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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (June 18, 2014)

June 18, 2014, Wednesday, 07:04 GMT | 02:04 EST | 10:34 IST | 13:04 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning although gains may well be limited as investors focus on the release of meeting minutes and statements by the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve respectively for signs of any shift in policy stance with the geo-political situation in Iraq still ongoing. Commodity prices are mixed but range bound and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are also little changed as markets wait on these pronouncements from the UK and US central banks.

Company Announcements

Berkeley Group

Final Results see PBT up over 40% to GBP380m on revenue ahead 18.1% at GBP1.6bn with basic EPS up 38.6% at 221.8p. It completed 3,742 new homes in the year, some 30% more than at the peak of the market in 2007. Cash due on forward sales was GBP2.27bn and its land holdings now include 24,006 plots with an estimated future gross margin of GBP3bn and an average selling price of GBP419,000, reflecting the increased London weighting of its schemes. Its pipeline of future land comprises over 11,000 plots with a potential gross margin of GBP1.5bn to be unlocked over the next 5 years. A further interim dividend of 90p will be paid in September, meaning that 245p has been paid/committed leaving a further 180p per share in order to meet its first milestone of paying 434p by September 2015. It noted that it is currently on track and well positioned to meet the remaining milestones by September 2021. It added that it currently expects underlying full year 2015 earnings to be in line with current market expectations before the one-off benefit of the sale of ground rent assets. It also stated it is confident it has the right plan to deliver long-term sustainable success, but remains alert to the inherently cyclical nature of the property market and the uncertainty surrounding future tax policy and political decision-making.

N Brown

IMS reports that in the 15 weeks to 14 June 2014, total group revenues rose 2.6% including lfl growth of 2.5%, noting this was in line with its plan for the quarter. Performances of Simply Be and Jacamo were up 6% and 10% respectively. It added that it had improved the quality of its sales and was on track with its plans for the year as a whole.