Marks and Spencer Group PLC slumps as it warns of cost pressures and cuts more full-range stores

Shares of Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LSE:MKS) fell sharply after warning of cost pressures and unveiling plans to cut more stores.

In a presentation to institutional investors, it said it would reduce the number of full-line stores by 67 by 2028 to bring the total to 180.

And in a plan to focus on food, it will open 104 Simply Food stores to take the number to 420.

On costs, he said he has seen wage inflation of around 7% and expects more to happen in 2023.

Energy costs were £40m higher than expected and without support he could face headwinds of over £100m next year.

He said the cost of groceries was already under pressure, while dollar pressure on clothing was yet to come.

Its shares are down 6.02% to 92.29p.

2:02 p.m .: JD Sports Fashion falls as CFO announces departure

JD Sports Fashion PLC (LSE:JD.) is out of fashion after announcing that its chief financial officer will step down next year.

Neil Greenhalgh joined the company in 2004 and has been in his current role since November 2018.

This is the second change in the main jobs in recent months. In August, the company named Régis Schultz as chief executive after Peter Cowgill stepped down as executive chairman in May.

Greenhalgh said: “The decision to retire from JD in 2023 is a decision I have considered for some time. I fully intend to help [chairman Andy Higginson] and Régis settle into their roles and, by notifying the Board of Directors, enable a smooth transition to a new CFO.”

Its shares are down 8.71% to 90.80p.

12:15 p.m .: Kin + Carta advances after optimistic outlook

Consulting firm Kin + Carta (LSE:KCT) climbs after a positive update.

He said full-year revenue jumped 48% to £190.3m, although the total pre-tax loss from continuing operations was £15.9m, compared with a loss of £5.8 million.

The rise was due to acquisition- and retirement-related charges as well as lease-related impairments and provisions, he said.

Turning to the outlook, he said a record order book of £96 million at year-end, a record demand pipeline and new customers gave the board confidence in the ambitions of business growth.

It expects organic growth of 15% to 20% in constant currency for 2023, with additional growth of 6 to 7% from annualizing prior year acquisitions. He said if rates remained close to current levels, he expected further growth in total net income and adjusted operating profit.

Managing Director Kelly Manthey said, “After a strong business year, the company’s foundations are well established and our goals are set on the continued success of our customers and profitable global growth.”

Its shares added 5.26% or 10p to 200p.

11:16 am: Synthomer (LSE:SYNT) slips after suspending dividend payments

Chemical company Synthomer (LSE:SYNT) shocked the market by announcing that it was suspending its planned dividends and that it was in talks with its banks.

At an investor seminar, the group said:[The] the key priority is to bring leverage back to its target range of 1-2X and management will outline initiatives to achieve this.

“The company is in talks with its banks to ensure there is enough headroom for its covenants going forward.

“As part of the waiver process, the board has suspended dividend payments until the end of 2023, including the payment which is due in November.”

He said his medium-term financial goals include single-digit percentage growth at constant currencies, an EBITDA margin of more than 15%, and a return on capital employed in the mid-1920s.

Its shares are down 11.46% or 11.05p to 85.35p.

10:02 am: Steppe intensifies after shareholders increase stake

Steppe Cement (AIM:STCM) racked up a gain after a few shareholders increased their stakes.

The family of chief executive Javier del Ser Perez bought 300,000 shares at 31.7p per ordinary share, taking their stake to 8.47%.

Meanwhile, the family of major shareholder David Crichton-Watt paid between 31p and 31.75p for 2,820,000 shares between September 19 and October 11. The purchase increases their shareholding from 15.68% to 16.97%.

In the market, shares of Steppe climbed 4.76% to 33p.

8:42 am: Physiomics unveils agreement to work with cancer research

Physiomics PLC (AIM:PYC) is heading higher after the consultancy firm signed a deal with Cancer Research UK.

The company specializes in mathematical modeling and simulation for the development of drugs for the biopharmaceutical industry.

Under the terms of the agreement, it will use its PKPD modeling capabilities to support Cancer Research UK-sponsored early-stage clinical development of ALETA-001, a CAR-T cell-engaging candidate for the treatment of blood cancers developed by Aleta Biotherapeutics. The PKPD modeling project is expected to be completed this calendar year.

Chief Executive Dr Jim Millen said: “We are delighted to be working with Cancer Research UK, the world’s leading cancer charity. Although we have previously worked with clients whose first clinical trials are sponsored by Cancer Research UK’s Center for Drug Development, this project marks the first time that Physiomics has worked directly with Cancer Research UK.”

Its shares are up 14.29% or 0.3p to 2.4p.

Elsewhere, Invinity Energy Systems PLC (AIM:IES) emerged after its first sale in Europe.

The utility-grade energy storage manufacturer has sold a 0.8 MWh Invinity VS3 flow battery system to Bouygues-owned Equans Belux for use at one of their sites in Belgium.

Equans considers this project as an important reference site to present this new solution to its customers, but also to validate the performance of Invinity’s flow batteries in terms of suitability for future projects.

The batteries will be assembled at Invinity’s facilities in Bathgate and delivery is expected in early 2023.

Matt Harper, Chief Commercial Officer of Invinity, said, “Invinity’s first VS3 sale in the European market is exciting for us, especially given the strength of our customer. Equans and Bouygues are world leaders in providing technical services that help commercial and industrial businesses to be profitable. navigate the low-carbon energy transition. We are excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate how Invinity’s sustainable, secure and cost-effective energy storage solutions can help accelerate this transition across Equans’ entire customer portfolio.

Invinity is up 6.12% or 1.5p to 26p.

Comments are closed.