FTSE 100 Live 30 May: Auto Trader, Dr Martens results, US GDP

FTSE 100 Live (Evening Standard)

FTSE 100 Live (Evening Standard)

Auto Trader profits up by a quarter as it warns on ‘challenging’ new car market

07:45 , Simon Hunt

Auto Trader today posted a 26% jump in operating profit to just shy of £350 million as Britain’s biggest car market saw stronger demand than pre-pandemic levels.

Revenues at the firm grew by 14% to top £570 million while average revenue per retailer grew 12%.

But the firm warned its cost was set to go up next year as a result of having exceeded the threshold for the UK’s digital services tax, and it said the new car market “has been more challenging and discounting has started to return”.



De La Rue in break-up talks

07:28 , Simon English

DE Lae Rue, the passport and money manufacturer, today said it looking at a break-up of the group.

In a statement to the stock market it said is evaluating “strategic options for the group” to “create greater financial flexibility”.

It is in talks with several parties who have expressed an interest in buying parts of the business.

Clive Whiley, the chairman, said: “Since my appointment a year ago, the Board has considered a broad range of possible strategic alternatives including transactions with multiple parties which may involve a combination with, or the sale of, the Group’s divisions. The Board confirms that the discussions with the relevant parties are advancing, and we expect to update further at the time of the full year results in July.”

The market for banknotes is recovering it said, with the order book up to £239 million by the end of March.

De La Rue was founded in 1821, listing on the London stock market in 1947. In its history, it has supplied bank notes to Iran, Iraq and the Bank of England.

Richard Griffiths, an investor known as the “Welsh Wizard”, has as 11% stake in the business.

Dr Martens to cut costs after profits tumble

07:21 , Daniel O’Boyle

Iconic boot brand Dr. Martens is to cut £20-£25m of costs after its profits slid by 43% in a difficult 2023.

The business has struggled in the US, causing shares to tumble this year. Profit came to £97.2 million as revenue declined by 12% to £877 million. After a number of recent profit warnings, Dr. Martens said current trading is in line with expectations.

CEO Kenny Wilson said: “Our FY24 results were as expected and reflect continued weak USA consumer demand. This particularly impacted our USA wholesale business and offset our Group DTC performance, where pairs grew by 7%. We have achieved robust performances in EMEA and APAC, and our supply chain strategy continues to deliver good savings.

“We are clear that we need to drive demand in the USA to return to growth in FY26 onwards and are executing a detailed plan to achieve this, with refocused and increased USA marketing investment in the year ahead. We are also announcing a cost action plan across the group, targeting savings of £20m to £25m. I am confident that the actions we are taking as we enter this year of transition will put us in good shape for the years ahead.”

Wilson announced earlier this year that he will step down in 2025, to be replaced by current chief brand officer Ije Nwokorie.

Dr Martens (Dr Martens)

Dr Martens (Dr Martens)

FTSE 100 seen lower ahead of key US GDP, Nikkei 225 down 1.6%

07:16 , Graeme Evans

The poor run for global markets is set to continue today after leading US benchmarks finished deep in the red last night.

A surge in bond yields amid the prospect of US interest rates staying high led to the latest Wall Street reverse, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 1% and the S&P 500 down 0.7%.

The jitters come ahead of Friday’s release of the monthly core personal consumption expenditures index, which is the Federal Reserve’s favoured inflation measure.

Attention later today will also be on the second estimate of first quarter US GDP, having slowed to an annual rate of 1.6% at the first reading.

The FTSE 100 index closed 71 points lower at 8183 last night, with futures trading pointing to a further decline of 36 points at today’s opening bell.

Asian have also weakened, led by a decline of 1.6% for Tokyo’s Nikkei 225.

Recap: Yesterday’s top stories

06:44 , Simon Hunt

Good morning from the Standard City desk.

Global stock indices lagged on Wednesday and the pound hit new highs against the euro amid lingering concerns among investors that UK interest rates will stay higher for longer.

The FTSE 100 was down 71.11 points, or 0.86%, to close at 8,183.07.

Anglo American was among the biggest fallers of the day after it repeatedly rejected calls for a takeover by rival mining group BHP.

Late on Wednesday afternoon, BHP confirmed it was not going to table a bid after failing to reach an agreement, putting the brakes on a potential global mega-deal.

Meanwhile, global investors appeared to be downbeat amid further evidence from the US that consumers are proving to be resilient in the face of higher prices and borrowing costs.

It comes ahead of all-important inflation data being released across the pond on Friday.

Here’s a summary of our top headlines from yesterday:

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