Premarket London: Whitbread Warns on U.K. Outlook, Upbeat on Germany

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© Reuters. © Reuters. — Here’s a summary of this morning’s big releases on the London Stock Exchange. Please refresh for updates.

  • St. James’s Place (LON:) reported 2.11 billion pounds in net new money for the third quarter, down a little from 2.47 a year earlier. Funds under management are now up 18% year-to-date.
  • “In what remains an uncertain external environment, these figures once again highlight the resilience of our business model,” CEO Andrew Croft said, adding that the company remains “well positioned to continue to grow over the medium to long-term.”
  • Whitbread (LON:) reported flat revenue and a 5.4% increase in adjusted per share earnings for the first half of its fiscal year ending in March 2020. It upheld its guidance as regards its expansion in Germany, where it said “we continue to look for ways to accelerate our ambitions.”
  • However, the U.K. outlook is “challenging, with business confidence remaining weak and leisure confidence in decline, coinciding with heightened political and economic uncertainty, which has continued into the third quarter of FY20,” it said. “This has impacted hotel domestic demand, particularly in the regional market, where 80% of Premier Inn hotels are located. There has also been a greater decline in short-lead discretionary bookings, which tend to be at higher price points.”
  • “With this uncertainty, it is difficult to predict how business confidence and business investment will evolve in the second half of FY20 and into FY21.”
  • Reckitt Benckiser (LON:)r cut its full-year revenue forecast for 2019 to at most 2%, after a gain of only 1.6% in like-for-like sales in the third quarter. It blamed a weak performance by its health division. It also said it’s losing market share in infant nutrition in China, where birth rates have slowed in the last two years.
  • Anglo American (LON:) said its output this year would be at the lower end of expectations due to a chronic drought in Chile that also threatens next year’s production. AA also reported a 14% drop in diamond output at its De Beers subsidiary. These negative factors were offset by the successful ramp up of its iron ore mine at Minas-Rio in Brazil. The company said it’s “broadly on track” to deliver its full-year production targets
    • Bunzl (LON:) reported currency-adjusted revenue grew 0.5% in the third quarter. Sterling weakness bumped that up to a 4% increase in reported terms. “The Group’s expectations for the year ending 31 December 2019 remain unchanged with overall trading consistent with the slowing underlying revenue growth indicated in previous announcements this year due to the impact of the continued mixed macroeconomic and market conditions across the countries and sectors in which the Group operates.”
    • Underlying revenue fell by 1%, while acquisitions added 1.5% in sales. It said its M&A pipeline remains “active and a number of ongoing discussions are taking place.”
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