Sports Direct recover following PR disaster, Unilever deliver on sales and Royal Mail get boost from international trading – Finance Friday

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

Sports Direct

Sports Direct saw full year revenue increase 11.7% to £3.2bn, boosted by acquisitions and supportive currency movements. However, the effect of higher sterling on the group’s gross margin meant that underlying profit before tax fell 58.7% to £113.7m.

The shares rose 7.5% in morning trading after the guidance suggested that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) could improve by 5-15% next year.

Unilever

Unilever’s first half results show a 14.4% increase in underlying earnings per share, boosted by a 3% rise in underlying sales and a 1.8 percentage point increase in operating margins. The reported figure also includes a 2.6% bump from favourable exchange rates. The shares rose slightly on the news.

Royal Mail

Royal Mail saw group revenues increase 1% in the first three months of the year, as a strong performance from the international GLS business more than offset weakness in UKPIL. The shares were up 3.6% following the announcement.

SSE

SSE’s first quarter trading statement confirms the group is maintaining its target of increasing the full-year dividend by at least RPI inflation. The shares were broadly flat on the news.

Severn Trent

Severn Trent has announced a trading update covering the period 1 April to 19 July 2017. The announcement contains little in the way of surprises, and there is no change to previous full-year guidance. The shares were broadly flat on the news.

RPC

RPC saw revenues grow to &960m in the first quarter, well ahead of the corresponding period last year, with profitability ahead of expectations. The group also announced a share buyback of up to &100m. The shares rose 5.6% following the announcement.

EMIS

In a brief trading update EMIS said that first half trading has been in line with previous expectations. Revenue is slightly ahead of the previous year. The shares were up 1% following the announcement.

easyJet

22.3m third quarter passengers represents a 10.8% increase on last year, with total revenue up 16% to £1.4bn. The shares fell 1.8% following the announcement.

Experian

Experian’s business-to-business operations delivered steady growth in the first quarter. However, weakness in the UK and US consumer businesses have tarnished overall performance, with revenues up just 4% at constant exchange rates. Shares fell 2.1% in early trading.

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