Speculators Could Rebuild Bets on Stronger Pound

Optimism over the recent decline in U.K. coronavirus cases could prompt speculators to rebuild bets on a stronger sterling, ING says. "Sterling continues to reap the benefits of the slowdown in Covid-19 cases, in turn reversing the prior market concerns about another meaningful wave," ING analysts say. There is room to rebuild sterling long positions, which expect the currency to appreciate, following a meaningful decline over the past few months, they say. GBP/USD rises 0.3% to a one-month high of 1.3960, according to FactSet. EUR/GBP falls 0.2% to 0.8507.

 
Companies News: 

Indivior 2Q Profit Rose Sharply, Plans $100 Mln Share Buyback

Indivior PLC reported Thursday a more-than-trebled pretax profit in the second quarter on higher revenue, prompting a swing to a first-half profit, and said it intends to start a $100 million share buyback program.

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Anglo American to Boost Shareholder Returns After 1H Profit Soared

Shares in Anglo American PLC rose Thursday morning after it reported a significantly higher profit for the first half of the year, and said it will return $4.1 billion to shareholders via dividends and share buybacks.

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BT Group Shares Fall After 1Q Revenue Misses Expectations

Shares in BT Group PLC fell Thursday after the company reported a drop in pretax profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 on revenue that missed analysts' expectations, but reiterated its guidance for the full year.

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Lookers Shares Rise on Raised FY Expectations After Strong 1H

Share in Lookers PLC rose Thursday after it said that it has experienced an excellent trading performance for the first half of the year and raised its expectations for the full year.

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Elementis Swung to 1H Pretax Profit; Names New Chairman

Elementis PLC said Thursday that it swung to a pretax profit for the first half of 2021 as revenue recovered from the hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and said that John O'Higgins has been appointed as nonexecutive chairman from Sept. 1.

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Inchcape Swung to 1H Profit on Higher Revenue

Inchcape PLC said Thursday that it swung to pretax profit in the first half of the year on higher revenue.

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Property Franchise 1H Revenue More Than Doubled

Property Franchise Group PLC said Thursday that its first-half revenue more than doubled on-year on the back of a very active residential housing market, and its acquisition of Hunters Property in March.

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Airtel Africa 1Q Pretax Profit Surged

Airtel Africa PLC said Thursday that pretax profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 more than doubled as revenue rose.

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Drax Swung to Profit in 1H, Increases Dividend

Drax Group PLC said Thursday that it swung to a profit in the first half of the year and that it is increasing the dividend by 10%.

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Vertu Motors Raises Full-Year Guidance on Strong Market Conditions

Vertu Motors PLC said Thursday that exceptional car market conditions have led to materially improved profitability and cash flow, and raised its full year fiscal 2022 profit outlook.

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Mirriad Shares Fall After Warning of Slower-Than-Expected Recovery

Shares in Mirriad Advertising PLC fell Thursday after the company warned that sales will remain lower than previously expected for the remainder of 2021 after a slower-than-anticipated recovery in Europe.

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BAE Systems 1H Pretax Profit Rose; Demand Backlog to Boost Growth

BAE Systems PLC said Thursday that pretax profit rose and launched a buyback program, while noting that a demand backlog should support the company's growth expectations in the coming years.

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AstraZeneca Lifts 2021 Guidance After Alexion Acquisition; Posts Lower 2Q Profit

AstraZeneca PLC said Thursday that it has raised its core earnings-per-share guidance for 2021 following the completion of its acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., though profit for the second quarter declined on year.

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Headlam Group Sees 2021 Pretax Profit Ahead of Market Views

Headlam Group PLC said Thursday that it expects its 2021 results to be materially ahead of current market expectations, and it intends to return to normal dividend levels quickly.

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Eleco's 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Seen to Rise

Eleco PLC said Thursday that its performance for the first half of the year was strong, marked by expected pretax profit and revenue growth.

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Water Intelligence 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose

Water Intelligence PLC said Thursday that its first-half pretax profit and revenue rose and it expects further growth in the second half and beyond.

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GB Group Starts FY 2022 Well, in Line With Views

GB Group PLC said Thursday that it has made a good start to fiscal 2022 and that this was in line with the board's expectations.

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Vesuvius 1H Pretax Profit Rose

Vesuvius PLC on Thursday reported a significant rise in pretax profit for the first half of the year and doubled its interim dividend payout to shareholders.

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Morgan Advanced Materials Swung to 1H Profit; Reinstates Dividend

Morgan Advanced Materials PLC said Thursday that it swung to a first-half pretax profit despite a slip in revenue, and it reinstated its interim dividend.

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Bodycote Swung to 1H Pretax Profit, Sees 2021 Operating Profit at High End of Market Views

Bodycote PLC said Thursday that it swung to pretax profit in the first half after booking lower costs and that it expects headline operating profit for 2021 in the upper half range of analysts' expectations.

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Randall & Quilter's Accredited Program Management Business Saw Growth

Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd. said Thursday that its accredited program management business benefited from a significant rise in gross written premiums during the first half of the year.

 
Market Talk: 

Smith & Nephew 2Q Reassuring, But Uncertainty Lingers

0816 GMT - Smith & Nephew's 2Q results were reassuring, Shore Capital says, though it highlights uncertainty around the artificial hip-maker's 2H outlook. Shore says 2Q revenue was ahead of consensus and the group reiterated 2021 guidance. "The key question for S&N heading into H2 is whether surgery volumes will be unconstrained by Covid-19," Shore says. "This is clearly a difficult question to answer, as whether cases increase in the autumn or winter will depend upon the level of vaccinations; seasonality of the virus; how people behave and whether more infectious variants have appeared. Altogether, though this is an encouraging update, we think there is sufficient uncertainty at this time to maintain our hold recommendation."

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No Bad News is Good News for Informa, Citi Says

0813 GMT - Informa has delivered a decent set of first-half results and outlook which, together with a lack of downgrades to expectations, will be welcomed, Citi says. The FTSE 100 events and information group's first-half results were better than expected and revenue guidance for the full year was raised to GBP1.8 billion from GBP1.7 billion, Citi says. While the guidance upgrade is in line with Citi's expectations, Informa's outlook comments should give comfort that it will participate in a market recovery, the bank says. "Informa's 1H results will be enough to settle nerves in our view," Citi says. Shares rise 3.5% to 501 pence.

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Shell Says Appeals Process on Emissions Ruling Could Take 2-3 Years

0807 GMT - Royal Dutch Shell PLC says that its planned appeal of a Dutch court ruling that the company should reduce emissions could take between two and three years. Shell says the case "does not have a financial impact on the unaudited interim statements." In May a Dutch court ruled that Shell must cut its carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 compared to its emissions in 2019.

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Shell Stepping Up Returns Materially, 2Q Strong

0805 GMT - Shares in Royal Dutch Shell rise 3.7% after it reported a strong set of 2Q results, with net income coming in $500m ahead of consensus and cash generation $2bn ahead of market expectations, RBC Capital Markets says. The oil major is also stepping up distributions materially, RBC says. "Shell was expected to confirm a buyback this morning and has announced a $2bn plan to be completed by year-end," RBC says. "This is at the low end of expectations. That said, with more confidence in the macro, Shell is also stepping up its dividend materially from 17c per quarter to 24c, which should address any concerns on its dividend yield relative to peers."

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Anglo American's Cost Guidance Likely to Result in Consensus Downgrades

0802 GMT - Shares in Anglo American rise 4.4% after the company reported better-than-expected first-half earnings and boosted shareholder distributions, however RBC Capital Markets warns that the mining company is likely to see consensus downgrades as cost guidance came in worse than anticipated. "We think the market will take today's result positively at first, especially with the special dividend and buyback, although we caution the cost guidance vs consensus is a negative," the Canadian bank says. Still, the investment case at Anglo American remains strong, with differentiated high quality growth, better diversification than peers, and increasing shareholder returns, RBC says.

 

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-931

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 29, 2021 04:43 ET (08:43 GMT)

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