Portfolio

Full-year profits rise at Future, Home REIT responds fully to Viceroy

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 30 Nov 2022

(Sharecast News) - London open
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 40 points higher on Wednesday, having closed up 0.51% at 7,512.00 on Tuesday.

Stocks to watch

Specialist media publisher Future reported a rise in full-year profits, driven by strong revenue growth and contributions from acquisitions. The company on Wednesday said pre-tax profit rose 58% to £170m on revenue of £825m, up 36%. It expects "modest" earnings growth in 2023.

Home REIT released a "detailed" response on Wednesday, to a short selling report issued by Viceroy Research last week. Viceroy alleged that Home REIT's tenants were not paying rent, and questioned both the company's and its tenants' financial integrity. Home REIT refuted Viceroy's claims on Wednesday, saying it was "completely confident" in the integrity of its business, its financial soundness and the beneficial impact it was having in reducing homelessness in the UK.

Specialty chemicals company Elementis said on Wednesday that it had agreed to sell its chromium business to Dutch-Turkish industrial firm Yildirim Group for $170m. The cash proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce net debt, in line with the capital allocation priorities, Elementis said. It also said that following the sale, its portfolio will be fully focused on premium specialty products.

Newspaper round-up

Labour has called on ministers to claw back £12m in dividends paid by Avanti West Coast to its shareholders last year, when it was subsidised by £343m by the taxpayer. Figures released by the rail watchdog on Tuesday showed that Avanti paid out £12m in 2021-22 from management and performance fees. - Guardian

Subsidising the railways has cost British households £1,800 each over the past six years, new figures show. Taxpayers have been forced to inject £50.4bn to prop up the railways since 2016/17 as fare income is not enough to balance the books. Figures released by regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) on Tuesday showed Government funding was £13.3bn in the year to March 2022, compared with £17.6bn in the previous year. - Telegraph

Republican rising star Ron DeSantis has warned Apple that banning Twitter from the iPhone would be a "huge mistake" as a row rages over free speech on the social network. The Florida governor, seen as a leading contender for the presidency in 2024, on Tuesday praised changes pushed through at Twitter by Elon Musk, including the end of bans for right-wing politicians such as Donald Trump. - Telegraph

Three companies look set to be promoted to the FTSE 100 next month, including what would be a blue-chip debut for the insurer Beazley, although Abrdn now looks likely to miss out. The fund manager had seemed set for a swift re-entry to the top tier of the London Stock Exchange, having been demoted at the reshuffle in September. - The Times

The government has repeated its goal of making the UK a global cryptocurrency hub even as the fallout from the FTX collapse continues to reverberate around the world. Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury and City minister, said he stood by that ambition, although he placed the emphasis on fiat-backed stable coins rather than the more volatile privately-created crypto assets. - The Times

US close

Wall Street stocks closed mostly lower on Tuesday as turmoil in China and declining consumer confidence weighed on sentiment.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.01% at 33,852.53, while the S&P 500 lost 0.16% to 3,957.63 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.59% weaker at 10,983.78.

The Dow closed just 3.07 points higher on Tuesday, narrowly halting further losses amid concerns about social unrest in China stemming from the nation's ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Stocks traded mostly lower after growing frustration in mainland China weighed on global markets around the world and briefly pushed West Texas Intermediate crude futures to their lowest level since December 2021. Both Brent and WTI futures have since changed direction and traded higher at the start of the session.

On the macro front, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped to a four-month low of 100.2 in November, down from October's print of 102.5 amid an outlook that pointed to still "elevated" recession risks. Market participants were looking very closely at the outcome as they hoped to glean some hints as to consumer health in the US.

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