Friday, May 25: FTSE indices emerged from yesterday’s sell-off on the front foot, as US markets closed lower followed by a mixed Asian close, despite noises coming out of Pyongyang suggesting the establishment still want a meeting with the US. The recent bout of risk-off sentiment has seen gold climb $20 in the week, to $1304/oz. The FTSE 100 closed +0.18%, as it was lead higher by a clutch of retail, utility and medical stocks.
Pennon Group(+5.57%) climbed as the water company posted a 25% jump in pretax profit for the financial year ended March to £262.9m from £210.5m recorded a year ago, on revenues of £1.40bn and £1.35bn, respectively. Management note the increase was driven by the company’s South West Water business, which recorded higher revenue on net tariff increases and customer demand, whilst earnings improvement was shown in its waste management business, Viridor. The final dividend was lifted 7% to 26.62p resulting in a total dividend increase of 7.3% to 38.59p, as management also announced planning permissions and permits are already in place for waste management capacity expansion in Cardiff and Ardley.
Wizz Air(+2.17%) climbed again intraday to move 7.12% higher for the week after issuing a strong set of full year results yesterday and broker Goodbody increased in price target accordingly, believing there is a solid foundation for a sustained re-rating in the near term.
Dunelm(-11.20%) was one of the more prominent losers on the index after issuing an impromptu trading update, profit warning included. Management described Q4 trading as unexpectedly challenging, with continuing softness in the homewares market and reduced store footfall. Like for like store sales for the quarter fell 4.7%, leading to a total sale increase of 0.1%, whilst like for like online sales were 44% higher. Underlying profit for the full year is expected to be “moderately” below 2017.
Across Europe, indices were mixed at the close with the FTSE 100 +0.18%, the DAX 30 +0.65% and the CAC 40 -0.11%.