Mitchells & Butlers launches placing to combat cash burn, Anglo American outlines platinum strategy
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 56 points lower on Monday, having closed up 0.1% on Friday at 6,624.02.
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Pub group Mitchells & Butlers said it had been burning up to £35m in cash a month since the start of the year as it launched a £351m placing to bolster its balance sheet from the coronavirus pandemic. The company on Monday said sales had slumped to 70% below 2020 levels in the period from September 27 to January 16. It added that agreement has been reached with pension trustees to delay monthly contributions from January to March 2021, inclusive, with these becoming due in April 2021.
Anglo American updated the market on the strategy of its platinum operations on Monday, targeting a mining EBITDA of between 35% and 40% by 2030. The FTSE 100 company said Anglo American Platinum wanted all of its operations to be “fully modernised and mechanised” by the same year, with a through-the-cycle return on capital employed of at least 25%. It also said it was aiming for a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 30% by 2030, and to be ‘carbon neutral’ by 2040.
Orders for new aircraft all but dried up in January as the airline industry continued to be buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Just four commercial aircraft orders were placed last month, according to ADS, the UK trade organisation. That’s the worst January on record for orders, down from 296 in January 2020. - Guardian
John Lewis is understood to be considering a fresh round of store closures, underscoring the toll that the pandemic is taking on Britain’s deserted high streets. The 156-year-old retailer is understood to be reconsidering the scale of its national network of branches, less than eight months after it announced the closure of eight stores to cope with the impact of coronavirus. - Guardian
Former Chancellor Lord Darling has warned Rishi Sunak against “choking off” the Covid recovery with higher taxes amid rising fears that business could be hit with soaring bills within months. Lord Darling, who led the UK bank bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, said the Chancellor should resist the temptation to raise taxes for at least two years despite a record peacetime deficit likely to approach £400bn in the current financial year. - Telegraph
The Treasury is coming under pressure to reform an “unfair” system that excludes private investors from the vast majority of flotations in Britain. Two million private investors are being unfairly disadvantaged because they are excluded from buying shares in most initial public offerings, according to the heads of Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Interactive Investor, the three biggest trading platforms. - The Times
Gap is at war with its landlords after telling them it plans to hand back the keys to all its shops in Britain and Ireland in July in a move that will mean the loss of hundreds of retail jobs. The American casual fashion group is exploring becoming an online-only business in Europe, in line with the growing trend of retailers abandoning high streets and city centres that have been ravaged by the pandemic. - The Times
Stocks finished in a mixed state on Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average eking out gains of 0.003% to 31,494.32.
The Nasdaq Composite was ahead 0.07% at 13,874.46, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.19% to 3,906.71.