Investors get comfy with DFS..

Thursday, 11 August: FTSE indices closed out the day in the green as blue-chips propped up the primary index, despite a number of FTSE 100 stocks going ex-dividend.

DFS Furniture(+15.58%) surged higher as the furniture retailer said it expects to deliver a record performance for the full financial year, and pay a higher dividend, after achieving solid revenue growth. DFS attributed store expansion, development of the omnichannel offering, retail space conversion and the enhancement of its product ranges as reasons for revenue growth. Subsidiaries of the Group, Sofa Workshop & Dwell added 1% to overall growth. On the back of which, DFS announced it anticipates announcing a progressive final dividend with guidance of an overall payout of 45-50% of post-tax profit.

Coca-Cola(+6.81%), the soft drinks bottler reported growth in profit in the first half of 2016, but revenue slipped due to negative movements in foreign-exchange rates. The beverage giant posted pretax profit of €1.90m from €164.7m in the first half of 2016, with a concurrent decrease in net sales. However, at constant currencies, net sales revenue grew by 2.4% year-on-year, which Coca-Cola HBC said was due to better pricing trends across all segments, and a 110 basis point improvement in package mix.

Card Factory(-4.31%) slipped lower after recording increased sales in the first half of its financial year, although growth was lower than the prior year which the card supplier attributed to lower footfall and uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. The retailer said total sales in the six months at the end of July were 4.8% higher year-on-year, although this was slower than the 8% growth achieved in the first half of the prior year. Like-for-like sales grew by 0.2%, compared with 2.8% the prior year.
At the close European indices were up as the FTSE 100 closed +0.70%, the Cac 40 +1.17% and the Dax 30 +0.86%.

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