Thursday, 1st February: Vodafone had a bumpy start to the day after the market shook its head at the Q3 trading update. Group total revenue came in 3.6% lower as a result of the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and FX movements. India results were also disappointing, which declined by roughly 23.1% because of the intense price competition in the region. Although competition remained aggressive in India, it had somewhat eased off in Spain where the groups’ main competitor Orange had been giving them a hard time. The shares continually drifted down for the entirety of the day, and were trading 4.54% lower at 214p towards the latter half of the afternoon. It was only a few months ago in November when the groups’ share price was up almost 12% at 227p after the half year update, all of which have since been reversed, and largely after today’s’ news.
It’s been some time since I last touched upon the automotive industry, so here is one for the super car fanatics (or just myself). Facing a lot less pressure than other car makers and looking much more confident for the future is the upper echelon of the industry, Italian sports car maker Ferrari, who have suggested they will double core earnings to €2 billion by 2022, as well as become debt free a year earlier. However, it comes at a price, as the groups’ shares are in line with the brands overall aura, expensive! The shares grew a further 8.2% after the confident trading update. An impressive 18% increase in 2017 EBITDA was assisted by the sale of two specific models, the 680bhp GTC4Lusso and the insane 789bhp 812 Superfast, which will cost you around £250,000 apiece…. sounds obtainable.
Now back to regular programming… UK house prices grew faster than expected in January but only by a modest amount due to the ongoing pressure on consumers’ pockets. House prices grew 0.6%, ever so slightly ahead of the 0.2% which some had forecast. In the last month of 2017, it was also recorded that the number of new mortgages approved by UK lenders had fallen close to a three-year low, adding to the evidence that first-time house buyers aren’t quite there yet when it comes to mortgages, largely due to the imbalance of their income and the costs associated with buying a property.
After spending a few hours in the morning in green at an attempt to salvage some of the damage from yesterday, the FTSE took a turn for the worse yet again as sterling managed to climb up 0.23% at $1.4232, and the likes of Vodafone and Royal Dutch Shell weighed on any other gains. The index closed 0.57% lower at 7490.39.