Portfolio

Ocado losses more than quadruple, Cranswick buys pig farm business

By Digital Look

Date: Tuesday 11 Feb 2020

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 was called to open 89 points lower at 7,496.
Stocks to watch

Ocado's annual loss more than quadrupled as costs rose and the online grocer and logistics company paid for the destruction by fire of a high-tech warehouse. Pretax loss for the year to the end of December widened to ?214.5m from ?44.4m a year earlier. Group revenue rose 9.9% to ?1.76bn.

Food producer Cranswick said it had bought the Buckle family's pig farming and rearing operations as well as the family's 50% stake in the White Rose Farms joint venture it set up with the family in 2018.The enlarged pig enterprise, to be known as White Rose Farms, specialises in the production of Red Tractor assured pigs in Yorkshire and will continue to be led by Rick Buckle, Cranswick said on Tuesday.The deal follows Cranswick's acquisition of Packington Pork in December and further increases Cranswick's self-sufficiency in UK pigs processed to more than 30%.

Newspaper round-up

Boris Johnson is poised to give the formal go-ahead to the HS2 project on Tuesday, with ministers promising an additional ?5bn on buses and cycle routes to head off critics who fear the troubled high-speed rail line will suck cash from other priorities. Before the expected announcement giving the green light to the vast infrastructure project, Johnson will claim that his government will offer bus passengers outside London a more frequent service and simpler fares, as part of his agenda to "level up" the UK. - Guardian

Britain's retailers have yet to benefit from any post-election pickup in the economy amid signs that thrifty and environmentally aware consumers are reluctant to part with their money. While business surveys have detected a "Boris bounce" after the decisive Conservative victory in December's vote, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said there had been only the faintest evidence that spending habits had changed. - Guardian

Millions of savers could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in potential pensions savings if proposed changes to pension tax relief, which could be announced at the Budget, comes into force. Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, is considering plans to limit tax relief on pension contributions to 20pc, as revealed by The Sunday Telegraph. - Telegraph

The property industry is facing an audit-style shake-up by its regulator after scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest at the biggest advisory firms. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors told The Times that it was reviewing its ethical standards for the sector amid "changing public expectations over the independence of professionals". - The Times

US close

Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday as news of some major corporate deals temporarily distracted market participants from headlines related to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.60% at 29,276.82, while the S&P 500 was 0.73% firmer at 3,352.09 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 1.13% stronger at 9,628.39.

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