FTSE 250 movers: Jupiter stellar, Mobico hits the skids

by | Jul 27, 2023

(Sharecast News) – UK asset manager Jupiter posted a rise in assets and paid a special dividend.

Rival Jupiter Fund Management’s assets under management rose 2% to £51.4b, with net inflows of £23m driven by institutional client demand.

It also announced an ordinary dividend of 3.5p and a special dividend of 2.9p per share, payable in September.

Car dealership Inchcape posted a rise in interim profits and revenue on Thursday and said full-year results are set to be towards the top end of the range of market consensus.

Market expectations for 2023 adjusted pre-tax profit are between £470m and £506m.

For the first half, Inchcape said revenue rose 45% to £5.6bn, supported by the contribution from Derco, which it acquired in January. Adjusted pre-tax profit was 35% higher at £249m, with a strong operating profit performance more than offsetting higher interest costs.

Molten metal flow engineering and technology specialist Vesuvius “modestly” lifted full-year guidance despite a fall in interim profits driven by lower steel production.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 fell 19% to £95m, the company said on Thursday. The board declared an interim dividend of 6.8p a share, up 5% year on year.

Steel production in the world excluding China and Iran, which accounts for approximately 90% of Vesuvius’ Steel division sales, had started to recover in the second quarter from the low levels of the previous six months but the pace of the recovery was “uncertain, in particular in the long steel sector, affected by the general weakness of the construction sector”, the company said.

“Despite difficult market conditions, especially in the steel sector, we have performed well in the first half of the year, exceeding expectations, thanks, in particular, to a very resilient pricing performance.”

UK pub group Mitchells & Butlers on Thursday said it expected full year results to be at the top end of market expectations after reporting a rise in third-quarter like-for-like sales.

Revenue rose 9.7% helped by strong Father’s Day sales in June and steady demand for food and drinks.

The company said softening cost pressures would allow it to rebuild margins towards pre-Covid levels next year.

“There are indications that cost inflation is now starting to abate such that the current year cost headwind should be at the bottom end of the 10-12% range previously identified,” the company said.

“We are working hard to mitigate these pressures as far as we are able, both through driving sales growth and implementing efficiencies.”

Broadcaster ITV posted a drop in interim earnings on Thursday as it cited a “challenging” advertising market.

In the six months to 30 June, group adjusted earnings before interest and tax fell 52% to £152m, as expected. ITV said this reflects the challenging advertising market and the planned investment in video on-demand service ITVX.

Adjusted earnings per share were down 62% to 2.3p.

Total external revenue dipped 2% to £1.6bn, with growth in ITV Studios and digital revenues largely offsetting the decline in linear advertising revenues. Meanwhile, total ITV Studios revenue rose 8% to £1bn, driven by the UK.

Media & entertainment revenue fell 9% to £964m, with total advertising revenue down 11% as guided. Within this, digital advertising revenue was up 24% to £179m.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “The continued momentum behind ITV’s strategic transformation delivered strong growth in Studios and Digital revenues in the first half of the year, largely offsetting the expected weakness in the UK advertising market – with total revenue declining just 1% in H1, even in a very tough advertising market.

“We remain on track to achieve all our KPI targets which gives us confidence we will deliver at least £750m of digital revenue by 2026. As we said at the full year results in March, 2023 is the year of peak net investment in our streaming business and we expect profit to grow from here.”

Transport operator Mobico, formerly known as National Express, swung to an interim pre-tax loss as Covid support funding was reduced and wage costs increased.

The company on Thursday posted a pre-tax loss of £23.4m, compared with a profit of £20.5m a year earlier when passenger numbers had fallen due to the pandemic. However, group revenues increased 18.5% to £1.57bn driven by price increases in the US and a strong performance from its ALSA business.

Chief executive Ignacio Garat said the profit result was impacted by a £60m reduction in Covid-19 funding.

“In addition, we have seen significant wage inflation however, we expect this to be recovered – as planned – in the second half.”

“Although there remain some market uncertainties, encouraging passenger growth, pricing power, continued pipeline conversion, high levels of contract retention, the actions we have taken on pricing and costs, and the ongoing successful mobilisation of contracts all support our confident full-year outlook.”

Mobico said it expected annual adjusted operating profit within a range of £200m – 215m.

Online trading group CMC Markets said on Thursday that its performance in the first quarter was as expected and that net operating income is set to be at a similar run rate to last year.

In an update for the period from 1 April to end of June, the company said that consistent with its update last month, client trading and investing activity has declined by 15% to 20% year-on-year in “quiet” market conditions.

“These conditions have continued into the start of Q2, however weaker client activity has been offset by stronger interest income, resulting in overall net operating income tracking at a similar run rate to the same period last year,” it said.

“Underlying KPIs including client money, assets under management, and active clients across both the trading and investing businesses remain robust.”

CMC said it continues to focus on delivering a strong business performance for its financial year ending 31 March 2024, with investment plans and operating expenses excluding variable remuneration expected to be in line with prior guidance.

“Progress towards new business growth across all platforms and geographies continues as expected,” it said.

“Over the next six months the group is on track to launch cash equities for institutional clients, and OTC options and listed futures across our various platforms which will allow our clients better opportunities to trade and hedge existing portfolio positions. Invest UK will be launching SIPPs and mutual funds, whilst Invest Singapore will initially offer equities, and ETFs.”

Market Movers

FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,348.61 0.84%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 119.00p 10.08%
Inchcape (INCH) 857.50p 9.94%
Carnival (CCL) 1,330.00p 8.57%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 376.00p 7.43%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 464.80p 6.46%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 229.00p 6.41%
ITV (ITV) 73.14p 5.15%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 95.00p 4.40%
Future (FUTR) 803.00p 4.29%
Elementis (ELM) 112.40p 3.50%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Mobico Group (MCG) 97.00p -9.26%
Man Group (EMG) 231.70p -3.14%
Rathbones Group (RAT) 1,804.00p -2.38%
Quilter (QLT) 80.55p -2.36%
Drax Group (DRX) 606.80p -2.10%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 2,996.00p -2.09%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 130.00p -1.81%
CMC Markets (CMCX) 145.80p -1.75%
Genuit Group (GEN) 316.50p -1.71%
Vistry Group (VTY) 792.00p -1.68%

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