Wednesday, 13th March: British supermarket Morrisons released their results for 2018 today, which boasted a higher special dividend regardless of the 16% decline in pre-tax profit due to additional exceptional charges with regards to distribution network improvements and pension costs. Excluding these one-off items, pre-tax profit was up 8.6%. Two items which encouraged the 2.7% increase in revenue were loo rolls and painkillers, which were both up in high single digits and definitely sound like Brexit survival tools to me.
This also encouraged the firm to stockpile popular ‘cupboard fillers’ in order to prepare for whatever the outcome of Brexit may be. The result had an odd effect on the popular supermarkets share price, which started off 2.0% higher but eventually fell into red territory quickly after the initial opening session.
Another blue-chip member who released their 2018 results today was generic pharmaceuticals company Hikma, who spent the entirety of the day at the bottom end of the index after the market learnt of their inability to match consensus forecasts by reporting core operating profit which was 2% lower than anticipated.
Let’s move on to the dreaded daily Brexit summary. After losing yet another vote yesterday, May now faces a vote by MPs on whether or not a no-deal Brexit remains an option. If a no-deal Brexit is rejected tonight, another vote will be held tomorrow to determine whether article 50 can be extended.
The FTSE 100 just managed to hold onto a small amount of upside at the end of the day as it closed 0.11% higher at 7159.19.