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Profits slip for Dr. Martens, Safestore sees rise in quarterly revenue

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 24 Nov 2022

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open flat on Thursday, having closed up 0.17% on Wednesday at 7,465.24.
Stocks to watch

UK shoe brand Dr Martens reported a fall in first-half profits as direct-to-consumer sales fell in the second quarter but maintained annual revenue guidance. The company, famed for its lace up boots now popular again with celebrities, said pre-tax profit fell 5% to £57.9m. Revenue rose 13% to £418.6m, while the dividend was lifted 28% to 1.56p a share.

Safestore reported a 10.8% improvement in fourth-quarter group revenue in an update on Thursday at constant exchange rates, and 11.2% at actual exchange rates. The FTSE 250 storage operator said its like-for-like average rate for the quarter was up 7.8% at constant currency, while its like-for-like occupancy slipped to 83.1% from 85.2% year-on-year. It said early trading in the new financial year showed solid enquiry and new let growth compared to last year, with rates paid by new customers continuing to grow.

Newspaper round-up

The energy regulator Ofgem has said its price cap will reach £4,279 from January - but households will be shielded by the government's emergency intervention to keep a lid on bills. Ofgem said the cap, which is adjusted every quarter, will increase by £730 for the three months from the start of next year. However, the government's energy price guarantee (EPG) will limit typical household bills to £2,500. Analysts had expected the cap to sit at about £4,200. - Guardian

Pensions experts have told MPs they were "absolutely shocked" at the level of "hidden" borrowing across UK pensions schemes, which nearly toppled some funds during the bond market crisis in September and forced cash-strapped trustees to sell up to £500bn in assets. Speaking to politicians on the work and pensions committee on Wednesday, academics and pensions experts laid bare the risks that certain kinds of liability-driven investing, or LDI, posed for retirement savings. - Guardian

Rishi Sunak has abandoned plans to give ministers the power to overrule City regulators in a major climbdown by the Prime Minister. Andrew Griffith, the City minister, said the Government has decided not to proceed with a so-called "call-in" power in a move that will be seen as Mr Sunak bowing to pressure from the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). - Telegraph

The government has been criticised by MPs over the "secrecy" attached to the cost of bailing out Bulb. The Treasury select committee yesterday told Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, to provide details on why running the failed energy supplier is expected to add more than £200 to energy bills for every UK household. - The Times

Shareholders in Purplebricks will vote on whether to oust the hybrid estate agent's long-term chairman in the week before Christmas after an activist investor forced a general meeting. Lecram Holdings, which has built a 5.2 per cent stake in Purplebricks this year, has been agitating for the removal of Paul Pindar since the summer. - The Times

US close

Wall Street stocks finished in positive territory on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday, with the release of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes giving equities a small boost late in the session.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.28% at 34,194.06, as the S&P 500 added 0.59% to 4,027.26 and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 0.99% at 11,285.32.

The Dow closed 95.96 points higher on Wednesday, extending the gains it recorded on Tuesday as market participants digested the Fed minutes, and shrugged off fears of further lockdowns in China.

"Wall Street has moved higher again in the opening hours of the last full day of trading before the Thanksgiving holiday, dragging more reluctant European markets behind in its wake," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp earlier.

"The usual pre-Thanksgiving drift higher has been seen despite the negative tone to trading this year, but with little in the way of strong performances from individual stocks this session has the feel of buyers piling into index trackers and others, rather than a sustained move back into individual stocks."

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