Next & John Lewis, Footsie's moversFriday, 14 September 2012
UK stocks climbed Thursday to a three-week high before
the U.S. Federal Reserve releases a statement that may initiate another round of bond buying to spur economic growth. Next, John Lewis and Debenhams among Footsie’s movers.
However, it wasn´t a strong performing session for quoted apparel companies that trade in London. Next dropped 7.2 percent to 3,320 pence after the second-largest clothing retailer said the period since the end of July has been “unusually quiet.” Despite remaining cautious about the mid-term, they are confident they’d meet their goals for th year: ''We are on track to meet market expectations and maintain the full year financial guidance given in our August trading statement, with sales, profits and earnings per share all moving forward on last year.''
Next reported first-half profit that beat analyst estimates. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased to 112.8 pence from 96.1 pence per share reported for the same period in the previous year. Also, the retailer increased its interim dividend by 12.7 percent or 3.5 pence to 31 pence. It expects to increase full- year dividend in line with its growth in underlying earnings per share.
Meanwhile, John Lewis posted a 60 percent rise in first-half pretax profit to 144.5 million pounds, helped also by its Waitrose business, which outperformed rivals, benefiting from more investment, reported Reuters. John Lewis said in a statement it also benefited from events this year such as Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee and the Olympics. "Consumer demand remains fragile, but has stabilized," said the group's Chairman, Charlie Mayfield. He said the firm had made a good start to the second half, with department store sales up 13.1 percent and Waitrose sales up 8.7 percent.
Still in London, Debenhams Plc fell 1.8 percent to 98.25 pence. Marks & Spencer Group Plc, the country’s biggest clothing retailer, slid 1.3 percent to 369.7 pence.