BUSINESS LIVE: Marston benefits from job cuts; Travis Perkins Lowers Earnings Guidance; FirstGroup raises expectations


BUSINESS LIVE: Marston benefits from job cuts; Travis Perkins Lowers Earnings Guidance; FirstGroup raises expectations

The FTSE 100 opens at 8am. Companies with reports and trading updates today include Travis Perkins, Marston’s, FirstGroup, Brickability, PageGroup, Mitie, Watkin Jones and GSK. Read the Business Live blog from Wednesday October 11th below.

> If you’re using our app or a third-party website, click here to read Business Live

PageGroup’s profits are likely to disappoint

PageGroup has warned that full-year profits are unlikely to meet analysts’ expectations after the recruiter suffered falling fees due to a weak labor market.

The FTSE 250 company forecast a profit of between £125m and £130m for the year to December 31, below market expectations of £137.6m.

CEO Nicholas Kirk said: “Looking forward, there is an increased level of uncertainty in the near term due to a slower end to the quarter.”

However, we have a highly diversified and adaptable business model, a strong balance sheet and our cost base is continually reviewed and can be quickly adjusted to market conditions.

“Given these fundamental strengths, we believe we will continue to perform well in these challenging markets and we are confident that we can implement our new strategy to increase the group’s long-term profitability.”

“We also see the benefits of our investments in innovation and technology, with Customer Connect supporting productivity and improving customer experiences and Page Insights providing real-time data to make informed business decisions.”

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FirstGroup raises expectations

FirstGroup has raised its profit forecast for the 2024 financial year due to strong passenger numbers and increased leisure travel in the summer.

The company, which operates Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway and South Western Railway, expects adjusted operating profit for the 2024 financial year to be around £14 million above its previous forecast.

Graham Sutherland, CEO of FirstGroup, said: “Over the last few months we have successfully built on the strong financial performance we reported in our full year results in June.”

“Our updated outlook for fiscal 2024 reflects strong performance across our First Rail business, which is a testament to the hard work and skills of our teams.”

“At First Bus we are delivering sustainable revenue growth as passenger volumes increase and we continue to benefit from the actions we have taken to transform the business.”

Travis Perkins lowers profit forecast

Travis Perkins has cut its annual profit forecast by up to 27 percent, with Britain’s largest building materials supplier blaming continued difficult conditions in the new homes and renovations markets.

The group said it now expects adjusted operating profit in the range of £175m to £195m for 2023, a 12 per cent reduction from previous expectations of £240m.

“Market conditions remain challenging with continued weakness in new home construction and residential repair, maintenance and improvement,” said chief executive Nick Roberts.

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Marston benefits from job cuts

Marston’s expects operating profits to improve more in 2024 than previously forecast after the pub operator cut £5m in costs from job losses earlier this year.

Pub groups in the UK are struggling with high raw material, energy and labor costs as inflation remains stubbornly high. However, in recent months costs have started to fall.

Wolverhampton-based Marston’s, which reported a 10.1 per cent increase in like-for-like sales to the end of December, is aiming to improve operating profit margins by at least 200 basis points over the next two to three years.

Of this, 50 basis points were achieved through cost reductions.

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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