Thursday, 10th May: After a rocky start to 2017, starting the year down by almost 15% at £40, high-street retailer Next managed to pull off a U-turn this year so far, helped by today’s Q1 update which pushed the share price u more than 7% to c.£56, and allowed them to secure the top spot on the FTSE 100. Within the update they shared an increase of 18.1% in online sales and a 6% increase in full price sales. Apart from this, they also announced an increase in their full-year pre-tax profit guidance from £705m to £717m. So far, from May 2017 to May 2018, the groups’ share price has recovered by around 21%.
BT however, had a bad start to 2017, and are having an equally bad 2018. The telecom giant landed a spot on the other end of the blue-chip index after their full year results which pushed the share price down more than 8% on the day, and around 30% down in comparison to the same period last year. The drop came after the group revealed they were going to freeze the dividend for the next few years as well as let go of around 13,000 employees.
Amongst the UK’s largest supermarkets, Morrisons, currently the smallest of the four, were able to report back a promising Q1 to 2018 after having previously faced some pressure from Sainsbury’s announcement of their £7.3 billion takeover of Asda, who are the second and third largest respectively. The combination of the two would make Morrisons a third of the size of them which has been worrying for the retailer. Regardless of this they have still been able to report back an encouraging start to the year and have managed to ease some of the worries surrounding their position in the market.
At the end of the day, the FTSE 100 closed 0.5% higher at 7700, placing them closer to the record highs achieved in January and almost 6.0% higher than the same date last month.