Capita shedding 900 more jobs, Telecom Plus posts strong first half
The FTSE 100 is expected to open eight points lower on Tuesday, having closed down 0.11% on Monday at 7,496.36.
Stocks to watch
Business process outsourcing group Capita has announced that it is shedding another 900 jobs by ramping up its cost-saving programme. The company announced plans in August to double its operating profit margin over the medium term, with £40m of cost savings planned by the end of 2024. “We are, today, announcing the accelerated delivery of the efficiency savings announced in our half-year results with a £20m increase in overhead cost reduction to £60m on an annualised basis from Q1 2024," said chief executive Jon Lewis.
Telecom Plus, trading as Utility Warehouse, reported strong half-year results on Tuesday. The company saw a 57.1% increase in revenue to £883.6m, with adjusted profit before taxation rising by 36.1% to £43.7m. Additionally, the interim dividend per share was increased to 36p.
Pressure is mounting on Jeremy Hunt to cut taxes in Wednesday’s autumn statement due to evidence that almost 4 million UK workers are to be dragged into paying income tax for the first time. In a crunch week for the government, Rishi Sunak fuelled expectations on Monday that his chancellor could use his speech to the Commons to launch personal tax cuts, saying the government could now “look forward” to the future after making progress on the economy. – Guardian
The Abu Dhabi-backed investment fund RedBird IMI has said it is to take control of the Telegraph and Spectator after agreeing loans to repay debts owed by their publishing group’s previous owners, the Barclay family. The deal would entail a joint venture between the US firm RedBird Capital and International Media Investments of Abu Dhabi providing loans to the family, allowing them to pay off their debts to Lloyds Banking Group and take back the publications within weeks. – Guardian
Alex Chesterman, the founder of Cazoo, will have his shareholding in the company almost wiped out as bondholders take control of the loss-making online car seller. Cazoo bondholders have agreed to swap the debt they own for shares in the company, swamping existing shareholders who will own just 8pc of the online used car dealer after the transaction. – Telegraph
EY is in talks to abandon its London headquarters in the latest sign of an accelerating office slump as working from home transforms professional life. The Big Four accountant is understood to be examining its options after launching a property review of its More London office, near London Bridge. – Telegraph
Eight months after a workplace sexual misconduct scandal erupted and the CBI became embroiled in an existential crisis, the business lobby group has hosted its first significant public event. The gathering, held at the QEII Centre in Westminster only two days before the government’s autumn statement, hosted 400 delegates and was seen as a relaunch moment. It was also in stark contrast to the corresponding event in Birmingham last year. Then, a far larger audience sat down to a two-day spectacle, including addresses from the prime minister and the leader of the opposition and panels featuring more senior business leaders. – The Times
US stocks finished with decent gains on Monday, with all three Wall Street indices closing at levels not seen in over three months.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6%, the S&P 500 rose 0.7%, while the Nasdaq jumped 1.1% to 14,284.53, helped by strong gains from tech giants Microsoft after a key hire, and Zoom and Nvidia ahead of their quarterly results.
The Nasdaq has not closed above this level since 31 July, while the S&P 500 and Dow were at levels not seen since the first week of August.
Bond yields continued their march lower on Monday, with 10-year US Treasury yields down 1.9 basis points at 4.418%.
Equities have risen strongly over recent weeks, with bond yields having fallen substantially from near-5% since the end of October, after the Federal Reserve chose to keep interest rates on hold, inflation figures slowed more than expected and corporate earnings from blue-chip retailers impressed.