Updates from Sainsbury's, JD Sports and Cairn Energy
Filed under: Investing
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We commence with a trading update from Sainsbury's. Despite close competition from all sides - increasingly too from players like Aldi and Lidl - Sainsbury's saw like-for-like sales growth of 1.4% for the three months up to 9 June with sales at smaller stores climbing 16%.
Some of this uptick is put down to a Jubilee boost, as some consumers decided to celebrate and stock up. The quarter was characterised by five bank holidays, a royal event and periods of bad weather. Consistent performance year-on-year puts two year like-for-like sales growth at 3.3 per cent, claims Sainsburys.
"We are gaining market share in our core general merchandise and clothing categories. Non-food continues to grow faster than food, and the quarter saw the strongest ever sales week on clothing," said chief exec Justin King. "In particular, the fourth collection of our Gok for TU womenswear looks set to be our most successful to date."
Next up, an interim from JD Sports. Cumulative like-for-like sales for the 19 weeks ended 9 June 2012 improved marginally to +1.5% (Sports Fascias +1.2%; Fashion Fascias +3.0%). Gross margins continue to be under pressure says JD Sports but trading is "in line with expectations".
"This margin pressure and the additional overhead within the group to support International Retail, Brands and Licensing and Multichannel Development will as previously reported impact core retail results, particularly in the first half."
As far as the Blacks acquisition goes, the company says the anticipated level of the operating loss in the current year is £10 million with the potential for a further up to £5 million charge for restructuring.
"It is difficult to be more precise on the short term outlook, but we remain of the view that Black's market position can be exploited profitably in the medium term. Our immediate priority is to significantly improve the customer proposition."
Finally, Scottish oil and gas player Cairn Energy has confirmed its takeover of North Sea oil producer Nautical Petroleum. Cairn offers 450p per share, a 51% premium on Nautical's price on the trading day before the bid announcement.
"The Cairn Directors believe that the acquisition of Nautical is an attractive opportunity to expand its existing portfolio in North-West Europe and to continue its strategy of balancing its transformational exploration portfolio with appraisal and development assets."