DIY chain Kingfisher’s profits drop 30% amid economic uncertainty; Mike Ashley to leave Frasers board – business live | Business


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General view of a beer tap.
Photo: Katie Collins/PA

Chief Executive Officer of Fuller Simon Ermeny It also marks a rise in economic uncertainty:

“While sales continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic, we are aware that consumers are facing increasing challenges.

He urged ministers to be more clear about their energy bill support for businesses.

“Businesses across the hospitality industry are experiencing unsustainable increases in energy costs.

Despite proactive purchases of forward contracts to limit the impact on Fuller, we will see significant growth this year and urge the government to provide much-needed clarity on its proposed support package so we can plan accordingly.

Business Secretary Jacob Brice-Mogg is expected to lay out the government’s plans for energy support for businesses on Wednesday, once MPs return to Parliament following the Queen’s state funeral yesterday.

Shares of magazine publisher Future fell 15% in early trade after reports that its successful chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne was seeking to resign.

Sky News reports that Byng-Thorne, who has run Future since April 2014, has told the chairman she plans to retire from the publisher of Country Life and FourFourTwo magazines within the next 18 months.

Future has published a range of other titles, from Marie Claire to Metal Hammer, and also owns sites such as TechRadar and comparison site GoCompare.

EXCLUSIVE: Going forward, the media group behind London-listed Country Life, FourFourTwo and Marie Claire will start searching for a successor to Zillah Byng-Thorne, the veteran CEO who turned it from a struggling £30m fish A £2 billion digital powerhouse. https://t.co/1dFbG0967d

— Mark KleinmanSky (@MarkKleinmanSky) September 17, 2022

The company doubled its profits last year, thanks to strong revenue from magazine sales, digital advertising and e-commerce amid the pandemic’s online shopping spree.

Shares in Future have surged to nearly £40 last year from £14 in early 2020, before the pandemic. But they have since fallen back down to £13.90 this morning.

share price in the next five years
share price in the next five years Photo: Refinitiv

Future publications also made some layoffs. Games Industry.biz says The changes affect employees at TechRadar Gaming, Android Central, Windows Central and iMore.

Sadly, very few colleagues were affected following a structural change in one vertical of our broad brand. With the current climate and dealing with these challenges, this is a very difficult decision for us.

– Future (@futureplc) September 13, 2022

Bar group Fuller hit as energy bills soar

Bar chain Fuller’s has warned that its gas and energy bills could more than double this year due to the global energy crisis.

Fuller, Smith & Turner said energy costs were on track to hit £18m this financial year, up from £8m – although the government’s promised support package could cut costs.

Bar Chain says:

On September 8, 2022, the government announced a new six-month scheme that will provide businesses with a similar level of support to consumers.

We don’t know and can’t quantify how much the program will mitigate the cost increase as details haven’t been released.

Before any financial benefits from the scheme are realised, we expect total gas and electricity costs to be around £18m for the year compared to £8m the previous year.

Fuller has purchased forward contracts to meet half of its gas and electricity needs this year, and has added more to provide some certainty over the winter.

The company’s total sales in the first 25 weeks of the fiscal year rose 50% year over year and 3% compared to pre-pandemic levels, due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Mike Ashley resigns from Frasers Group

Mike Ashley, Head of Retail
Mike Ashley, Head of Retail Photo: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

Mike Ashley is stepping down as director of Frasers Group, marking the end of the days of Sports Direct’s founders.

Ashley, 57, will not be re-elected as a director at his annual general meeting and will resign from the board on October 19.

Ashley, who is also the company’s largest shareholder through its investment vehicle, will provide Frasers with an additional £100m.

Frasers Group opened a small shop in Maidenhead in 1982. In addition to Sports Direct, it also owns the House of Fraser and retail brands such as Jack Wills, Sofa.com and Evans Cycles.

Ashley has handed control of his retail empire to son-in-law Michael Murray, who became the company’s chief executive in May.

“The business has grown from strength to strength since Michael Murray took over the leadership of Frasers Group earlier this year,” Ashley said, adding:

“It is clear that the group has the right leadership and strategy and I am very confident in passing the baton to Michael and his team.”

Summary: Kingfisher profits fall as DIY boom ends

Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, the world economy and financial markets.

Profits at DIY chain Kingfisher fell by nearly a third as the pandemic’s home improvement boom ended and cost-of-living crunch hit budgets.

Profit before tax of Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and screw The company reported this morning that the chain’s sales fell to £474 million in the six months to July 31, from £677 million a year earlier.

Sales were down 4% compared to the first half of 2021, when Covid-19 restrictions and the shift to working from home meant many families were improving their homes and gardens.

Margins fell as the company tried to deal with rising raw material costs and supply chain pressures.

CEO Thierry Garnier It insisted the company achieved “very resilient” sales in the first half, noting that like-for-like sales were still 16.6% above pre-pandemic levels.

Encouragingly, Kingfisher has returned to “pre-pandemic levels of in-store product availability” after supply chain issues left shelves short. The company said sales in the “outdoor” and “oversized” categories were in good demand.

But Garnier also warned that Kingfisher — like the wider retail industry — faces economic uncertainty:

“Looking ahead over the next few months, while the year-to-date deals are in line with our expectations, we remain wary of a more uncertain economic outlook in the second half of the year.

So we focus on delivering value to our customers when they need it most.

Kingfisher – shrugging off some of the impact of strong demand for B&Q products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Screws are naturally less affected and have “strong and consistent execution that supports our confidence in continuing to lead the market”.The 9am call will be important/insightful pic.twitter.com/Lfo80wksdX

— Chris Bailey (@Financial_Orbit) September 20, 2022

Kingfisher’s profit drop is the latest sign of tough times for the UK retail sector.

Last week, Weeks noted that the DIY craze sparked by the pandemic had slowed significantly, while John Lewis posted a £99m first-half loss, and warned that the outlook ahead of Christmas was “very uncertain”.

came today too

Labor is asking who will pay for Liz Truss’ tax and spending plans as Friday’s small budget looms.

Treasury shadow chief secretary Pat McFadden highlighted the difference between Labour’s proposal to fund a freeze on energy prices through a windfall tax on oil and gas companies and the Conservatives’ unfunded plan.

He said that under the Conservatives proposal, which could be paid for by borrowing, “working people will have to pay their bills for years to come” and that “the fundamental questions that remain unanswered in this regard are who pays and what do you get” ?it?”

Here is the full story:

London stocks were set to open higher after yesterday’s closure for a bank holiday to mark Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

Investors focused on central banks, with the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates again sharply on Wednesday, with the Bank of England likely to follow suit on Thursday.

agenda

  • 7am BST: German PPI ex-factory prices for August

  • 8.30am BST: Riksbank rate decision

  • 1.30pm BST: US housing starts and building permits

  • 1.30pm BST: Canadian inflation in August





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