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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May 17, 2023

The “trading weighted towards H2” trend

Macro & Overnight

US competition authorities are attempting to block the Amgen and Horizon merger, citing concerns over the impact on US drug prices.

Despite the looming debt ceiling, precious metals have weakened, and the US $ has strengthened.

UK Company News

There is a discernable trend of companies updating that they are on track but with a greater weighting towards H2, so technically, they are a bit off-track. Investors need to be careful about what indicators there are for a more robust H2 performance in any update. 

Coats, the industrial thread and global footwear component manufacturer, updated trading in line with expectations. It saw a revenue decline of 7% and down 20% in constant exchange rates. It expects a second-half weighting, underpinned by the contribution from acquisitions, associated synergies and strategic projects. Profit margins were resilient, supported by strategic projects and tight cost control.

Gamma Communications sees its trading outcome within the forecast range. (See note here).  

Mpac, the packaging machinery supplier, said that momentum from Q4 2022 has continued into 2023. Its order intake and the volume of quotation activity are all significantly above the prior year. Results are expected to be weighted towards the year’s second half, with the current order book providing extensive coverage over the revenue forecast.

Watch retailer, Watches of Switzerland reported FY23 performance in line with guidance. It said it enters FY24 significantly ahead of its Long Range Plan. It anticipates that the more challenging trading environment of the second half of FY23 will continue into the first half of FY24 before improving in H2. 


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