Updates from Halfords, Ted Baker and Carillion
Filed under: Investing
Better news overnight from Asia with the Nikkei rising strongly - up 0.9% at one point with Japanese car makers strengthening - while the Australian S&P index also gained, up 0.3%.
Penions Tools & Tips
Need to know: Savings
We start with an update from Halfords for the 26 weeks to 28 September. The batteries-to-bikes-to-satnavs player says retail sales slipped -1.9% for the half year with like-for-like revenues down -1.6%. However Autocentres saw sales climb +10.8% for the half year and +12.4% for the last quarter.
There's also a strong uptick in bike sales, climbing 14.7%. Group profit before tax for the first half is expected to be £40m-£42m, says Halfords, reflecting stronger Q2 sales performance and an acceleration of operating-cost investment.
"We continued to be encouraged by the performance of Autocentres," says Halfords chairman Dennis Millard. "Our second-half planning assumptions, however, remain cautious given the prevailing pressures on the consumer as we approach the important winter and Christmas trading periods."
Next, Ted Baker. Retail sales for the 28 weeks ending 11 August climb 15.4% on a 12.6% increase in average retail square footage, the fashion player says; UK and European retail sales rise 7.9% to £74.7m and US retail sales are up 53.3% to $25.6m, with the rest of the world retail sales up 58.1% to £2.8m.
E-commerce sales climb 82.4% to £6.2m. Group Revenue rises to £118.6m from £102.8m a year ago, a 15.4% improvement. The company claims they're pleased with reaction to Autumn/Winter collections.
"Our full year results will be dependent on trading in the important second half and we remain understandably cautious at this stage given the uncertainty in the global economy. However," said chief exec Ray Kelvin, "we believe that we are well placed to deal with the challenges ahead."
Lastly, construction services player Carillion, and a third quarter update. Following the Group's first-half 8% increase in operating profit Carillion says it expects to deliver improvements in operating profit and total operating margin for the full year.
The expected increase in the Group's net financial expense in 2012 - due mostly to a higher interest charge relating to pensions - remains unchanged from previous guidance.
"In addition to remaining on track to deliver full-year results in 2012 in line with expectations," says the company, "we also remain well positioned to achieve our medium-term targets, namely to deliver growth in support services and to double our annual revenues in the Middle East and in Canada in the five year period to 2015, in each case to around £1 billion."