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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (July 08, 2014)

July 8, 2014, Tuesday, 07:14 GMT | 03:14 EST | 11:44 IST | 14:14 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly higher this morning although gains are likely to be limited as investors look ahead to the FOMC meeting minutes tomorrow evening UK time. However, the economic diary today focuses on the release of domestic manufacturing and industrial production data. Commodity prices are flat and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are range bound ahead of these data releases.

Company Announcements

Marks & Spencer

IMS reorts that in the 13 weeks to 28 June 2014 group sales rose 2.3% with UK total sales +2% and lfl +0.3% and General Merchandise (GM) total sales 0.8% lower and lfl down 1.5%. Clothing total sales were up 0.1% and lfl were down 0.6% with food total sales growing 4.2% and lfl were ahead 1.7%. International sales rose 4.7% and M& was down 8.1%. It noted that its full year guidance remains unchanged and despite some improvement in consumer confidence, market conditions are still challenging. It added that its focus was on delivery in order to make it a stronger and more profitable business.


Year End Trading Update reports that over the full financial year total sales rose 7.8% and lfl by 2.1% to GBP730.2m with Q4 lfl sales growth of 5.5% continuing the improving trend of previous quarters. Multi-channel sales accounted for 6% of total sales, rising to 7% in Q4. Gross margin over the year is estimated to have improved by 80 bps and the company anticipates FY PBT of GBP116m. It added that with a strong pipeline of new stores, further enhancements to its multi-channel capability and a positive response to the continuing development of its customer proposition, it remains confident in its long-term growth prospects.

Bovis Homes

Trading Update ahead of its H1 Results reports that legal completions were 54% higher at 1,487 with the average sales price up 11% at GBP210,000, driven by mix and a modest improvement in house prices. The H1 operating margin is expected to be at least 15% and as at 30 June 2014, cumulative reservations achieved to date and expected to legally complete in 2014 were 44% higher at 3,297 homes. As a result of stronger returns on homes sold, it added  that it was confident that its targeted return on capital employed of at least 15% in 2014 can be achieved from volume at a lower end of previous guidance, noting that it also expects to achieve an enhanced forward sales position for 2015.