Market Prognosis

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

June 20, 2023

Tighter US credit holds back non-residential construction

UK Company News

Boohoo is to vote against the re-election of Revolution Beauty‘s CEO and CFO. Revolution Beauty, meanwhile, has launched legal proceedings against its co-founder and former CEO, Adam Minto.  

Boohoo is weighing in on this developing Manchester-based soap opera. 

Online music equipment retailer, Gear4Music reported that FY23 revenues were 3% ahead of FY22 in a challenging consumer environment. Gross margins of 25.7% reflected an inventory reduction, and EBITDA of £7.4m was 34% below FY22. Net debt at year-end of £14.5m, reduced from £24.2m. It said that demand remains volatile and difficult to predict. But that enhanced operational infrastructure and strong balance sheet will enable the Group to achieve its long-term business objectives. (See note here). 

IG Design, the gift wrap and print design company, reported that FY profit before tax was significantly ahead of initial expectations, driven mainly by more robust trading in Europe and further benefits from ongoing restructuring initiatives. Its order book continues to build but has pricing challenges in all markets, especially in the UK. It anticipates continued progress with an aspiration to return to pre-pandemic operating profit margins by the end of FY2025. (See note here). 

US concrete floor levelling specialist, Somero, updated that new factors have emerged to impact the translation of construction activity into trading in the US. These include elevated interest rates and tightened bank lending standards that have delayed starts to non-residential construction projects H1 2023. It, therefore, sees revenue between 15% and 20% below the record US$ 68.5m reported in H1 2022. It had year-end cash of approximately US$ 32.0m (compared to the previous market consensus estimate of US$ 31.0m), attributable to expectations for a meaningfully lower net working capital investment level in 2023. 


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