Thursday 7 April: In companies news today, Samsung Q1 profits surged by 10%. Operating profit in the first three months of the year is expected to be around £3.9bn, following strong sales of their latest Smartphone models. Samsung has been under pressure from Chinese rivals at the budget end of the market and Apple at the premium end.
M&S released their first quarter results today, and although they were marginally better than initially feared, results were al round quite disappointing, particularly in their clothing division. Sales in clothing and home fell by 2.7% on a LFL basis, the new CEO Steve Rowe who took over this month has stated turning this division round is their ‘number one priority’. M&S have seen just one quarter of growth in 21 for the clothing segment. LFL sales on the food side were unchanged although they have increased market share to 4.3% as a result of new store openings. Online sales also increased by 8.2%, the shares closed the day up 3%. The FTSE extended losses to the close, down 0.4% for the day.
On a related subject, Waitrose boss Rob Collins has expressed his desire to grow the supermarket chain despite competition from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl. Waitrose’s grocery market share currently stands at 5.1%.
The latest minutes from the Fed were released late yesterday, not very surprisingly they cited risk of yet further global growth concerns were the reason behind the decision not to raise rates in March. They have shown the fed only expects two rate rises to occur this year. As the US opened for trading on Thursday, the price of gold rose as investors took the flight to quality. Gold currently trades 1.46% higher, with silver +1.65%.