Home Money MARKET REPORT: National Express crashes 25% after results delay

MARKET REPORT: National Express crashes 25% after results delay

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Stock crash: National Express lost up to a quarter of its value after delaying its annual results

The company behind National Express lost up to a quarter of its value after delaying its annual results.

The bus, coach and rail operator, which changed its name to Mobico Group, was due to publish its 2023 figures on Thursday next week.

But the company will now do so “before the end of March”, it says, after its auditor Deloitte warned it needed more time to complete its work on the German arm of the business.

The shares plunged 25 per cent to a low of 63 pence in early trading before closing down 9.6 per cent, or 8.1 pence, at 76.25 pence.

The FTSE 250 group’s German rail business has been hit by an industry-wide driver shortage and volatile energy prices.

Stock crash: National Express lost up to a quarter of its value after delaying its annual results

Mobico is one of the top five operators in Germany.

Elsewhere, business at Mobico’s Spanish arm was strong, while the UK and North American divisions performed well.

Group profits for 2023 are still expected to be between £175m and £185m. The FTSE 100 fell 0.12 per cent, or 9.29 points, to 7,719.21 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.56 per cent, or 107.27 points, to 19,109.63.

Mining giant Antofagasta said copper prices stabilized in the second half of 2023 and sales increased as production in Chile increased.

Revenue rose 8 per cent to £5 billion in 2023 and profits rose 11 per cent to £1.4 billion. The shares gained 0.6 per cent, or 11 pence, to 1,776 pence.

Rival miner Anglo American took the opposite tack after production at its iron ore business fell in the final quarter of last year due to logistical challenges.

The shares fell 3.3 per cent, or 58.4 pence, to 1,719.6 pence.

Investors in Ferrexpo were dealt a blow after the iron ore miner scrapped its interim dividend just a month after it outlined plans to bring it back.

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Stock Watch – Petra Diamonds

1708508350 374 MARKET REPORT National Express crashes 25 after results delay

Petra Diamonds shares hit a record low after warning that prices will recover slower than expected.

The group, which mines diamonds in South Africa and Tanzania, said average carat prices fell 29 percent in the six months to the end of December.

It made a loss of £13m, after making a profit of £32m during the same period the previous year.

Petra also lowered its production forecast for the year. The shares fell 4.7 per cent, or 2p, to 41p.

The company was due to make the payment on Friday but changed its mind as one of its businesses in Ukraine is fighting a £100m legal claim. The shares sank 6.3 per cent, or 5.1 pence, to 75.8 pence.

Currys extended its gains a day after shares rose by more than a third as a takeover bid war broke out for the electrical goods retailer.

Late last week, the company rejected a £700m takeover offer from US hedge fund Elliott Advisors, while Chinese online retail giant JD.com is “in the preliminary stages” of weighing up a bid.

The shares, which rose 36 per cent on Monday, rose 2.6 per cent, or 1.65 pence, to 65.85 pence.

Despite the slowdown in business, Plus 500 was optimistic about its “strong” results for 2023.

The online trading platform beat market forecasts and reported revenue fell 13 per cent to £574m in 2023, while profits plunged by more than a quarter to £266m.

The group expanded its reach into the US and Japan and outlined plans to return £175m to investors through a share buyback and dividend programme.

The shares fell 4.4 per cent, or 81 pence, to 1,750 pence.

Pod Point has poached the head of Shell’s electric vehicle charging business (down 0.8 per cent, or 20p, to 2,488p) for the CEO role.

Melanie Lane, who has led Recharge since 2020, will take up the role at the beginning of May.

Former Aston Martin (165.7p) chief executive Andy Palmer will become chairman following Pod Point’s annual general meeting in June.

The boardroom shakeup came as the company, which has installed devices for homebuilders and in car parks at Tesco (up 1.2 per cent, or 3.4p, to 284.5p) and in Lidl stores, expects results for 2023 to meet its previous forecasts.

Pod Point shares rose 7.1 per cent, or 1.53p, to 23p.

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