WPP Posts Hefty H1 Loss, Declares Dividend; Sees FY20 Margin, LFL Revenue Within Market Range

Woolworths FY20 Net Profit Down, EBIT Rises; Declares Dividend; Stock Up

Supermarket chain Woolworths Group Limited (WOW.AX) reported Thursday that its fiscal 2020 net profit attributable to equity holders of the parent entity fell 56.7 percent to A$1.17 billion from last year’s A$2.69 billion.

Basic earnings per share declined 55 percent to 92.7 cents from 206.2 cents a year ago.

Attributable profit from continuing operations declined 21.8 percent to A$1.17 billion.

Adjusted attributable profit was A$1.60 billion or 127.5 cents per share, compared to A$1.75 billion or 134.2 cents per share last year.

Earnings before interest and tax or EBIT grew 11.8 percent from last year to A$2.63 billion, and adjusted EBIT increased 18.3 percent to A$3.22 billion.

Sales increased 6.2 percent to A$63.68 billion from A$59.98 billion last year. Sales, normalised for AASB 16 and 53rd week, increased 8.1 percent.

Further, the Board declared a fullyfranked final dividend of 48 cents per share. This brings the full-year dividend to 94 cents per share, down 7.8 percent on last year.

Excluding non-comparable Petrol earnings in the prior year and the impact of the 53rd week, the dividend was in line with the prior year.

Looking ahead, the company said, “The outlook for the year ahead is uncertain and recent events in Victoria have reminded us that the situation remains challenging. But I am confident that the Group is well positioned to adapt to whatever environment we may find ourselves in and continue to live our purpose.”

In Australia, Woolworths shares were trading at $40.35, up 2.75 percent.

Bouygues Posts Loss In H1; Sales Down 15% – Quick Facts

Bouygues (BOUYY.PK) reported a first half net loss attributable to the Group of 244 million euros compared to profit of 225 million euros, previous year. The Group reported a current operating loss of 132 million euros, compared to profit of 453 million euros. The company said the difference was entirely due to the impact of Covid-19, estimated at 650 million euros in first-half 2020.

First half sales were 14.8 billion euros, down 15% year-on-year (down 15% like-for-like and at constant exchange rates). The company noted that the decrease was entirely attributable to Covid-19, which had an estimated impact of 2.8 billion euros.

For the second quarter, the company reported current operating profit of 110 million euros. Group sales were 7.54 billion euros, down 21% year-on-year.

Due to the uncertainty of the ongoing Covid19 crisis and its impact for the rest of the year, the Group will not issue a new guidance for 2020. However, the Group stated that it will return to significant profitability in the second half of 2020, without reaching the particularly high levels of second half 2019.

The Hut Group plans to raise at least 920 million pounds in London IPO

(Reuters) – E-commerce group The Hut Group Ltd said on Thursday it was considering an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, targeting proceeds of at least 920 million pounds ($1.21 billion), as it looks to tap in pandemic-accelerated investor appetite for the sector.

If listed, the company said it plans to have a free float of at least 20% of its issued share capital and a fixed offer price that would give it a pre-money equity value of 4.5 billion pounds, the company said.

Rolls-Royce eyes 2 bln stg worth of disposals

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it aimed to sell its Spanish unit ITP Aero and other assets to raise at least 2 billion pounds to boost its balance sheet, which has been shattered by a travel slump brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rolls-Royce also said on Thursday that CFO Stephen Daintith had resigned to take up another opportunity, but said he would remain in his role to support an orderly transition as he leads a plan to make 1 billion pounds of cost cuts this year. (Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)

Bain-backed memory chipmaker Kioxia launches $3.6 billion IPO – filing

TOKYO, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Kioxia Holdings, the world’s second-largest flash memory chipmaker, will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct. 6 in an initial public offering worth up to 378 billion yen ($3.6 billion), a regulatory filing showed on Thursday.

The listing woud be Japan’s biggest IPO this year and allow a partial exit by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital, which led a consortium that bought the former unit of Toshiba Corp in 2018. ($1 = 106.0300 yen) (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Hurricane Laura to hit coasts of Louisiana, Texas with force

Catastrophic storm surge forecast as governors issue mandatory evacuation orders to 620,000 people.

Forecasters in the United States say Hurricane Laura could hit the coasts of Louisiana and Texas with “unsurvivable” storm surges.

Currently a Category 4 storm, Laura has rapidly picked up speed, driven by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Half a million people have already been forced to leave their homes.

Tens of millions more face potential devastation.

Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher reports.

WPP Posts Hefty H1 Loss, Declares Dividend; Sees FY20 Margin, LFL Revenue Within Market Range

WPP plc (WPP.L,WPPGY) reported Thursday that its first-half loss before tax was 2.58 billion pounds, compared to profit of 409 million pounds last year.

Loss per share was 214.5 pence, compared to profit of 21.4 pence a year ago.

Headline profit before tax was 276 million pounds, compared to 494 million pounds a year ago. Headline earnings per share were 15.4 pence, compared to 28 pence last year.

Revenue declined 12.3 percent to 5.58 billion pounds from 6.37 billion pounds last year. Like-for-like revenue declined 11.5 percent.

The company announced an interim dividend of 10 pence for 2020.

Regarding the current trading, the company said it is showing sequential improvement on second quarter but market remains volatile. In July, LFL revenue less pass-through costs dropped 9.2%.

Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal 2020 LFL revenue less pass-through costs growth and headline operating margin to be within the range of analysts’ expectations.