Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – 6 December 2018

6th December 2018

Market Information

The FTSE is set to open down. The German Dax and French CAC are also set to open down.

In Asia stock prices fell on Thursday, led by tumbling tech stocks, following the arrest of a senior official at Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei that could derail progress in China-U.S. trade talks.

In the news

  • Canada arrests Huawei CFO following US request
  • Sterling becomes ‘impossible’ to trade amid Brexit uncertainties
  • OPEC discuss a reduction in oil production at meeting in Vienna

Top Financial Announcements

* Maitland Client

Bunzl PLC Directorate Change
  • Jean-Charles Pauze, non-executive director, will retire from the Board effective 31 December 2018.
  • Mr Pauze has served as non-executive director since January 2013.
DS Smith PLC Half-year Results
  • Revenue is up 15% at £3,073m.
  • Profit before tax is up 27% at £162m.
  • Adjusted EPS is up 9% at 16.5p.
  • Miles Roberts, CEO, said: “We are very pleased with the progress we have made over the last six months. We have strong momentum in the market, delivering good top line growth and substantially increased profit levels.  We continue to win market share through our strong FMCG presence and our leadership in both e-commerce and sustainable packaging. DS Smith is extremely well positioned to capitalise on these ongoing growth trends and we are confident about the future prospects for the business.”
ContourGlobal PLC Spanish CSP announcement and Trading Update
  • The Company has sold 49% interest in its 250 MW Concentrated Solar Power facilities in the southwest of Spain for €134m.
  • Indicated guidance range for 2018 of Adjusted EBITDA of $600-630m.
  • Joseph C. Brandt, President and CEO, said: “We are very pleased to expand our partnership with CSEIP in Europe with our second sale of minority interests this year.  CSEIP is a committed long-term partner and leading investor in the infrastructure field, combining deep industry expertise with unique sourcing and distribution capabilities…We continue to see opportunities to enhance shareholder returns and redeploy capital into our significant growth pipeline by selling minority stakes in our global portfolio of businesses to dedicated infrastructure investors looking to invest long-term with strategic operating partners.”
Beazley PLC Directorate Change
  • Christine LaSala will be appointed as the Senior Independent Director with effect from the AGM on 21 March 2019.
  • She will take over the role from George Blunden, who will step down from the Board at the conclusion of the AGM.
  • David Roberts, Chairman, said: “George has been an outstanding servant of Beazley and has been a Director throughout the period of sustained growth delivered by the Company. Christine LaSala has a long and distinguished career in the insurance industry and has already made a significant contribution to the Beazley Board.  We are delighted she has agreed to assume the role of Senior Independent Director.”
Ted Baker PLC Trading Update
  • Revenue down 0.2% over 16 week period from 11 August 2018 to 1 December 2018.
  • Total retail sales including e-commerce increased by 2.3%.
  • E-commerce sales increased by 18.0% and represented 30.3% (2017: 26.3%) of total retail sales.
  • Average retail square footage rose by 5.2% to 427,586 sq.ft (2017: 406,258 sq.ft).
  • Ray Kelvin, CEO, said: “The investment in our flexible business model ensures that the Ted customer has multiple channels to engage with the brand and underpins our long term development.  Our global e-commerce business continues to grow well and is complemented by our digital marketing strategy and unique stores that showcase the brand.”
Thames Wtr Util. Ltd* Half-year Report
  • Capital investment up at £554.3m.
  • Water production increased by 17% for the summer heatwave.
  • Homes on social tariff up 10% at 53,671.
  • Customers on priority services register up 4.4% at 62,671.
  • Over 8,000 lead water pipes rehabilitated.