MARKET BRIEF: Plus-size performance boosts profits at N Brown
Retailers had a brilliant day yesterday, led by a big jump from N Brown, owner of plus-size brands Simply Be and Jacamo.
Shares of the Manchester chain, which has been steadily shifting from its origins as the operator of JD Williams’ mail-order catalogs to a more online presence, rose 25 percent, or 6.6 pence, to 33 pence after reporting full year results showing profit doubles to £19.2m.
Management reported a “resurgence” in demand for clothing and footwear, and said the reintroduction of a dividend is being considered.
Profits soar: Shares in N Brown, which owns plus-size brands Simply Be (pictured) and Jacamo, surged 25% after it reported full-year results that showed profits doubling to 19, 2 million pounds sterling.
Analyst Clive Black at real-estate broker Shore Capital has kept his earnings forecasts for the new year steady, highlighting an impending “major milestone”: the group’s first mobile-responsive website for Simply Be.
Further down the High Street, WH Smith was taken up by US investment bank JP Morgan.
Having fallen nearly 40 per cent from pre-pandemic levels, the shares were up 1.2 per cent, or 18 pence, at 1,522.5 pence.
The bank believes that WH Smith is “fundamentally a higher quality business compared to pre-Covid for three reasons”: the launch of its travel stores, the acquisitions provide opportunities to expand in the US, Europe and Asia, and a better business mix. thanks to more earnings from their travel sites.
The bank raised its rating to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’ and the share price target by 8% to 1900p. The FTSE 250 fell 0.6%, or 116.15 points, to 19949.44, while the FTSE 100 was in the red to a tune of 80.26 points at 7438.09.
The blue-chip index was cut by Ocado amid news that consumer price inflation had risen to a 40-year high of 9 percent last month and Peel Hunt’s decision to cut its price target by Ocado shares by more than half.
Shares of the online grocer have been in a general decline since then, falling 9 percent, or 72.4 pence, to 727.8 pence.
Stock Watch – Open Orphan
Open Orphan became a reality during the pandemic.
Its subsidiary, Hvivo, owns a facility in London that conducts human challenge studies using new vaccines.
Open Orphan was in the news yesterday after winning a £7.5m contract to assess a potential flu vaccine for an unnamed international biotech company.
It is one of a series of similar contracts won in recent months.
The shares, down 3.5 percent, or 0.5 pence, at 13.75 pence, have halved in value since early 2022.
But bargain hunters pounced on Rolls-Royce, whose shares have fallen nearly 20 per cent over the past year, causing shares to close down 3.5 pence, or 4.4 per cent, at 84.78 pence. .
Premier Foods topped the mid-cap leaderboard after its full-year earnings proved extremely good, with its Mr Kipling brand enjoying its ‘best year ever’.
Helped by a 20 per cent dividend increase and a £60m improvement in its early pension contributions, shares in sauce boat Bisto floated 10.1 pence, or 10.8 per cent, to 117 .4 pence
The encouraging results propelled metal flow engineer Vesuvius up 6.7 percent, or 22.2 pence, to 353 pence, while thread maker Coats Group rose 9 percent, or 6.5 pence. , to 78.6 pence, as it offset inflationary pressure with higher prices and productivity.
Vistry rose 3.6 percent, or 29 pence, to 832.5 pence after the homebuilder raised its profit target for the year on “strong demand.”
Darktrace sank 15.2%, or 57.8 pence, to 323.2 pence as a senior executive (cybersecurity company chief strategy officer Nicole Eagan) was named as someone being investigated by the US Department of Justice for his role in the £8.9 billion sale of software company Autonomy in 2011.
In a High Court ruling, Eagan was named as “part of a cabal responsible to the defendants” for misrepresenting the success of Autonomy, allowing it to be sold for £8.9bn to Hewlett Packard.
There was little applause for pubs, as Mitchells & Butlers and Marston’s highlighted the challenges facing the hospitality sector as commodity prices rise and consumers curb spending.
Marston fell 7.2 percent, or 4.5 pence, to 58 pence, while Mitchells & Butlers lost 1.4 percent, or 3 pence, to 211 pence.
Tui, the tour operator, sank 12.9%, or 31.8 pence, to 214.2 pence after putting up £360m in new shares to pay for some of Berlin’s government funding during the pandemic.
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