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UK pre-market stocks update – Boohoo, Aviva, Petrofac, Covid, Fed

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By Samuel Indyk – At 07:29GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading higher by 1.3% at 7204.5.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3264, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8523. The US Dollar Index is down 0.2%.

Today’s calendar highlights include monetary policy decisions from the Bank of England, European Central Bank, Norges Bank, Swiss National Bank, Turkish Central Bank, and Mexican Central Bank.


Daily COVID cases in the UK surged to a record 78,610, prompting a warning against social mixing from the government’s chief medical adviser.


The Fed sped up the pace of its tapering of asset purchases to $30 billion per month from $15 billion month. Officials also now expect to raise interest rates three times next year.


Pearson (LON:PSON) – Announces the appointments of Omid Kordestani as a Non-Executive Director and Chair Designate and Tim Score, Senior Independent Director, as Deputy Chair Designate.

Schroders (LON:SDR) – Confirms in advanced talks with Greencoat Capital about taking a significant stake in the business. There is no certainty these talks will lead to any final agreement.

Rentokil Initial  (LON:RTO) – S&P reaffirmed its corporate credit rating at ‘BBB’, with outlook stable, following the announcement Rentokil Initial (LON:RTO)’s $6.7 billion acquisition of Terminix.

WPP (LON:WPP) – Instructed Citi to purchases up to £250 million shares under repurchase programme.

Aviva (LON:AV) – Increased and extended its ordinary share buyback programme announced on 12 August 2021 from £750 million to a maximum aggregate consideration of £1 billion.

Boohoo (LON:BOOH) – Quarterly group total net sales up 10% to £506.2 million. Expectations for the financial year ending 28 February 2022 will be lower than previously guided as a consequence of significantly higher returns rates impacting net sales growth and costs, with continued disruption to our international delivery proposition impacting international demand, and significant ongoing pandemic-related cost inflation. For the year ending 28 February 2022, the Group now expects net sales growth to be 12% to 14%, compared to previous guidance of 20% to 25% growth. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the year is expected to be 6% to 7%, compared to previous guidance of 9% to 9.5%.

Petrofac (LON:PFC) – Group net profit broadly in line with market expectations for 2021, supported by tax provision releases of $17 million in H1 and approximately $35 million in H2. New order intake of $2.0 billion in the year to date (increased from $0.5 billion at half year). On track to deliver cost saving target of circa $250 million by year-end. Management expects to report Group revenue of approximately $3.0 billion and full-year net profit broadly in line with 2020 and with market expectations.

Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) – Dorothy Thompson, CBE, will step down and retire as Chair of the Board on 31 December 2021 and Phuthuma Nhleko will be appointed Chair of the Board, effective 1 January 2022.

LXi REIT (LON:LXIL) – Acquired a long-let property which has been independently valued by Knight Frank LLP at £58.9 million. The acquisition is being financed by cash and the issue of new ordinary shares. 

Hipgnosis Songs Fund (LON:SONG) – Operative NAV increased by 2.5% to $1.7242 per share in six months to 30th September. Like-for-like valuation uplift across the Portfolio to $2.55 billion. Due to the time lag between the consumption of songs and the royalty statements being processed, the point at which revenues are recognised, means that the impact of COVID-19 is now being fully felt.

IntegraFin Holdings (LON:IHPI) – FY profit after tax up 12% to £51.1 million. Funds under direction up 27% to £52.11 billion. Gross inflows of £7.7 billion in the year, up 34%.

Ascential (LON:ASCL) – Sold Medialink to United Talent Agency for $125 million in cash.

Domino’s Pizza Group (LON:DOM) – Announced that it has reached resolution with its franchisees to unlock the significant latent potential of the Domino’s system and accelerate both near-term and long-term growth. Under the Resolution, DPG will make strategic investments in the system to improve capabilities and drive system sales growth primarily through order count. DPG expects results for FY21 to be in line with expectations. Expects FY22 underlying EBITDA and EPS to be in line with current market expectations.

JTC (LON:JTC) – To acquire Essential Fund Services. The consideration will be settled via cash and JTC equity.

Airtel Africa (LON:AAF) – Chimera Investment has invested $50m in Airtel Africa’s mobile money business.

CLS Holdings (LON:CLSH) – Secured five significant leases in the last three weeks across Germany, amounting to 91,865 sq. ft (8,535 sqm), in Cologne, Essen, Berlin and Munich.

The Gym Group (LON:GYM) – Total member numbers grew from 547,000 in February 2021 to 753,000 at the end of October 2021. Headline prices have continued to increase through H2 2021 with the average monthly price of a standard DO IT membership increasing to £19.23 in November 2021. The Company is trading in-line with market expectations for FY2021 for its key profit measure of Group Adjusted EBITDA Less Normalised Rent.

Robert Walters (LON:RWA) – Profit before tax for the full year ending 31 December 2021 is expected to be comfortably ahead of current market expectations.

McBride (LON:MCB) – Raw material and packaging costs have continued to experience very significant inflationary pressures with availability continuing to impact supply chain efficiency. In addition, the shortage of haulage capacity and even higher fuel costs has not abated and have continued to substantially inflate distribution costs. The Group now expects to report an adjusted loss before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of between £14-£17 million for the six months ended 31 December 2021.

Hunting (LON:HTG) – Trading during the final quarter of 2021 has remained in line with management’s expectations, with a broadly break-even EBITDA result anticipated for the full-year. Following further due diligence, the Board has also decided to postpone its plans to launch a level two American Depositary Receipt programme, however, this decision may be revisited at a later date.

UK pre-market stocks update – Boohoo, Aviva, Petrofac, Covid, Fed

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