Losses narrow for Tui, Spirax-Sarco organic sales in line
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 17 points higher on Wednesday, having closed down 0.18% on Tuesday at 7,764.09.
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Holiday giant Tui on Wednesday reported narrower losses and an increase in revenue as travel rebounded from the Covid pandemic. Second quarter underlying losses before interest and tax came in at €242.4m, compared with €330m loss a year ago. Group revenue surged to €3.2bn, up from €2.1bn in 2002 “reflecting the strength of demand for our products in a restriction free travel environment” with sales above pre-pandemic levels at improved prices, Tui said.
Spirax-Sarco Engineering reported that organic sales growth in the first four months of 2023 was in line with expectations, with strong demand in steam specialties and electric thermal solutions. However, the FTSE 100 firm said in its update that Watson-Marlow sales were lower due to the normalisation of Covid-19 related demand from biotechnology and pharmaceutical customers. It maintained its full year guidance, expecting double-digit sales growth in 2023, with sales and adjusted operating profit weighted more to the second-half, and a small progression in the group's full year adjusted operating profit margin.
The boss of John Lewis will face a confidence vote by staff members on Wednesday as the business considers the option of bringing in outside investment in a change that could threaten the decades-old employee-owned model. Chairman Sharon White is considering radical ways to bring in up to £2bn to help secure the future of the John Lewis Partnership, including diversifying into building flats for rent above shops, after reporting hefty losses from its chain of department stores and Waitrose supermarkets. – Guardian
Banking start-ups and building societies risk being forced to set aside hundreds of millions of pounds of customers' money under plans to shield taxpayers if there is a new financial crisis. The Bank of England is considering new rules that would saddle so-called challenger banks with a wave of extra costs in an attempt to ensure depositors can be paid quickly should a lender go bust. – Telegraph
Vodafone’s talks to merge its UK business with that of Chinese-owned rival Three face an “extremely difficult” conclusion amid calls for any deal to be investigated on national security grounds. Three’s owner CK Hutchison, controlled by 94-year-old Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and FTSE-listed Vodafone hope to push through a merger of their UK mobile units in a deal valuing the combined business at about £15bn. – Telegraph
Several Asos employees allegedly quit the fashion firm after an investigation into workplace misconduct uncovered incidents that led to disciplinary action being taken against certain staff but “failed to properly reprimand bullying male managers”. In 2021, Asos launched an internal investigation, supported by the law firm Lewis Silkin, after a series of anonymous posts were published on Instagram in spring 2020 levelling allegations of sexual misconduct at senior staff within the retailer. It was accused of being a “boys’ club” and allowing inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace. – The Times
European gas prices could rise in the second half of this year and nearly treble from present levels in the winter, according to Goldman Sachs. Analysts at the US investment bank said that lower-than-expected prices in recent months following a mild winter could make European households more likely to increase their gas usage. – The Times
Wall Street's main market gauges closed in negative territory on Tuesday, as investors took profits before important economic data releases on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.17% to close at 33,561.81, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.46% to 4,119.17.
At the same time, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down by 0.63% to close at 12,179.55.
The US consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of inflation, was set to be released on Wednesday, giving investors insights into the Federal Reserve's next monetary policy move.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England is also expected to announce its next interest rate decision.