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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March 4, 2024

Vertu signals used car values stabilising

Macro

This week, we get the ECB-rate decision, which will be unchanged again, and US jobs data, which will be more consequential. Powell testifies in Congress, where investors will look for inflation and rates tells.

We also get the budget speech from UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, a fiscally constrained offering with measures designed to fend off the ballot box pressures coming his Government’s way over coming months. Expect lots of headlines but little actual impact.

UK Companies

Clarkson updated that shipping sector trends remain favourable as global trade grows in scale and complexity, and the green transition in shipping is moving ahead. It has a record forward order book of secured 2024 revenues of US$217m. It looks to the future with confidence.

GlobalData reports underlying revenue growth of 7%. Its Growth Transformation Plan reorganisation into Healthcare, Consumer and Technology divisions was complete—the Inflexion acquisition of 40% of the Healthcare division is on track to close during Q2 2024. Net cash proceeds of approximately £434m will provide flexibility for accelerated M&A across the Group. GD is progressing to a 45% Adjusted EBITDA margin and targets £500m of revenue by the end of 2026 through organic growth and M&A.

Vertu Motors updated that UK used vehicle values have stabilised in recent weeks; it has increased used vehicle stock-turn and significantly reduced inventory levels. Profit is broadly in line with current consensus, and net debt will be reduced ahead of market expectations to between £60m-£65m.  

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