UK market update – Labour market recovery continues; activist calls for SSE split

imageStock Markets1 hour ago (Sep 14, 2021 08:35)

© Reuters

By Samuel Indyk – At 08:33BST, the FTSE 100 is trading lower by 0.5% at 7,033. The midcap FTSE 250 is trading flat at 23,781.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3862, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8532. The US Dollar Index is down 0.2%.

Today’s calendar highlights include US CPI and the IEA monthly report.


Unemployment rate falls to 4.6% from 4.7%, in line with expectations. ONS said employers added 241,000 jobs, taking total employees to around the same level as before the pandemic, although over a million are still on furlough. Vacancies reached a new record high above 1 million, driven above all by hospitality. Average earnings including bonuses increased 8.3%, above the expected 8.2% increase.


Ocado (LON:OCDO) – Ocado Retail Q3 revenue down 10.6%. First six weeks of the quarter revenue was down 1.8%, in line with expectations. Post the fire at Erith facility in the last seven weeks of the quarter, revenue fell 19%. Expects to deliver strong revenue growth in FY22 with capacity set to be extended to 700,000 orders per week with a new CFC planned in Luton.

SSE (LON:SSE) – Elliott Management is reportedly pushing for a breakup of SSE after building a stake in the company. The activist fund is said to want to split the renewables business from its regulated electricity business. (Bloomberg)

JD Sports (LON:JD) – H1 profit before tax and exceptional items of £439.5 million (H1 2020: £61.9 million). Forecast outturn headline profit before tax for the full year of at least £750 million. No interim dividend declared, with a potentially larger FY divided subject to performance of the group over the year.

Trainline (LON:TRNT) – H1 net ticket sales recovered to 71% of same period in FY 2020, highest level since beginning of pandemic. Expects return to profitability in H1 with adjusted EBITDA range of £13-£15 million. Continues to engage with the UK Government and the wider rail industry on how it can support the delivery of Williams-Shapps white paper.

Bunzl (LON:BNZL) – To acquire McCue Corporation, a US-based safety business, and MedShop, a healthcare distributor in Australasia. Financial terms of the acquisitions were undisclosed.

Morrisons (LON:MRW) – CDR reaches agreement with Pension Trustees on the terms of a mitigation package to provide additional security and covenant support.

Domino’s Pizza Group (LON:DOM) – Completed £45 million share buyback announced in March. To commence purchases under £35 million share buyback announced in August.

NCC Group (LON:NCCG) – FY revenue up 2.6% to £270.5 million. Operating profit up 37.3% to £17.3 million. Declares final dividend of 3.15 pence per share. Expects higher revenue growth in FY22 compared to FY21.

Sanne Group (LON:SNNS) – H1 net revenue increased 12.5% on constant currency basis to £90.7 million. Operating profit up 12.4% to £24.0 million. Good momentum seen in the first half of 2021 expected to continue into the second half.

Chemring (LON:CHG) – Trading has progressed as planned and outturn for the year ending 31st October 2021 is expected to be inline with expectations.

Bytes Technology (LON:BYIT) – Continues to trade strongly during H1 of the financial year. CFO Keith Richardson announced intention to retire. 

Peel Hunt – Plans to list on London Stock Exchange’s AIM market.

IAG (LON:ICAG) – Downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP).


Supermarkets – UK grocery sales down 1.9% year-on-year in 12 weeks to 5th September. Tesco (LON:TSCO) sales up 0.2%, Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) down 1.6%, Morrisons down 4.9%, Ocado down 1.5%.

Travel & Leisure – UK considering removing pre-departure Covid tests to low-risk countries for fully vaccinated passengers.

UK market update – Labour market recovery continues; activist calls for SSE split

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