Wednesday, September 21 2022

New home for Rolex Boutique as sales defy cost of living crisis Watches of Switzerland

Watches of Switzerland, the operator of the Rolex Boutique chain, is moving its West End flagship store to larger premises as demand for its luxury watches defies the cost of living crisis.

Its main London outlet isn’t moving far – from Bond Street to New Bond Street – but it will be eight times bigger, at 7,200 square feet. “This new flagship will reflect the importance of the London market and London’s particular relevance to the history of Rolex,” said Brian Duffy, Managing Director.

Sales of watches in the first quarter of its current financial year rose by a third to £342m, and jewelery sales were also up 36% to £27m. It was the first market update from the FTSE 250 company, which posted record annual profits in July for its most recent financial year.

Its full-year guidance ‘foresees a potentially tougher business environment in the second half of the year’, although it expects revenue of around £1.5bn and profit relatively stable, with growth of up to 0.5%.

The company, which also operates Mayors outlets and Betteridge chains in the United States, said its revenue there increased by 76%. It is exposed to the weaker pound via dollar sales which are converted into sterling revenue.


BHP hits record divi as coal recovery lights up profits

BHP, the world’s largest mining company, is paying a record dividend to its shareholders, after coal prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The annual profit from operations of the British-Australian company FTSE 100 rose 34% to more than $34 billion, against revenue of $65 billion, up 14%. Its coal division returned to a pretax profit of nearly $9 billion, from a loss of $577 million a year ago.

That offset a decline in profits from BHP’s iron ore operations of $4.6 billion to $21.7 billion as broader commodity markets aligned with the outlook for the global economy. as central banks raised rates to fight inflation. BHP shares rose 4.4% to 2342p in London today.


Darktrace Shares 17%, Miners Lift FTSE 100

Darktrace shares are up 17% as US takeover interest creates another twist in the cybersecurity company’s rocky stock market journey.

Cambridge-based Darktrace, whose high-profile IPO in April 2021 valued the business at £1.7billion, revealed last night it was in the crosshairs of private equity firm Thoma Bravo .

Talks over a possible offer are at an early stage, but the shares still rose 72.7p to 487.5p for their highest level since March. Thoma Bravo has until September 12 to make a firm offer or walk away.

Darktrace debuted at 250p and topped 1000p in September as interest in its machine learning technology helped the company hit the FTSE 100 index. However, a subsequent sell-off left the shares below 300p last month.

AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson said: “If completed, the acquisition of Darktrace would, once again, shrink the ranks of an already underrepresented tech sector in London.”

Darktrace takeover developments helped the broader FTSE 250 index climb 29.43 points to 20,412.19, with other stocks on the riser chart including Pets at Home and Domino’s Pizza after gains of more than 2%.

The FTSE 100 rose 30.30 points to 7,539.45, although energy-focused stocks came under more pressure after the price of Brent crude this week weakened to $94 a barrel.

GSK topped the riser chart as shares recouped some of their recent losses, rising 39.6p to 1445.6p after the drug giant revealed it had completed the acquisition of Affinivax, based in Massachusetts. GSK shares were at 1,776p last month.

Mining stocks were also higher as the industry welcomed today’s results from BHP, which included a dividend payout ratio equal to 77% of underlying earnings. Glencore and Anglo American rose 12.85p and 65p to 477.35p and 2966p respectively, while the former FTSE 100 BHP share jumped 90.5p to 2328p.


FTSE 100 higher, BHP shares up 4%

Rio Tinto, BAE Systems and BT Group were among the stocks up more than 1%, with the recent momentum behind the FTSE 100 index continuing today.

GSK topped the riser chart as the shares recouped some of their recent losses, rising 26.4p to 1432p after completing its acquisition of Massachusetts-based Affinivax.

The FTSE 100 climbed 23.95 points to 7,533.1, despite heavy shares of the London Stock Exchange and Experian falling just under 1%.

BHP shares, which are no longer listed in the FTSE 100, rose 4% or 88.5p to 2,326p after the Australian mining giant’s total dividend of $3.25 per share represented a payout ratio equivalent to 77 % of underlying profit.

The FTSE 250 index held steady at 20,385, but cybersecurity firm Darktrace jumped 20% as it disclosed an approaching takeover by a US-based private equity firm.


Ted Baker backs £211m takeover

Ted Baker is set to become an owner after his board backed a £211m takeover by Reebok Authentic Brands Group (ABG).

The 110p-a-share deal is at an 18% premium to last night’s closing price and comes after the fashion and lifestyle retailer launched a formal sale process in response to a number of unsolicited bid approaches.

Acting Chairman Helena Feltham said the price balances growth prospects with the risks of the uncertain economic environment.

She added: “Ted Baker’s board believe ABG will be a strong and supportive owner of the business. We are confident that with ABG’s experience, reach and investment, the Ted Baker brand will be able to reach its long-term global potential. »

Ted Baker, which was founded by Ray Kelvin in 1987, has 370 stores and concessions worldwide, including 92 in the UK. ABG has controlling interests in more than 50 consumer, lifestyle, media and entertainment brands, including Reebok, David Beckham and Eddie Bauer.


Brent at $94, FTSE 100 remains firm

Oil prices remain near $94 a barrel after Monday’s weaker-than-expected industrial production and retail sales figures raised concerns about demand in China.

Brent futures fell 3.7% to a six-month low yesterday in a weak session for commodity markets which also saw iron ore and aluminum weaken d about 3%.

Despite pressure on resource and energy stocks, the FTSE 100 was broadly unchanged and is expected to open 22 points higher at 7,531 today.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6% last night.

Wall Street’s attention now turns to today’s earnings reports from retailers Home Depot and Walmart and Wednesday’s minutes from the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting.


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