UK business minister Leadsom leaves role in reshuffle

Centrica FY19 Adj. Profit Declines; Adj. Revenue Down 2% – Quick Facts

Centrica plc (CNA.L) reported a pretax loss of 1.1 billion pounds for the year ended 31 December 2019 compared to profit of 575 million pounds, previous year. Loss per share was 17.8 pence compared to profit of 3.2 pence. Adjusted profit before tax declined to 645 million pounds from 1.1 billion pounds. Adjusted EPS declined by 35% to 7.3 pence.

Fiscal 2019 group revenue included in business performance declined 2% to 26.8 billion pounds. Gross segment revenue, which includes revenue generated from the sale of products and services between segments, was down 3% to 28.0 billion pounds.

Iain Conn, Chief Executive, said: “2019 operating profit and earnings were materially impacted by a challenging environment, most significantly the implementation of the UK default tariff cap and falling natural gas prices. Looking to 2020, we expect to deliver earnings momentum relative to 2019 from our core customer divisions, but Upstream earnings are likely to be impacted by the lower commodity price environment.”

In addition to the interim dividend of 1.5 pence per share, the proposed final dividend is 3.5 pence, giving a total full year dividend of 5.0 pence.

Stock Alert: ASGN Inc. (ASGN) Shares Up; Q4 Adj. EPS Tops Consensus

Shares of ASGN Inc. (ASGN) closed Wednesday’s trading session at $68.46, up 24 cents or 0.35%. The stock has been trading in a range of $50.33 – $72.66 in the past one year. Trading volume increased to 346K versus an average volume of 238K shares.

The company, on Feb. 12, reported Q4 net income of $39.3 million or $0.74 per share, down from $45.9 million or $0.86 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018. Adjusted net income increased to $68.3 million or $1.28 per share from $60.8 million or $1.14 per share last year. Revenues were $1.0 billion, up 10.3% over the fourth quarter of 2018.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.23 per share and revenues of $1.03 billion for the fourth-quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude certain special items.

For the first-quarter 2020, the company expects net income to be in the range of $42.3 million – $45.9 million or $0.79 – $0.86 per share; adjusted net income of $54.4 million – $58.1 million or $1.02 – $1.09 per share, and revenues of $990.0 million – $1.0 billion. Wall Street currently is looking for the first-quarter earnings of $1.03 per share on annual revenues of $998.61 million.

Global economy may be dented by 1 percentage point from virus outbreak, French official warns

PARIS (AP) — France’s government calculates that the deadly virus outbreak in China will shave at least 1 percentage point off the growth this year of the world’s second largest economy, hurting global economic growth too.

The French economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, told broadcaster BFM-TV that the impact on global growth will be greater this time than during the SARS epidemic in 2003, because China’s economy is a far larger component of the world economy than it was then.

“Our estimation is that the impact on Chinese growth will be of the order of 1 (percentage) point for the year. That’s to say, an important number,” the minister said Thursday.

“If it lasts, persists or if the epidemic is amplified, of course the impact will be greater.”

Le Maire said that knock-on impacts will be considerable too, projecting that global economic growth will be reduced by at least 0.2 of a percentage point for 2020 and that French growth will suffer a 0.1 percentage-point hit.

“This virus obviously will have an impact, a real impact,” he said.

Domino’s Pizza To Sell Entire Stake In Norway Unit For Full Ownership In Sweden

Domino’s Pizza Group plc (DOM.L) announced Thursday that it has agreed to sell its entire 71 percent stake in Domino’s Norway, DP Norway AS, to Pizza Holding AS and EYJA Fjarfestingafelag III EHF, the existing minority shareholders in Domino’s Norway.

The consideration would comprise a combination of the payment of a nominal amount, NOK 1, in cash and the transfer by the Minority Shareholders’ of their entire shareholdings in Domino’s Sweden to Domino’s Pizza. This will result in Domino’s Pizza owning 100 percent of Domino’s Sweden.

The company noted that the transfer of minority interests in Domino’s Sweden, PPS Foods AB, would simplify Domino’s Pizza’s disposal of its Swedish business in due course.

The sale of Norway stake, conditional on shareholder approval, provides a complete exit for Domino’s Pizza from Norway for a cash outlay of up to 7.0 million pounds, in addition to funding DPN’s losses to completion. Domino’s Norway reported an underlying operating loss before tax of 6.6 million pounds for the year 2018

The company said the agreed sale is part of its earlier announced plan to exit its directly operated international operations in an orderly manner, and find more suitable owners for these businesses.

Japan to spend 10.3 billion yen from budget reserve to fight coronavirus: Abe

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the cabinet will decide on Friday to spend 10.3 billion yen from the budget reserve to respond to the coronavirus.

Steps will total 15.3 billion yen, he added after a meeting of a task force on the coronavirus.

Earlier on Thursday, Japanese media reported that a Tokyo taxi driver had tested positive for the virus.

UK business minister Leadsom leaves role in reshuffle

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – British business minister Andrea Leadsom said on Thursday she was leaving her role as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ministerial reshuffle.

“It has been a real privilege to serve in government for the last six years … I now look forward to focusing on my constituents,” Leadsom said on Twitter.

The government is due to announce her replacement later on Thursday. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by William James)