Written by 3:19 pm EU Investment

Brexit Trade Deal Is Holding Back UK Business With EU

Brexit Trade Deal Is Holding Back UK Business With EU

1433 GMT – The U.K.’s EU trade deal is failing to help British companies boost business with the bloc, according to a survey. More than three quarters, or 77%, of firms trying to use the Trade and Cooperation Agreement say it isn’t helping them to increase sales or expand their businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce study showed. More than half, or 56%, of companies reported difficulties in adapting to new rules for trading goods and 44% reported problems in securing staff visas, the BCC said. The U.K. needs an “honest dialogue” about how to improve trading links with the EU, the BCC says. “The longer current problems go unchecked, the more EU traders go elsewhere,” BCC director-general Shevaun Haviland writes. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Companies News: 

Made.com Board Proposes Voluntary Liquidation

Made.com Group PLC said Thursday that the board has proposed formally winding the company up via a members voluntary liquidation, or MVL.

LPA Appoints Stuart Stanyard as CFO

LPA Group PLC said Thursday that it has appointed Stuart Stanyard as chief financial officer.

WANdisco Sees FY 2022 Revenue Ahead of Market Views After Getting $12.7 Mln Contract

WANdisco PLC said Thursday that it expects to report revenue for fiscal 2022 ahead of market expectations after it signed an agreement for a $12.7 million contract.

Character Group FY 2022 Pretax Profit Fell; Shares Slide

Shares of Character Group PLC fell Thursday after the company reported that pretax profit for fiscal 2022 fell on higher costs and that performance in the first half of fiscal 2023 has been affected by challenging conditions.

I3 Energy Sees Rise in 2023 Production, to Increase Dividend

i3 Energy PLC said Thursday that it expects average production in 2023 to rise around 10% to 13%, and that it will increase its dividend.

Avation Sells Two Aircraft

Avation PLC said Thursday that it has completed the sale of two aircraft that were previously leased to Loganair.

NWF Group Saw Strong 1H; To Buy Sweetfuels for GBP14.3 Mln

NWF Group PLC said Thursday that it has seen a strong first half of fiscal 2023, and that it is buying Sweetfuels Ltd. for a total of 14.3 million pounds ($17.3 million) in cash.

TruFin Rejects GBP26 Mln Offer for Oxygen Finance; Shares Rise

Shares in TruFin PLC rose on Thursday after the company said that it rejected an indicative offer for its subsidiary Oxygen Finance Ltd.

Bens Creek to Sell Highwall Miner Machine for $3.6 Mln

Bens Creek Group PLC said Thursday that it plans to sell its highwall miner machine to Civil LLC for $3.6 million.

Journeo Agrees to Buy IGL Ltd. for Around GBP8.7 Mln; Funds to Be Raised via Placing

Journeo PLC said Thursday that it has conditionally agreed to buy the entire issued share capital of IGL Ltd. for around 8.7 million pounds ($10.5 million), and that it will finance this primarily via a discounted placing, a subscription, and a retail offer.

Yourgene Health Raises Around GBP6.4 Mln, Beating Target

Yourgene Health PLC said Thursday it had raised around 6.4 million pounds ($7.7 million) via a discounted share placing and a subscription, beating its original estimate, and that it will use this to fund the group’s cost restructuring.

Pipehawk Says QM Systems FY 2023 Orders Strong

Pipehawk PLC said Thursday that orders for its QM Systems subsidiary have remained strong throughout fiscal 2023 to date, and it has made progress on several contract.

DiscoverIE Buys Magnasphere for $22 Mln

DiscoverIE Group PLC said Thursday that it has bought Magnasphere Corp., a U.S.-based designer and manufacturer of magnetic sensors and switches for industrial electronic applications, for $22 million.

DG Innovate Cuts Stake In Spreadex to 4%

DG Innovate PLC said Thursday that it has lowered its stake in gambling company Spreadex Ltd. to 4.23% from 12.19%.

Impellam Declares Special Dividend

Impellam Group PLC said Thursday that it is declaring special interim dividend of 55.4 pence per ordinary share after experiencing continued strong trading.

Corcel Resolution to Reelect Kristian Ainsworth as Director Passes With Low Support

Corcel PLC said Thursday that the resolution to reelect Kristian Ainsworth as a director of the company passed with a low vote count at the annual general meeting.

X5 Retail Completes RUB14 Bln Bond Offering to Finance Expenses

X5 Retail Group NV said Thursday that it has completed a 14 billion-ruble ($193.3 million) corporate bond offering to finance current expenses.

City of London Group 1H Pretax Loss Widened

City of London Group PLC said Thursday that its pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2023 widened.

Superdry Sees 1H Revenue Rise on Strong Owned-Store Performance

Superdry PLC said Thursday that revenue in the first half of fiscal 2023 rose 3.6% on year, driven by a strong performance in owned stores.

 
Market Talk: 

UK’s Business Investment Revision Paints Troubling Picture, AJ Bell Says

1200 GMT – The U.K.’s revised 3Q GDP figures didn’t add much, but the troubling nugget in the Office for National Statistics’ update is the larger-than-expected downward revision in business investment, which left it at a “whooping” 8.1% below its prepandemic level, AJ Bell says. “Investment is the fuel that helps stoke the embers of a cooling economy and with the U.K. now at the bottom of the table of G7 countries when it comes to growth, it’s clear more needs to be done to inspire confidence that post-Brexit, postpandemic the U.K. is worth another look,” analyst Danni Hewson says in a market comment, adding that it is hard to find the silver lining in the gathering storm clouds. (elena.vardon@wsj.com)

European Stocks Trade Lower Ahead of Expected US Losses

1233 GMT – European stocks mostly fall ahead of an expected slightly lower U.S. open, though Asia markets traded largely higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 and CAC 40 drop 0.1% and the DAX retreats 0.4%, though the FTSE 100 rises 0.4%. Brent crude gains 1.6% to $83.87 a barrel. IG futures data show the Dow opening at 33289, versus Wednesday’s close of 33376. Markets in Australia, Hong Kong and Japan rose, though mainland Chinese stocks fell. “U.S. weekly jobless claims, a final revision to U.S. 3Q GDP and the Chicago Fed index are the only real events of note Thursday,” IG analysts say in a note. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

LondonMetric Property Looks Well-Placed Despite Risks

1319 GMT – LondonMetric Property faces short-term recession risk, but looks well-placed to ride out the storm, Citigroup says, downgrading the property developer to neutral from buy. Asset values are falling and look set to lose further ground as interest rates rise to combat inflation, Citi says. Still, LondonMetric has a chairman with arguably industry-leading experience in coping with such situations and the company looks increasingly likely to capitalize on falling values with acquisitions that boost earnings per share, Citi says. “We open a negative catalyst watch to reflect the nearer-term recession risk,” Citi analysts say in a note, cutting their target price on the stock to 166 pence from 299 pence. Shares fall 2% to 170 pence. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Nationwide’s December UK House Price Index Awaited with Nervousness

1320 GMT – For the moment, the Nationwide U.K. house price index is just 3% off its high, coming in at GBP263,788 in November, says AJ Bell. But higher interest rates, higher mortgage rates and record house prices have raised the issue of housing affordability–coupled with 40-year inflation rates and sagging consumer confidence–leaving many home owners looking on nervously, AJ Bell analysts say in a market comment. Prices have fallen four times in the past five months and central bankers, politicians, economists and investors will look to the next house price index from building society Nationwide, set for release on Dec. 30, to see if the U.K.’s brief flirtation with Trussonomics–which sent markets roiling during the shortlived tenure of the former prime minister Liz Truss–has done any lasting damage and added to the pressure caused by rising interest rates, the brokerage says. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Pan African Resources Faces Tough 2023

1347 GMT – Pan African Resources faces a tough 2023 as gold prices fall and costs rise, Peel Hunt says, cutting its price target on the South Africa-focused gold miner’s London-listed shares to 25 pence from 29 pence. The lower price target is a direct result of lower near-term gold-price forecasts, Peel Hunt says, adding that higher costs are also a concern. “Despite a current forex tailwind, we believe PAF has a tough FY 2023 ahead, with cost management a key focus,” Peel Hunt analysts say in a note. Still, the U.K. brokerage keeps its buy recommendation on the stock, which drops 2% to about 17 pence. Pan African is a Peel Hunt corporate client. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-22-22 1018ET

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