UK market update – Growth picks up in August, Just Eat orders increase 25%


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By Samuel Indyk – At 07:37BST, FTSE 100 Futures are trading lower by 0.3% at 7,087.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3608, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8487. The US Dollar Index is down 0.2%.

Today’s calendar highlights include Eurozone industrial production, US CPI, and the FOMC Meeting Minutes.


The UK economy grew slower than forecast in August according to the Office for National Statistics. GDP grew 0.4% versus expectations of 0.5%, although this was up from a revised contraction of 0.1% in July. Growth was supported as bars, restaurants and festivals benefited from the first full month without Covid-19 restriction in England.

The ONS said:

  • services grew 0.3% (0.6% below February 2020)
  • manufacturing grew 0.5% (2.4% below February 2020)
  • construction shrank 0.2% (1.5% below February 2020)


Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) – Net private reservations per average week of 281 (FY21: 288; FY20: 262). Have launched 27 (FY21: 33; FY20: 26) new developments (including JVs) in the period, in line with expectations. Delivered 3,699 (FY21: 4,032; FY20: 3,252) home completions (including JVs), 8.3% behind the comparable period in FY21. Continue to expect to grow wholly owned completions to between 17,000 and 17,250 homes in FY22 and, in addition, deliver around 750 home completions from our JVs.

Darktrace PLC (LON:DARK) – Grew customer base by 42.7% YoY in Q1 to 5,975 customers. Annualised Recurring Revenue at 30th September 2021 was $381.5 million, up 45.9% YoY. Reiterating the FY 2022 guidance and related commentary it provided for ARR, net ARR added and adjusted EBITDA margin in its FY 2021 earnings release. Now expecting year-over-year revenue growth of between 37% and 39% (previously 35% to 37%) as FX headwinds less than had been previously forecast.

Just Eat Takeaway (LON:JETJ) – Processed 266 million orders in Q3, representing a 25% increase compared with the same period of 2020. GTV amounted to €6.8 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up 23%. Reiterates guidance for the full year 2021 of order growth excluding Grubhub above 45% YoY.

Vertu Motors (LON:VTU) – H1 adjusted profit before tax of £51.8 million (H1 FY21: £4.7 million, H1 FY20: £16.9 million), on revenues of £1.9 billion. Vehicle sales volumes ahead of market trends in all areas. Dividends re-established with interim dividend of 0.65p per share declared. Record trading performance delivered in key month of September with a trading profit of £20 million. Now anticipates that the Group’s adjusted profit before tax for FY22 will be at least £65 million (Previously £50 million to £55 million).

Man Group (LON:EMG) – Funds under management of $139.5 billion at 30 September 2021, up from $135.3 billion at end of June. Net inflows of $5.3 billion in the period, positive investment performance of $0.4 billion, negative FX and other impacts of $1.5 billion.

DS Smith (LON:SMDS) – Completed sale of De Hoop paper mill in the Netherlands to De Jong Packaging.

WPP (LON:WPP) – Majority-owned subsidiary, Finsbury Glover Hering, and Sard Verbinnen & Co to merge to create strategic communications firm.

NatWest (LON:NWG) – Announcing a new target to provide £100 billion of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing by the end of 2025.

Marston’s (LON:MARS) – Seen continuous improvement in trading since restrictions lifted on 12th April. Overall, trading since 12 April has been at 94% of 2019 levels which includes the benefit of the temporary VAT reduction on food and non-alcoholic drink sales. The majority of 2022 costs are now contracted in, specifically gas to 2023 and electricity to the end of March 2022.

Centrica (LON:CNA) – Postpones capital markets event scheduled for 16th November. Says performance since the Interim results in July has been in line with expectations.

Halfords (LON:HFD) – Appoints Jo Hartley as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer.

Avon Protection (LON:AVON) – Continued to see good commercial momentum in the second half of FY21, with order intake for the year of circa $280 million. This momentum underpins confidence in the Group’s growth expectations for FY22. Expects to report revenue of $250 million for FY21 (2020: $213.6 million), which is within the range indicated in the trading update of 13 August 2021. To recognise one-off, non-cash, ballistic protection inventory adjustments, which are expected to reduce the reported adjusted EBITDA margin for FY21 to between 15% and 16%.

Kerry Group (LON:KYGa) – The Group has set an EBITDA margin target of 18%+ by 2026.

THG (LON:THG) – Notes yesterday’s share price movement and says that it knows of no notifiable reason for the material share price movement, and that no material new information was disclosed.

Shoe Zone (LON:SHOE) – FY total group revenue of £119.1 million (FY 2020: £122.6 million, FY 2019: £162.0 million). Profit before tax expected to be not less than £6.5 million.

BT (LON:BT) – Downgraded to reduce from hold by HSBC.

UK market update – Growth picks up in August, Just Eat orders increase 25%


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