Persimmon full-year revenues fall, Vistry flags record profits after rebrand from Bovis
The FTSE 100 is expected to open seven points lower on Wednesday, having closed up 0.06% at 7,622.35 on Tuesday.
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Troubled house builder Persimmon reported a fall in full year revenue as it spent more cash fixing poor quality homes after an independent review last month slammed the standards of the company's work. Group revenue was 2.4% lower at £3.65bn as Persimmon said it expected pre-tax profits to be in line with expectations. The company has struggled to emerge from the furore over a £75m bonus paid to former chief executive Jeff Fairbairn. To compound its woes, the review said Persimmon “has traditionally been more a land assembler and seller of houses rather than a housebuilder” and its former executives were motivated by bonuses that “were widely perceived as excessive”.
Vistry Group updated the market on its trading for the year ended 31 December on Wednesday, reporting that it expected to deliver another record year of profits, slightly ahead of market consensus. The FTSE 250 housebuilder, previously known as Bovis Homes, said it saw a “significant” step up in average weekly sales rate to 0.58 for the year, adding that total completions were up 3% at 3,867. Its board also said “good progress” had been made to date for Vistry Group, following the acquisition of the Linden Homes and Partnerships & Regeneration businesses, which completed on 3 January.
Cairn Energy, along with its joint venture partners Woodside and FAR, has signed a joint final investment decision statement in agreement with Petrosen and the Government of Senegal on the Sangomar Field Development, it announced on Wednesday. The FTSE 250 firms said the decision on the first phase of Sangomar, offshore Senegal, followed the receipt of the 25-year exploitation authorisation from the government last week. It said the phase would target estimated 2P recoverable oil reserves of 231 million barrels gross, with total recoverable oil resources over the life of the field estimated to be around 500 million barrels.
The immediate future of Flybe was secured on Tuesday night after ministers agreed a rescue deal with shareholders to keep Europe’s largest regional carrier flying. The package of measures includes a potential loan in the region of £100m and/or a possible short-term deferral of a £106m air passenger duty (APD) bill, plus a pledge to review taxes on domestic flights before the March budget. – Guardian
The government has been accused of failing to learn any lessons from the collapse of the outsourcing giant Carillion two years ago, when more than 3,000 jobs were lost and 450 public sector projects including hospitals, schools and prisons were plunged into crisis. The Unite union said it was shocking that the government was “proposing to do exactly nothing” to reform accounting rules to prevent a similar corporate disaster caused by “rampant bandit capitalism”. – Guardian
More than £10bn was ploughed into British technology start-ups for the first time last year as investment surged 44pc despite turmoil over Brexit. The amount of venture capital investment into British technology firms climbed to a record $13.2bn (£10.1bn) in 2019, while investment into start-ups in the US and China dropped by 20pc and 65pc respectively. – Telegraph
The former chief executive of Stobart Group has dumped his entire stake in the group that owns Southend airport, raising an estimated £21 million and ending his association with the business after a boardroom row. According to a regulatory filing yesterday, Andrew Tinkler, 56, disposed on Monday of his remaining 4.975 per cent stake in Stobart Group, which also owns Carlisle and Teesside airports and is involved in rail and other civil engineering projects. Mr Tinkler was one of the leading developers of the Stobart brand. – The Times
The poorest households are carrying a debt burden that threatens to overwhelm them in a financial shock, a leading think tank has warned. The aggregate picture on household debt has improved over the past decade, but analysis by the Resolution Foundation has found that problems are building among the poorest fifth. – The Times
US stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as a slew of earnings from some of the country's biggest lenders began to roll in.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.11% at 28,939.67, while the S&P 500 was 0.15% weaker at 3,283.15 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.24% softer at 9,251.33.
The Dow closed 32.62 points firmer on Tuesday after seeing out the previous session in the green as market participants cheered news that the US would be removing China from a list of currency manipulators ahead of the pair's "phase one" trade deal.
While trade remained in focus ahead of the expected signing of the US and China's interim deal tomorrow, the real focus for Tuesday was primarily on results from several major US banks as earnings season officially kicks off yet again.