EasyJet losses take a nose dive, Royal Mail profits ascend and Lloyds Bank is back in private hands – Finance Friday

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EasyJet suffer heavy financial losses

Finance Friday – a brief look at this week’s finance and investor news from around the UK

EasyJet post huge losses for last six months

EasyJet has posted a loss of £212 million for the six months to 31st March 2017, compared to a £21 million loss in the first half of last year, partly down to the timing of Easter and currency movements.

Passenger numbers were up 9% to 33.8 million and revenue grew 3.2% to £1,827 million. Strikes, severe weather and airport issues led to disruption to 3,302 flights, up from 2,796 last year. Shares fell 5% this week.

Operating profit steadily grows for National Grid

Reported operating profit is up 14%, although this was boosted by ‘over-recoveries’, essentially National Grid receiving revenues above the regulated allowance that will need to be returned in future. Adjusting for this impact, operating profit rose 5%. The shares were little moved on the news. The full year dividend is set to be 44.27p per share, up 2.1% on 2015/16.

Royal Mail profits rise due to European business

Royal Mail has announced a 3.9% rise in profit before tax to £559 million, driven by revenue growth in its European parcels business, GLS. The board has announced a final dividend of 15.6p, taking the full year dividend to 23p, up 4%. Shares rose 3% on the news.

Growth for Experian in line with expectations

Full year revenue of $4.3bn represents 5% organic growth at constant currency, in line with management’s expectations. Underlying earnings grew 6% to $1.2bn at constant currency, benefitting from a slight improvement in margin. Experian announced shares are up 4% on the previous year.

SSE submit adjusted earnings figures

For the year to 31 March 2017, SSE has reported adjusted earnings per share of 125.7p, up 5.2% on last year. The full year dividend has been increased in line with RPI, up 2.1% to 91.3p per share. The shares fell slightly on the news.

British Land shares fall

British Land’s full year underlying profits, essentially rental income minus expenses, rose 7% in 2016/17 to £390m. However, Net Asset Value (NAV) fell 0.4% to £9.5bn, or 915p per share. The shares fell 1.3% following the announcement.

Government sells final Lloyds Bank shares

The government announced this week it has sold off its final stake in Lloyds, meaning the bank is now fully back in private hands.

Shares and earnings grow for Vodafone

Full year underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) grew 5.8%, with performance in the second half of the year ahead of prior expectations. The shares rose 2.5% on the news.

Other finance news

On Tuesday, the FTSE 100 closed above 7,500 for the first time despite inflation at the highest rate since September 2013.

Following the news that CPI inflation jumped to 2.7% in April, labour market numbers from the ONS revealed wages are now falling when adjusted for inflation. Wage growth excluding bonuses came in at 2.1% in the three months to March compared to the same period last year and fell 0.2% in real terms during that period.

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