FTSE 250 movers: Cheers for ‘Spoons; Bytes Tech slips

by | Jul 12, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Shares in pub chain JD Wetherspoon surged as it held annual profit guidance on the back of an 11% rise in recent sales as customers looked for value amid soaring alcoholic drink and food prices.

Compared to full-year 2022, like-for-like sales increased by 11.5% in the fourth quarter to date and by 12.9% in the year to date.

“The company anticipates an improved outcome for the next financial year, and anticipates an outcome for the first half of FY24 approximately in-line with the second half of FY23,” said chairman Tim Martin.

Wetherspoon, famed for its discounted alcohol and food offering, said 22 of its pubs remain up for sale or under offer, after shutting 28 sites in the past year, with those earmarked for disposal in locations with another of the estate in the area.

Martin said it was a “misinterpretation” to suggest the move was down to difficult trading conditions and claimed energy cost pressures appeared to be easing.

Net debt was now £688m, down from £920m a year earlier.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor said: “From a broader perspective, the economic outlook for the UK is another potential headwind. Wetherspoons has been able to pass on some of the inflationary costs without threatening its appeal, but equally it will be mindful that this particular strategy needs to be reigned in where possible in order to maintain its no-nonsense and no-frills value offering.”

Virgin Money surged after passing the Bank of England’s annual capital resilience stress test and said it anticipated resuming its share buyback programme during this year.

International building materials distributor and DIY retailer Grafton Group held annual guidance as first-half revenues rose 3.2% despite the cost-of-living crisis hitting volumes.

The company on Wednesday said revenue for the six months to June 30 was £1.19bn compared with £1.15bn in the prior year.

Average daily group like-for-like revenue in the second quarter was slightly stronger against the prior year than the performance in the first quarter, it added.

Grafton said it had benefited from the geographic diversity of its markets with 60% of revenue generated in Ireland, the Netherlands and Finland.

“While closely monitoring the heightened macroeconomic uncertainty and the attendant risks to the downside in the residential RMI and new build markets from cost-of-living pressures and successive interest rises, we continue to anticipate delivering full year operating profit in line with expectations based on current trading conditions,” it added.

First half volumes were lower in the distribution businesses in Ireland, the UK and Finland and broadly unchanged in the Netherlands, reflecting the impact of the cost-of-living increases and rising interest rates.

Lower volumes and sharp falls in timber and steel prices also contributed to more competitive markets and margin pressure in the distribution businesses in Ireland and the UK, Grafton said.

Software, security and cloud services specialist Bytes Technology reported continued strong trading in an update on Wednesday, with demand resilient and win rates favourable in both the corporate and public sectors.

The FTSE 250 company, which was holding its annual general meeting, said that since it released its full-year results on 23 May, it had sustained a robust performance.

Key financial indicators showed impressive growth, with double-digit percentage increases seen in both gross profit and adjusted operating profit during the first four months of the new financial year.

Of particular note was significant growth in gross invoiced income, which outpaced the rise in gross profit.

Bytes put the increase down to several software wins during the period, characterised by high volume but lower gross margins.

“We’re pleased with the progress we have made so far this year in executing against our strategy and continuing to expand our market share,” said chief executive officer Neil Murphy.

“Whilst we remain mindful of macroeconomic headwinds, these have not had a noticeable impact on our trading performance to date, and we are confident that our leading vendor partnerships and first-rate client service leave us well positioned to make further progress this year.”

FTSE 250 – Risers

Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 735.00p 10.94%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 160.60p 9.96%
International Distributions Services (IDS) 250.70p 6.91%
Marshalls (MSLH) 257.80p 6.53%
Future (FUTR) 805.00p 6.06%
IWG (IWG) 143.40p 5.99%
Trainline (TRN) 268.00p 5.85%
Molten Ventures (GROW) 266.40p 5.80%
Currys (CURY) 53.75p 5.39%
Grafton Group Ut (CDI) (GFTU) 802.50p 5.27%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 191.00p -1.24%
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 163.60p -0.85%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares (BHMG) 350.00p -0.57%
Senior (SNR) 171.80p -0.35%
JPMorgan Indian Investment Trust (JII) 816.00p -0.24%
JPMorgan Japanese Inv Trust (JFJ) 477.50p -0.21%
Bytes Technology Group (BYIT) 505.00p -0.20%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,815.00p -0.19%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 54.70p -0.18%
easyJet (EZJ) 494.40p -0.12%

Related articles

Trending stories

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular updates!