Strong UK Retail Sales Mask Weak Outlook as Financial Conditions Tighten

0929 GMT - Latest official data show U.K. retail sales unexpectedly accelerated 1.2% in February from 0.9% in January mainly driven by non-food and food sales. Nonetheless, the retail sales outlook is weak as the effects of high interest rates are expected to hurt sales, say UniCredit Research analysts in a note. U.K. consumer confidence is at historically low levels, the analysts say. "Consumer confidence, as measured by GfK, rose slightly in March to -36 from -38 but remains historically weak," they say. (

Companies News: 

Games Workshop Declares Dividend

Games Workshop Group PLC said Friday that it has declared a dividend payout and that trading in the three months to the end of February has been in line with expectations.


Smiths Group 1H Pretax Profit Rose as Revenue Beat Consensus, Lifts Full-Year Guidance Again

Smiths Group PLC said Friday that first-half fiscal 2023 pretax profit rose as revenue beat consensus, and again raised its revenue-growth guidance for the year.


JD Wetherspoon Swung to 1H Pretax Profit as Sales Rose Above Prepandemic Levels

J.D. Wetherspoon PLC reported on Friday a swing to pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2023 on the back of sales that were ahead of prepandemic levels.


James Fisher & Sons to Report 2022 Revenue Rose, But Results Delayed to April

James Fisher & Sons PLC said Friday that it expects to report a rise in revenue for 2022, but that its results would be delayed a month and published April 28 instead of March 28.


Tribal Group 2022 Pretax Profit Fell on Contract Delay; Cuts Dividend

Tribal Group PLC on Friday cut its final dividend on the back of lower profits due mainly to the delays and subsequent cancellation of its Nanyang Technological University contract in Singapore, and despite higher revenue.


Quartix Technologies Starts 2023 in Line With Market Views

Quartix Technologies PLC said Friday that its performance in the first two months of 2023 has been in line with market views for the year.


Warpaint Lifts Expectations After Strong 1Q Sales

Warpaint London PLC said Friday that it has lifted its expectations for 2023 as sales increased in the first quarter of the year.


Caledonia Mining to Raise Up to $13 Mln to Fund Projects; Reports In-Line 2022 Earnings

Caledonia Mining Corp. said Friday that it plans to raise up to $13 million via share placings and will use the money to provide working capital to accelerate the planned work at three new gold projects in Zimbabwe.


Ocean Wilsons 2022 Pretax Profit Fell on Decline in Value of Investment Portfolio

Ocean Wilsons Holdings Ltd. said Friday that 2022 pretax profit fell due to a decline in the valuation of its investment portfolio, and that in terms of uncertainty, the first quarter of 2023 was reminiscent of the year-prior period.


San Leon Energy Expects to Complete Refinancing in Near Term

San Leon Energy PLC said Friday that it expects to complete its refinancing in the near term although the process has taken more than expected.


Phoenix Copper Shares Fall as It Seeks to Issue Copper-Price-Linked Bonds, Secures $2 Mln Facility

Phoenix Copper Ltd. shares fell on Friday after it said that it is finalizing discussions regarding the placing of up to $80 million of corporate bonds linked to the copper price and that it has secured dollar working capital through a credit facility.

Market Talk: 

J.D. Wetherspoon's Earnings Shows Continued UK Consumer Resilience -- Market Talk

0943 GMT - J.D. Wetherspoon 1H results showed an improved performance and further progress at the start of the second half, demonstrating the continued resilience of the U.K. consumer backdrop, Shore Capital analyst Greg Johnson says in a note. The London-listed pub operator's total revenues rose by 14% to GBP916 million compared with the same period last year, reflecting pandemic-related softer comparatives albeit total sales were only 3% ahead of 2019 levels, the analyst highlights. Current performance is also broadly consistent with consensus estimates of further profitability increase in 2H, he adds. "We see this as a much-improved performance, although we remain cautious over the customer base, pricing proposition and its metropolitan exposure," Johnson adds. (

J.D. Wetherspoon's Performance Boosts Investor Optimism

0919 GMT - J.D. Wetherspoon continues to clean up its balance sheet as 1H results return to prepandemic levels, Interactive Investor head of markets Richard Hunter says in a note. The pub operator also kept capital investment with GBP48 million directed at pubs, pub extensions and technology, he says. This continued positive performance has brought investor optimism, leading to a share price spike of 34% over the last three months, he says. "Prospects for the group, like its margins, remain finely balanced, with the market consensus of the shares as a hold suggesting that investors will cautiously await more fruitful developments and perhaps celebrate better results," he adds. (


Contact: London NewsPlus;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 24, 2023 06:06 ET (10:06 GMT)

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