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Edison

June 12, 2019

UK Sparks: Boohoo Bucks Gloom On High Street

Online fashion retailer Boohoo Group has again bucked the gloom on the High Street, reporting in a trading update that sales increased by 39% to £254m in the three months to May 31. Sales at the company’s PrettyLittleThing brand soared by 42% to £112m, while its Nasty Gal business more than doubled sales to £18.2m. The Boohoo brand itself increased revenues by 27% to £124m and the group’s gross margin remained stable at 55%.

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Benzinga

June 11, 2019

Global X Looks To Add A Spark To The Cannabis ETF Party

Global X, one of the largest purveyors of thematic exchange traded funds, is looking to add that lineup with a cannabis ETF.In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York-based ETF issuer outlined plans for the Global X Marijuana ETF.

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Edison

June 11, 2019

UK Sparks: Another Profits Warning From Ted Baker

Retailer Ted Baker has issued another profits warning, stating that consumer uncertainty and “elevated levels of promotional activity” have resulted in “extremely difficult” trading conditions. The company now expects full-year underlying pre-tax profits of between £50m-£60m. Reported sales in the 19 weeks to June 8 were up 3.8%, while constant-currency sales were ahead 1.9%. However, like-for-like sales were down by 1.1% on a reported basis and by 2.9% at constant currency rates. Both retail and wholesale gross margins are lower than last year.

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Edison

June 5, 2019

UK Sparks: Shake-Up Continues At Aviva

Insurance group Aviva has announced that chief financial officer Tom Stoddard will step down on June 30 after five years in the position. Jason Windsor, chief financial officer of Aviva UK Insurance, will act as interim chief financial officer while a successor is sought. Mr Stoddard will stay with the group until December 31 to support an orderly transition.

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Edison

June 4, 2019

UK Sparks: AO World Widens Losses

Online electrical retailer AO World has announced a widening of full-year losses from £13.5m to £18.9m, despite revenues increasing by 13% from £797m to £903m. Founder and chief executive John Roberts, who returned to the group in February, says the company has “enhanced” its structure with “informality and a renewed mindset” and is now releasing the “immense unrealised value” that it has created.

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Edison

June 3, 2019

UK Sparks: Kier Group Announces Profits Warning

Construction company Kier Group has issued a profits warning, stating in a trading update that it now expects underlying operating profit for 2019 to be about £25m lower than previous forecasts. It says it continues to experience volume pressures within its highways, utilities and housing maintenance businesses.

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Edison

May 30, 2019

UK sparks: FirstGroup Unveils Break-Up Plan

Transport operator FirstGroup plans to break itself up, selling its Greyhound coach business in the US and separating off its First Bus operations as part of a new strategy aimed at reviving the group and driving growth. The plans were announced in a strategy update issued alongside results showing full-year losses narrowing from £327m to £97.9m on revenues up 11.4% at £7.1bn. FirstGroup plans to focus on North America where its First Student and First Transit contracting businesses generate 60% of its operating profits. It says these two US businesses have the “greatest potential to generate sustainable value and growth over time”.

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Edison

May 30, 2019

CMA Launches Competition Inquiry Into Provident Financial Takeover

The Competition and Markets Authority has launched a competition inquiry into the hostile £1.1bn takeover bid for Provident Financial by rival Non-Standard Finance. The regulator says it has begun a “phase one” investigation and will decide by July 23 whether to move to a full “phase two” inquiry, where it would issue formal recommendations. In particular, it says it wants to examine Non-Standard’s proposal to spin off its home credit business Loans at Home as part of the deal.

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Edison

May 30, 2019

UK Sparks: Bovis Homes and Galliford Try Call Off £950m Deal

A potential £950m takeover of major parts of construction company Galliford Try by housebuilder Bovis Homes Group has fallen through. The talks concerned a potential all-shares acquisition by Bovis of Galliford’s Linden Homes and Partnerships & Regeneration divisions, with Galliford remaining an independent UK-listed group focused on construction.

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Validea

May 28, 2019

Differences in Value

As an investor, understanding why there can be such big differences between value portfolios can be a very important question to answer. To get at that answer, at least partially, I thought I’d look across the spectrum of value models run on Validea to see how value stock selection strategies can differ and what investors may be able to learn from this.

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Edison

May 24, 2019

Old Mutual Suspends CEO; Mothercare’s Loss Widens in 2019

Old Mutual has suspended its CEO Peter Moyo after a “material breakdown in trust and confidence.” In a brief statement to shareholders, the South African insurer said the action followed a series of engagements between Mr Moyo and the board. Chief operating officer Ian Williamson will assume the role of acting CEO with immediate effect.

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Edison

May 23, 2019

Tate & Lyle Profits Slip 16%

ood ingredients group Tate & Lyle has announced a 16% fall in full-year pre-tax profits to £240m on sales 2% higher at £2.76bn. The decrease is due to £58m of exceptional costs from the sale of the company’s oats ingredients business and from restructuring. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose by 4% to £309m.

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Edison

May 22, 2019

Marks & Spencer Profits Fall 9.9%

Marks & Spencer has announced a 9.9% fall in full-year pre-tax profits before adjusting items to £523m on revenues down 3% at £10.4bn. Adjusting items of £439m include £222m for the “acceleration and extension” of the company’s UK store closure programme. Statutory pre-tax profits increased by 27% to £84m, while a final dividend of 7.1p reduces the total dividend by 26% to 13.9p. Separately, the group announced a £571m rights issue at 185p per share to fund its new joint venture with Ocado Group. Chief executive Steve Rowe says: “Whilst there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a number of areas of the business. M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career.” He adds that the company remains “on track” with its transformation programme.

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