admin No Comments

M&S Slips To Loss In FY21 On Weak Revenues

Retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MAKSY.PK, MAKSF.PK, MKS.L) reported Wednesday that its 53-week fiscal 2021 loss before tax was 209.4 million pounds, compared to profit of 67.2 million pounds in the 52-week last year.

On a 52-week basis, the loss before tax in fiscal 2021 was 201.2 million pounds.

Loss per share for 53 weeks were 10.1 pence and 52 weeks were 9.8 pence, while last year’s profit was 1.3 pence.

Profit before tax & adjusting items was 50.3 million pounds for 53 weeks and 41.6 million for 52 weeks, while last year’s adjusted profit was 403.1 million pounds.

Adjusted basic earnings per share were 1.4 pence for 53 weeks and 1.1 pence for 52 weeks, compared to 16.7 pence a year ago.

Group revenue before adjusting items was 9.12 billion pounds. On a 52-week basis, group revenue fell 11.9 percent to 8.97 billion pounds from last year’s 10.18 billion pounds.Ocado Retail delivered 43.7 percent revenue growth over the 52 weeks.

The company noted that overall trading for the first six weeks of the financial year and since reopening has been ahead of the comparable period two years ago in 2019/20.

Marks & Spencer said, “While encouraging, it is unclear how the recovery will develop and if consumer activity will sustain. International markets continue to face headwinds with ongoing disruption and the material costs of Brexit which we are working to mitigate. At this early stage our central case is that we will generate profit before tax and adjusting items between £300-350m and as capital expenditure recovers towards pre-pandemic levels, our ambition is for a further reduction in net debt.”

admin No Comments

Australian Construction Work Climbs 2.4% In Q1

The value of total construction work done in Australia was up a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2021, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday – coming in at A$51.975 billion.

That beat expectations for an increase of 2.2 percent following the upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in the three months prior (originally -0.9 percent).

Building construction was up 2.5 percent on quarter, while residential building gained 5.1 percent, non-residential building fell 1.6 percent and engineering rose 2.2 percent.

On a yearly basis, the value of total construction work fell 1.1 percent. Building construction was down 1.8 percent on year, while residential building gained 4.2 percent, non-residential building fell 10.4 percent and engineering eased 0.3 percent.

admin No Comments

NZ April Trade Surplus NZ$388 Million

New Zealand posted a merchandise trade surplus of NZ$388 million in April, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday – up from the upwardly revised NZ$39 million surplus in March (originally NZ$38 million).

Imports surged 26.0 percent on year to NZ$4.98 billion last month, but down from NZ$5.66 billion in March.

Exports rose an annual 1.2 percent to NZ$5.37 billion after coming in at NZ$5.69 billion in the previous month.

Export commodities to rise included logs, wood, and wood articles (up NZ$356 million), mechanical machinery and equipment (up NZ$102 million), live animals (up NZ$64 million), and iron and steel (up NZ$51 million).

Export commodities to fall included milk powder, butter, and cheese, down NZ$311 million (20 percent), fruit, down NZ$192 million (24 percent), food preparations (includes infant formula), down NZ$78 million (30 percent), and wine, down NZ$59 million (36 percent).

The monthly trade balance in April 2020 was a surplus of NZ$1.4 billion. In the year to April, annual goods exports were valued at NZ$59.0 billion, down NZ$1.4 billion (2.4 percent) from the previous year. Annual goods imports were valued at NZ$58.3 billion, down NZ$4.6 billion (7.2 percent) from the previous year. The annual goods trade balance was a surplus of NZ$733 million. In the year ended April 2020 there was a deficit of NZ$2.4 billion.

admin No Comments

Germany’s Producer Prices Rise Most Since 2011

Germany’s producer prices increased at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in April, Destatis reported Thursday.

Producer prices increased 5.2 percent year-on-year in April, faster than the 3.7 percent rise seen in March. Economists had forecast an annual growth of 5.1 percent.

This was the biggest growth since August 2011, when prices rose similarly after the financial and economic crisis.

On a monthly basis, producer price inflation eased slightly to 0.8 percent, in line with expectations, from 0.9 percent in the previous month. The annual growth in producer prices was primarily driven by an 8.2 percent rise in intermediate product prices. Also, energy prices grew sharply by 10.6 percent in April. 

At the same time, durable consumer goods and capital goods grew 1.6 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, non-durable consumer goods prices were down 0.6 percent. Excluding energy, producer prices gained 3.6 percent annually in April.

admin No Comments

Virgin Media – O2 Merger Approved in the U.K

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority or CMA announced its final approval of the 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefonica to combine Virgin Media and O2.

The CMA cleared the transaction without remedies and now all regulatory conditions are met in alignment with the original terms and the transaction is now expected to close by June 1, 2021.

Last month, the CMA said it provisionally cleared the proposed merger of Virgin Media Inc. (VMED.L, VMED) and Virgin Mobile with O2.

Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile are owned by Liberty Global plc, while O2 is owned by Spanish telecom major Telefonica SA (TDE.L, TEF).

Liberty Global and Telefonica announced the joint venture last May, bringing together Virgin Media, the UK’s fastest broadband network, and O2, mobile operator. The joint venture is expected to deliver substantial synergies valued at 6.2 billion pounds on a net present value basis after integration costs and will create a nationwide integrated communications provider with 11 billion pounds of revenue.

Liberty Global and Telefonica announced last month the appointment of Lutz Schüler as Chief Executive Officer and Patricia Cobian as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company upon completion of the transaction.

Schüler is currently Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media and Cobian is Chief Financial Officer at O2.

admin No Comments

China Holds Benchmark Lending Rates As Expected

China kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged, as widely expected, on Thursday.

The one-year loan prime rate was maintained at 3.85 percent and the five-year loan prime rate was kept unchanged at 4.65 percent.

The one-year and five-year loan prime rates were last lowered in April 2020. The one-year loan prime rate was cut by 20 basis points and five-year rate by 10 basis points in April 2020.

Markets have expected the rates to remain on hold today as the People’s Bank of China had kept the rate on its medium-term lending facility unchanged early this month.

The loan prime rate is fixed monthly based on the submission of 18 banks, though Beijing has influence over the rate-setting. This lending rate replaced the central bank’s traditional benchmark lending rate in August 2019.

With the economy well above its pre-virus trend, policymakers are focused on tackling financial risks, Julian Evans-Pritchard and Sheana Yue, economists at Capital Economics, said. But there are few signs that these efforts are likely to include policy rate hikes.

The upshot for the economy is that, even if rates are left on hold, tighter credit conditions will become an increasing headwind over the coming quarters, economists noted.

admin No Comments

E.U. Economics Preview: Eurozone Current Account Data Due

Current account data from euro area is due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Germany’s producer price data for April is due. Economists forecast producer price inflation to rise to 5.1 percent from 3.7 percent in March.

At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank releases euro area current account data for March. The current account surplus totaled EUR 25.9 billion in February.

In the meantime, wage data is due from Poland. Economists forecast corporate sector wage growth to rise to 10.4 percent in April from 8 percent in March.

At 6.00 am ET, the Confederation of British Industry is slated to release Industrial Trends survey results for May.

admin No Comments

Australia Jobless Rate Falls To 5.5% In April

The unemployment rate in Australia was a seasonally adjusted 5.5 percent in April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

That was beneath expectation for 5.6 percent and down from the upwardly revised 5.7 percent in March (originally 5.6 percent).

The Australian economy lost 30,600 jobs last month, well shy of expectations for a gain of 15,000 jobs following the addition of 70,700 jobs in March.

The participation rate fell to 66.0 percent, missing forecasts for 66.3 – which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

admin No Comments

Turkish Consumer Price Inflation, Producer Prices Rise In April

Turkey’s consumer price inflation and producer prices increased in April, figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed on Monday.

The consumer prices index rose 17.14 percent year-on-year in April, following a 16.19 percent increase in March.

Prices for furnishings and household equipment surged 22.27 percent yearly in April. Prices for transportation and health gained 29.31 percent and 19.2 percent, respectively.

Prices for miscellaneous goods and services, and food and non-alcoholic beverages accelerated by 18.27 percent and 16.98 percent, respectively.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 1.68 percent in April. Economists had forecast an increase of 1.8 percent.

The producer price index rose 35.17 percent annually in April, following an 31.2 percent increase in March.

Among the main industrial sectors, prices for intermediate goods gained 42.59 percent yearly in April and durable goods increased 29.24 percent.

Prices for capital goods grew 27.24 percent. Prices for non-durable consumer goods and energy rose by 24.97 percent and 38.64 percent, respectively.

On a month-on-month basis, producer prices increased 4.34 percent in April.

admin No Comments

Australia Performance Of Manufacturing Index Jumps To 61.7 – AiG

The manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in April, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed on Monday with a Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 61.7.

That’s up from 59.9 in March and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

This was the highest monthly result for the Australian PMI since March 2018 and a seventh consecutive month of recovery from the severe disruptions of Covid-19 in Q2 of 2020.

All six manufacturing sectors in the Australian PMI expanded in April, as did all seven activity indicators. The Australian PMI capacity utilization index hit a record high for this series, which suggests employment and/or investment may need to step up in order to facilitate further growth from here.