FTSE 100 Live: earnings warnings from Superdry and Dr Martens; The FTSE 250 overtakes the elite


FTSE 250 overtakes elite, Dechra shares jump 36%

Trading excitement boosted the FTSE 250 index today as traders see more UK assets heading into private equity.

The buy action follows last night’s disclosure of a £4.6bn approach for veterinary drugs group Dechra Pharmaceuticals.

Shares of the Cheshire-based former blue-chip firm jumped 36% or 1004p to 3780p, which compares with 4070p quoted by Swedish private equity firm EQT and its backer Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Oil engineering consultancy Wood Group and exhibition business Hyve are already in the spotlight, while London-based property company Industrials REIT today formally agreed a takeover worth £511m with US giant Blackstone.

The developments, which also include yesterday’s preliminary interest from CVC Capital in Middle East payments company Network International, led to the considerable outperformance of the FTSE 250 index today.

The UK benchmark jumped 0.9% or 164.81 points to 19,234.94, with big risers including Urban Logistics REIT after a 3.6p gain to 139.6p. And on the back of Dechra’s hard-hitting approach, the AIM-listed animal welfare group’s CVS jumped 7% or 124p to 1,999p.

By contrast, the FTSE 100 index rose a calmer 21.32 points to 7864.70 for a fourth consecutive weekly gain. Hopes that US interest rates were near their peak encouraged buyers and kept the price of gold near a record high of $2040 an ounce.

One of the biggest rises in theft came from Standard Chartered, which rose 9.6p to 628.2p after analysts at Jefferies raised their target price by 50p to 1000p. They said a 22% drop in stocks since the March banking turmoil seemed harsh given the favorable operating trends.

For fashion retailer Superdry, trading conditions are far from helpful as it today withdrew its breakeven forecast for its April financial year. Chief executive Julian Dunkerton believes the brand is “stronger than ever” but shares fell 17% or 17.7p to 89.1p as the company considers a share issue to support its turnaround ambitions.


Britain’s biggest firms would be worth £460bn more if listed in New York

Britain’s top 100 companies would be worth around £500billion more if they moved their stock quotes to New York, shock analysis for the Evening Standard shows.

Amid growing fears that the London stock market, once the world’s leading equity index, risks becoming a backwater for stocks, research shows the valuation gap is worse than previously thought.

More and more big companies are threatening to move their share listing away from London, frustrated by the low value placed on their shares.

The market value of the FTSE 100 today is around £2.13 billion. Based on its earnings and profit combined, it would be £460bn higher if US equity values ​​were applied.

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(Kirsty O’Connor/ PA)

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Shares of advertising firm AI plunge as sales process finds no willing buyers

AI-based advertising firm Mirriad has warned investors that the company’s future is uncertain after it failed to find a willing buyer for itself.

The company launched a sale process last month but has now scrapped those plans after determining there was “no prospect” for an offer.

The company has £7.5million in cash, which it says will last until the end of September.

As a result, the board is now considering “all options” to preserve stakeholder value.

Mirriad shares are down 35% today.


FTSE 100 up, Superdry shares down 17%

The FTSE 100 index is 13.08 points higher at 7856.46, with European markets following Wall Street’s lead on hopes that US interest rates are near their peak.

In an update-heavy session, Superdry shares slipped 17% to 18.4p to 88.4p but AO World rose 2.7p to 70.4p after its latest advice update and Hays clapped 0.6p to 114.6p.

Dr Martens’ predicted earnings cut did not cause more damage in its share price, which rose 1.2p to 142.5p.

The FTSE 250 index rose 108.53 points to 19,178.66, helped by trading activity after Dechra Pharmaceuticals disclosed last night a private equity offering worth $4 £.6 billion. Dechra shares jumped 38% or 1,050.4p to 3,830.4p.


Hermès sales jump with growth in all regions

Sales at luxury fashion house Hermès jumped 23% in the first quarter, thanks to strong demand in all regions for its high-end handbags, perfumes and watches.

Sales increased in all regions, with the strongest growth in France and Japan, where “local customer loyalty” drove growth.

“The first quarter of 2023 is aligned with the good results of 2022 and reflects the success of our collections around the world, driven by the loyalty of our customers,” said CEO Axel Dumas. “We are proud to strengthen our production capacities and consolidate our artisanal model.


Superdry plunges 19% after saying it no longer expects to break even

Superdry shares plunged 19% to 88p in the first few minutes of trading after the retailer withdrew previous forecasts that it would break even.

Retail sales continue to show good like-for-like growth, but at a slower pace than expected, in part due to the cost of living crisis and inclement weather which led to lower demand for the new spring-summer collection.

Superdry said business uncertainty and the actions associated with the reorganization of its wholesale division made it difficult to give guidance on full-year earnings.

(Ian West/PA)

/ PA wire


Hays reveals drop in recruitment of permanent staff amid failing ‘client and candidate trust’

Employment consultant Hays revealed today that employers are making more use of temporary staff amid declining “client and applicant confidence” which means less recruitment of permanent workers.

In the three months to the end of March, there was a 2% decline in permanent placements, which she said “has narrowed over the quarter.” Temporary placements increased by 11%.

Rising temporary jobs, the FTSE 250’s biggest market, helped group fees hit a record high, while a lack of skilled workers fueled wage inflation during the period.

Alistair Cox, chief executive, said: “Employers have shifted their hiring models towards a more flexible workforce” amid “growing macroeconomic uncertainty”.

He added: “Our key markets continue to be characterized by severe skills shortages and wage inflation, and we are benefiting from our early management actions to increase expense margins in skills shortage markets.”


Rate-sensitive US stocks rally, FTSE 100 up

Wall Street closed higher last night after weaker-than-expected data on producer price inflation and the labor market boosted hopes that Federal Reserve policymakers could still put hikes on hold. interest rates at their meeting next month.

The S&P 500 rose 1.3% and the rate-sensitive Nasdaq Composite rose 2% in its best session in nearly a month.

Volatility continues to subside as the VIX index closed at its lowest level since January 2022, which Deutsche Bank strategists said was particularly striking given the market turmoil just a month ago .

However, the start of the first quarter earnings season has the potential to shake that confidence, with several financial stocks reporting today, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and BlackRock.

The FTSE 100 index rose yesterday and CMC Markets expects it to add another 16 points to 7859 this morning as European markets maintain momentum.


YouGov poaches Meta’s European chief for CEO job

YouGov has poached Meta’s European director Steve Hatch as its new CEO.

Hatch was appointed Facebook’s first regional director for the UK in 2014 and in 2016 became Meta’s vice president for Northern Europe.

Hatch will join the polling firm in early August, replacing co-founder Stephan Shakespeare who will take on the role of non-executive chairman.

Steve Hatch, Meta’s vice president for Northern Europe (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

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