Pub group Young’s welcomed the return of workers and tourists across London as they looked forward to a warm summer and the Rugby World Cup.
The company, which owns 227 pubs, said while fewer people commute to the office five days a week, sales in the capital were up from Tuesday to Thursday.
Sales were up 19.4 percent to £368.9 million in the year to April 3, while profits fell 14 percent to £36.2 million.
Things got a boost last year when Young’s welcomed customers to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, pay their respects on the day of her funeral and watch the inaugural Winter Football World Cup.
While high inflation and rail strikes have taken their toll, Young’s remains optimistic about the outlook for the next 12 months. Sales are up 4.8 percent since the beginning of April, thanks to the warm weather during Easter and the holiday in early May.
Toast to the city: Young’s, which owns 227 pubs, said while fewer people commute to the office five days a week, sales in London increased from Tuesday to Thursday
Boss Simon Dodd said there was ‘huge excitement’ for the Rugby World Cup in the fall. Shares rose 0.4 percent, or 5 pence, to 11 pence.
Fevertree also toasted a good start to the year as the tonic maker’s UK market share in hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes hit a record high in the first quarter.
It said the summer will be an important trading period and reiterated its forecasts for the year despite “increased” cost pressures. Shares fell 0.8 percent, or 11p, to 1423p.
The FTSE 100 fell 0.7 percent, or 56.23 points, to 7570.87 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.5 percent, or 90.41 points, to 18,840.75.
United Utilities faced a cocktail of woes, from higher electricity and chemical costs to lower consumption.
The North West water supplier said sales fell 2.1 percent to £1.82 billion in the year to the end of March, while profits fell 27.7 percent to £440.8 million.
Despite this, it expects sales to increase by around £150m in the current financial year. It fell 1.3 percent, or 13.5 pence, to 1,001.5 pence.
Hill & Smith added 4.8 per cent, or 66 pence to 1432 pence after the safety barrier maker said profits were on track to beat City forecasts after strong performances in its three divisions.
Stock watch – Headlam
Headlam collapsed after the flooring company’s profits came under pressure from lower household demand and softer price increases.
Turnover in the first four months of the year was 3.4 percent higher than in the same period of 2022.
But a dip in housing construction and moderation in price increases gnawed at earnings.
The overall profit development remains dependent on consumer confidence in the housing market.
Shares fell 9.9 percent, or 26 pence, to 237 pence.
It expects earnings to cross the upper end of analyst forecast range of £105.2m to £110.2m.
Group turnover in the first four months of the year was 18 percent higher than in the same period in 2022.
There was good news for Qinetiq after the defense firm’s orders rose 41 percent in the 12 months to the end of March to a record £1.7 billion.
Shares rose 2.2 percent, or 8 pence, to 378 pence, as it said the increase was due to governments prioritizing defense spending.
Johnson Matthey reported a slump in annual sales and profits in the year to the end of March amid volatile precious metal prices.
The chemical giant warned it could take a hit of around £50 million if prices remained unstable. The stock fell 3.2 percent, or 60 pence, to 1,801 pence.
The London Stock Exchange Group is looking for a finance boss after Anna Manz, who got the job in 2020, announced plans to step down in May next year.
She will take on the same role outside of financial services. Shares rose 0.4 percent, or 36 pence, to 8,338 pence.
Workspace gained 3.7 per cent, or 17.8 pence, to 496.6 pence after the office space provider’s rental income rose 34 per cent to £116.6m in the year to the end of March.
It turned to a loss of £37.5 million after a gain of £124 million the previous year following a drop in property valuation.
But the full-year dividend was increased by 20 percent to 25.8 pa share.
Tate & Lyle, the ingredients maker, said profits in the year to the end of March were up 13 percent to £253 million.
It has addressed rising costs by raising its prices. Shares rose 1.9 percent, or 15 pence, to 799.5 pence.
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