops After 1H Margins Fell Short of Hopes

1021 GMT - PZ Cussons drops 6% after the soap and washing-up liquid maker's first-half margins fell short of expectations. Revenue in the six months to Dec. 3 increased to GBP337 million, with a 6.1% like-for-like sales rise ahead of consensus forecasts, Barclays says. "While the top-line beat should be taken well, the margin below at 9.9% (consensus 10.4%) will be a talking point especially on the strength of 2H23 phasing and any pressure points on the U.K. consumer within the hygiene category," Barclays analyst Patrick Folan says in a note. (

Barratt Developments 1H Profit Rose, But London Sales Put Margins Under Some Pressure

1017 GMT - Barratt Developments shares gain 2% after the U.K. home builder reported higher first-half profit and revenue, but flagged lower margins. While increased house prices boosted revenue, the group's operating margins faced pressure partly due to selling more houses in London, which are typically lower margin, Hargreaves Lansdown says. "The mortgage-rate environment remains challenging for home buyers too," HL analyst Aarin Chiekrie writes. "Net private reservations fell 44% compared to last year, highlighting both the lack of market confidence as well as reduced affordability. As the cost-of-living crisis stretches consumers' incomes, jumping onto the housing ladder and forking out cash on higher mortgages becomes much less achievable." (

Deltic Energy Makes Significant Steps Forward, Canaccord Says

1003 GMT - Deltic Energy's Pensacola well confirmation of the pre-drill gas resource estimate and the potential for the Zechstein carbonate reservoir to flow gas are significant steps forward for the still-emerging U.K. gas player, Canaccord Genuity analyst Charlie Sharp says in a research note. That said, the London-listed oil and gas exploration business has more to do to demonstrate commerciality, including an appraisal well, after a well test which flowed at only modest rates, Sharp says. Deltic's assessment, combined with results from analogous wells/fields in the area, points to the potential for significantly higher flow rates, Sharp says. Canaccord has a speculative buy rating on the stock with a price target of 12 pence. Shares trade up 22% at 3.30 pence. (

Cheap Pricing Likely to Boost Demand for UK's January 2039 Gilt Auction

1000 GMT - The UK's 1.125% January 2039 gilt due to be auctioned on Wednesday by the Debt Management Office has cheapened to "relatively attractive levels," say RBC Capital Markets analysts in a note. "Given the attractive valuations on the curve, the 1.125% January 2039 gilt auction on Wednesday should go well," they say. "We expect to see the nominal 15-year sector to outperform on the curve over the coming sessions," the analysts add. (


Contact: London NewsPlus;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 08, 2023 06:21 ET (11:21 GMT)

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