MARKET REPORT: All aboard! Trainline shares go full steam ahead
Investors flocked to Trainline after it cashed in on travel demand and outlined plans to reward shareholders despite ongoing rail strikes.
As the London stock market hit its highest level in more than six weeks, online ticketing app FTSE 250 said ticket sales rose by almost a quarter to £2.6 billion in the first half of the financial year (the six months to the end of August).
That led to its revenue rising 19 per cent to £197m.
In the UK, ticket sales rose 19 per cent to £1.7 billion as more travelers switched from paper to digital ticketing.
Trainline said its results underlined the strength of the industry’s post-pandemic recovery, with passenger numbers approaching the level they were before Covid-19 hit.
On track: Trainline said ticket sales rose by almost a quarter to £2.6 billion in the first half of the financial year, the six months to the end of August.
However, it estimated that each of the 11 days of strikes over the six-month period cost it between £5m and £6m in lost ticket sales.
Elsewhere, strong demand in Spain and Italy saw the group’s international ticket sales rise 24 per cent to £559m.
Trainline’s overall performance gave it enough confidence to reiterate annual expectations for revenue to rise between 13 and 22 percent.
And with boss Jody Ford optimistic about the company’s “continued growth”, Trainline has also launched a share buyback program of up to £50m over the next 12 months. The shares rose 11.6 per cent, or 28.6p, to 276p.
Russ Mould, chief investment officer at investment platform AJ Bell, said: “Despite another period marked by strike action, the group has seen a striking rise in ticket sales, suggesting it is gaining traction with travellers. not only in the UK but also abroad. .
“There remain limited barriers to entry in this market, but the Trainline brand is becoming more entrenched, which should provide it with some protection against potential rivals.”
The FTSE 100 rose 2 per cent, or 147.09 points, to 7,673.08 and the FTSE 250 added 1.8 per cent, or 338.2 points, to 18,899.7.
Stock Monitoring – Keystone Law Group
Keystone Law Group made much-needed progress as it hired more attorneys and client demand soared.
It hired 25 lawyers in the six months to the end of July.
Group revenue rose 14.9 per cent to £42.3 million during the period and profits soared 29.3 per cent to £5.3 million.
Results for the year to the end of January should be “comfortably ahead” of the £78.9m revenue and £9.5m profit expected by analysts.
The shares rose 17.7 per cent, or 72.5p, to 482.5p.
Another winner on the FTSE 250 was Hilton Food Group, as the company, which supplies meat and ready meals to supermarkets, secured a deal with Walmart Canada.
This will allow the London-listed company to ship beef, lamb, pork and seafood to Walmart in Canada and open its first manufacturing plant in North America. The shares soared 7.6 per cent, or 55p, to 781p.
Tobacco giant BAT was also on the rise after completing the sale of its Russian and Belarusian businesses. The shares rose 1.3 per cent, or 34 pence, to 2,707.5 pence.
In a boardroom shake-up at medical device group Smith & Nephew, Rupert Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill and former boss of outsourcing firm Serco, will join today as chairman.
His appointment, announced in February, came after Roberto Quarta decided to retire. Soames led Serco (up 2.2 per cent, or 3.2p, to 151.3p) from 2014 to last year and was hailed for spearheading the company’s turnaround. Smith & Nephew shares fell 0.8 per cent, or 9p, to 1,059p.
IG Group said it hopes to hire a chief executive in the “coming months” to succeed June Felix, who has led the betting firm since October 2018, but will leave in two weeks to focus on her health.
The update came as IG Group reported a slight increase in revenue in the three months to the end of August despite “softer market conditions”. The shares rose 3.6 per cent, or 24 pence, to 692 pence.
M&C Saatchi sank 1.2 per cent, or 1.5p, to 128.5p after the advertising company warned it would take a “cautious outlook” for the rest of the year following a difficult first half in which suffered losses and saw its customers spend less.