BUSINESS LIVE: Currys sells Greek business; Safestyle UK becomes a “cash shell”; Wickes sees DIY burglary


The FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent in early trading. Companies with reports and trading updates today include Currys, Safestyle UK and Wickets Group. Read the Business Live blog from Thursday November 2nd below.

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MARKET REPORT: Stocks rise after record day of corporate results as central banks put interest rates on hold

Wickes sees DIY decline – shares fall 1.2% at market open

Wickes Group has reiterated its 2023 forecast despite like-for-like sales falling 4.4 per cent in its do-it-for-me (DIFM) business in the third quarter.

The group told investors this was partly due to “a more normalized order book” compared to previous quarters, as well as “delays in delivered sales due to the transition to a new software solution to fulfill customer orders.”

Wickes said measures were being taken to resolve the issue but acknowledged there would be “some impact” on shipped sales in the final quarter of this year.

Wickes CEO David Wood said:

“Thanks to our great colleagues, we once again delivered a solid performance in a challenging market and continued to implement our strategic growth drivers.” In our core business, we gained further market share and achieved a return to volume growth. We have met strong demand from our trade customers and have been encouraged by greater stability in the DIY sector.

“As we continue to advance our store opening and transformation program, I am confident we have the right product offering and the most attractive locations to create value for customers and shareholders.”

Safestyle UK becomes a “cash shell”

Safestyle UK has become a “cash shell” after the glass company fell into administration earlier this week.

The group, which recently reported a pre-tax loss of £6.7 million, was forced to declare bankruptcy after talks with stakeholders to strengthen its debt-laden balance sheet failed. Its failure will cost almost 700 jobs.

Safestyle UK said this morning: “Following the appointment of the administrators, Safestyle ceased to control and/or manage substantially all of its business activities and assets and as a result Safestyle is now considered a cash shell under AIM Rule 15.”

“In light of these developments, the directors are now taking legal advice and are likely to be required to place Safestyle into liquidation in due course.”

“As an AIM Rule 15 cash shell, Safestyle is required to undertake one or more acquisitions constituting a reverse takeover under AIM Rule 14 or attempt to become an investing entity under AIM Rule 8 within six months from October 30, 2023 , which fails.” whose shares remain suspended.

“In view of the liquidation process now expected to begin, Safestyle is not currently pursuing such a transaction and it is therefore expected that the admission of the company’s ordinary shares to trading on AIM will be canceled once the liquidators have been appointed.”

Shell shareholders secure share buyback and dividend bonus worth £20 billion

Shell will hand over nearly £20bn to investors this year in a share buyback and dividend payout, despite a third-quarter profit slump.

The gas and oil giant said yesterday it would buy back an additional £2.9bn of shares over the next three months and pay a third quarter dividend of 27p.

This brings the total planned payouts for this year so far to a total of £19 billion.

The record payday for shareholders sparked a backlash from unions, which accused the company of profiting from consumers’ high energy bills.


Currys sells Greek business

Currys has agreed to sell its Greek Kotsovolos unit to Public Power Corporation for an enterprise value of £175 million to reduce debt and reduce its pension deficit.

Currys, whose shares have fallen 29 percent in the last year, said the sale would simplify its structure and allow the company to focus on its larger markets of Britain, Ireland and the Nordics.

The deal, which is expected to cost around £156m after various costs, will also strengthen the company’s balance sheet, increase flexibility for investment and growth of the business and improve returns to shareholders.

Drew Weisholtz

Drew Weisholtz is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Drew Weisholtz joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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