NewRiver gobbles up Bravo Inns pubco, Ferguson posts first quarter growth
The FTSE 100 is expected to open three points lower on Tuesday, having closed down 0.82% at 7,285.94 on Monday.
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Real estate investment trust NewRiver said it had bought community pub company Bravo Inns for £17.9m. The transaction is expected to generate annualised outlet core earnings of £2.6m, equating to a yield on cost of 14%, excluding synergies of £0.3m as the company moves into NewRiver's Hawthorn Leisure pub portfolio. “The transaction will be accretive to underlying funds from operations and will further increase dividend cover, which is the company's key priority,” the company said on Tuesday.
Low-cost carrier Wizz Air said November passenger numbers grew by 23.9% year on year to 2.97m as its load factor rose by 1.6ppts to 92.8%. The company added on Tuesday that CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre fell 3.5% year on year to 57.2 grams.
AstraZeneca has agreed to sell the commercial rights to ‘Seroquel’ - quetiapine fumarate immediate release - and ‘Seroquel XR’ - quetiapine fumarate extended release- in the United States and Canada to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel, it announced on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant said Seroquel and Seroquel XR, used primarily to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had lost their compound patent protection in the US and Canada. It said Cheplapharm will make an upfront payment of $35m to AstraZeneca and may also make future sales-contingent payments of up to $6m.
Ferguson reported first quarter revenue of $5.21bn, 5% higher than in the same period last year, while trading profit increased by 9% to $451m before exceptional items. The plumbing and heating products distributor said a strong focus on growth with continued cost and margin discipline had given management confidence that the company will make "further good progress" and achieve its full year expectations.
Bosses at TSB will have their bonuses docked for failing to meet gender balance targets intended to raise the number of women in senior roles by 2020. It is the latest blow for the leadership team at the bank, which is cutting jobs and closing branches as it seeks to drive down costs and move on from its IT meltdown last year. – Guardian
The UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million, according to research into the gaping inequality in British society. Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn, which, according to analysis by the Equality Trust, is roughly equal to the assets of 13.2 million Britons. – Guardian
The Trump administration has threatened to slap 100pc tariffs on up to $2.4bn (£1.9bn) of French goods in retaliation to the country’s digital tax against US tech companies. The US trade representative (USTR) said on Monday night, after completing an investigation, it found the French digital services tax unfairly discriminated against American technology companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. – Telegraph
Virgin Atlantic is set to remain in British hands after Sir Richard Branson abandoned plans to sell a significant stake in the airline to Air France-KLM. The billionaire businessman said yesterday that he intended to retain his 51 per cent stake instead of selling 31 per cent of the airline — set up 35 years ago as a rival to British Airways — to the Franco-Dutch group under a £220 million deal negotiated two years ago. – The Times
People who invested in businesses via a failed peer-to-peer platform have discovered their money was not ring-fenced as promised, raising new questions for the City regulator. Lendy investors, who are owed more than £150 million, expressed shock and anger after administrators told them to brace for a much bigger hit than expected because a significant proportion of money they believe they are owed has been earmarked to pay off insolvency practitioners and creditors. – The Times
US stocks finished weaker on Monday, following fresh round of punitive trade action from Donald Trump, and some weaker-than-expected manufacturing data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 0.96% at 27,783.04, the S&P 500 lost 0.86% to 3,223.87, and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.12% weaker at 8,567.99.
In currencies, the dollar was last 0.01% stronger against the pound at £0.7728, and also up 0.01% on the euro at €0.9027.
At the open, the Dow had lost 152.80 points following on from losses seen during Friday's shortened session.
Late last week, China claimed the US had "sinister intentions" when Donald Trump signed legislation that gave Washington power to revoke Hong Kong's special trade status with the US should it decide the territory was no longer independent enough of Beijing.
Market participants continued monitoring trade developments between Beijing and Washington on Monday, after Chinese state media reported on Sunday that the Asian superpower wanted to see the cancellation of all tariffs before a phase one trade deal was reached.