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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (July 17, 2014)

July 17, 2014, Thursday, 07:37 GMT | 02:37 EST | 11:07 IST | 13:37 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning following the mixed overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia together with the news that the EU and US are to toughen sanctions against Russia because of the latter's stance over Ukraine. The economic diary today focuses on the US with the release of building permits data, the latest weekly jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index. Commodity prices are mixed with copper lower but oil and base metals firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are virtually unchanged ahead of these US data releases.

Company Announcements

Sports Direct

Final Results see group revenue up 23.8% to GBP2.7bn with gross margins ahead 180 bps at 42.7%. Underlying EBITDA (pre-share scheme costs) rose 15% to GBP331.1m with underlying PBT ahead 19.8% at GBP249.3m. There was growth in online revenue of 26.8% which now represents 17.1% of all Sports Retail sales (up from 15%). It noted that overall trading since the year end has been in line with management's expectations, with some stronger weeks offset by England's disappointing World Cup matches. It added that it continues to target underlying EBITDA (before share scheme costs) of GBP360m for the current year.


Liberty Global, the largest international cable company has acquired a stake of 6.4% in ITV following a deal with BSkyB to acquire 259.8m shares. Liberty noted that 'this is an opportunistic and attractive investment' and was 'excited to be shareholders'. It added that it did not intend to make an offer for ITV.