Market Prognosis

A concise summary of the major macro events of the past 24 hours, and selected UK company-specific news.

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April 16, 2024

CVC IPO Fuels Belief in UK’s Capital Market Dumpster Fire


The stronger-than-expected Q1 China GDP data show growth at 5.3% against the trend rate of 5%. However, industrial production and consumer spending data showed lower-than-expected numbers. As usual, these data releases have something for both China bulls and China bears.

The yen fell past ¥154 to the dollar for the first time since 1990, surpassing levels that some analysts have warned could draw direct intervention from Japan. US policymakers (among others) would not welcome higher Japanese rates just at this moment.

The UK’s unemployment rate has ticked up to 4.2% from 4% with an increase in the number of unemployed people, up 85,000 to 1.4m, as wage growth runs strongly.

CVC decided to IPO in Amsterdam, adding fuel to the UK stock market gloomsters, citing Shell’s threat to decamp its listing to New York as the final sign that the UK is a capital market dumpster fire. Reactions on this issue are becoming hysterical.

Tesla staff has announced further layoffs as China continues eating its lunch in the over-supplied EV market.

UK Companies

There is a post-Easter rush to get results out in the UK. 

Accesso reported FY results exceeding profitability targets and completing three strategic acquisitions with revenue growth of 7.0% to $149.5m for the year. It has reduced lower margin or breakeven revenue streams. It says visitor demand has stabilised, and attractions and venues are increasingly focused on improving the guest experience, requiring investment in systems technology. It added offices in Canada, Dubai, Italy, and Singapore and expects another profitable and cash-generative year that aligns with current expectations.  

Dr Martens warned that its USA wholesale revenue is anticipated to double-digit down year-on-year and that most of the £15m of additional costs incurred in FY24 are expected to repeat in FY25. It expects the current year’s revenue to decline by a single-digit percentage and at the PBT is unchanged. However, it says a worst-case scenario is for PBT of around one-third of the FY24 level. The CEO has decided to step down. 

Everyman Media updated that despite the impact of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes in 2023, it anticipates a continuously improving film slate in 2024 and beyond. This year, we will proceed with our expansion plans at a measured pace, with three new openings planned, mindful of reducing net banking debt and leverage.

James Fisher FY results stated that the Group’s overall performance has been in line with its expectations, and it continues to see supportive end markets in 2024 in most of its businesses.  

Learning Tech expects 2024 revenues to be in line with 2023. Strong cash generation and balance sheet strength give it confidence in returning to value-accretive acquisitions in 2024 and beyond.

Marks Electrical reported FY revenue of £114.3m (FY23: £97.8m), demonstrating increased market share. Product margins held and H2 improvements in working capital management helped it achieve a closing net cash position of £7.8m. Its Trustpilot rating rose from 4.8 to 4.9. However, consumers remain highly price-conscious, adversely impacting average order value, resulting in customer order volumes growing faster than revenue. This impact limits margin expansion in the short term when considering the relatively fixed delivery cost.

Plus500 FY 2024 results will exceed current market expectations as it continues its strategic journey to becoming a diversified retail fintech services provider. 

Sosander continues to grow despite the headwinds of UK consumers and the specific challenges in the online fashion sector.    

Superdry has announced a rescue restructuring and delisting, while East Imperial cancelled its listing and entered administration. 

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