MARKET REPORT: Compass heads lower after profit warning

Shares of Compass Group, the world’s largest catering company, fell after the City was unhappy with its profit forecasts.

The shares fell 2 percent, or 42 pence, to 2,050 pence after it said profits were expected to rise 13 percent in the year to September 2024, while sales were likely to rise by up to 9 percent.

Analysts said yesterday the outlook was “conservative.”

This came after the FTSE 100 company, which hosts events such as the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards, said revenue rose 21.6 per cent to £31bn in the year to the end of September and profits fell by 26, rose 1 percent to 1.89 billion pounds.

Compass benefited from new customers outsourcing their catering services to the group.

Shares in Compass Group fell 2%, or 42p, to 2,050p after it said profits should rise 13% in the year to September 2024, while revenue is likely to rise by up to 9%

Shares in Compass Group fell 2%, or 42p, to 2,050p after it said profits should rise 13% in the year to September 2024, while revenue is likely to rise by up to 9%

Investors will be rewarded with a new share buyback worth £400 million, although analysts at Jefferies said this was at the lower end of expectations.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent or 7.89 points to 7496.36 and the FTSE 250 rose 0.2 percent or 31.18 points to 18599.05.

Distribution group Diploma stormed ahead in the blue-chip index after its annual results beat market forecasts. Shares rose 11.2 percent, or 338 pence, to 3,358 pence.

Sirius Real Estate went in the other direction.

Increases in net asset value, dividend and rental growth in the half-year were overshadowed by plans to bring in shareholders for £145 million so the company can expand its portfolio in the UK and Germany. Shares fell 3.1 percent, or 2.85 pence, to 88.5 pence.

The London Stock Exchange Group has poached Michel-Alain Proch from French communications company Publicis Groupe as chief financial officer. He will join at the end of February. Shares rose 1.1 percent, or 96 pence, to 8,646 pence.

Safety barrier maker Halma bought four companies of US company TeDan, which makes and supplies medical equipment used by surgeons during operations, for around £72m. Shares rose 1.8 percent, or 37 pence, to 2,090 pence.

Stock Watch – McBride

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Cleaning products company McBride is benefiting from shoppers purchasing cheaper items.

Ahead of its annual general meeting, the group said it had traded above expectations since the start of October.

Shoppers are said to be switching from buying branded items to private label products such as McBride dishwasher tablets. McBride said sales volumes in the four months to the end of October were 8.2 percent higher than a year earlier.

Shares rose 17.5 percent, or 9.1 pence, to 61 pence.

Business at Begbies Traynor is booming amid rising bankruptcies.

The restructuring specialist said sales rose 13 percent in the six months to October 31, while profits rose 10 percent. But shares fell 4.6 per cent, or 6p, to 124p.

Government contractor Capita has been awarded a contract worth £239 million over ten years to manage the Civil Service Pension Scheme (CSPS) for the Cabinet Office.

The group, which also manages London’s congestion charge and collects the BBC license fee, will begin work from September 2025. Shares rose 4.7 percent, or 0.86 pence, to 19.2 pence.

The engineering group Senior said it was on track to meet expectations for the year after sales rose 15 percent in the 10 months to the end of October.

The company is also targeting improved performance from its aerospace division in 2024 as supply chain issues ease and production rates increase. However, shares remained unchanged at 165p.

Spirax Sarco posted profits after its chief executive Nicholas Anderson and finance chief Nimesh Patel bought shares in the engineering firm worth almost £100,000 each. Shares rose 2.8 percent, or 250 pence, to 9,190 pence.

Foxtons is facing increasing calls to put itself up for sale from shareholders including Milkwood Capital, the investment fund that owns around 4 per cent, who want the estate agent to unlock its full value.

Shares rose 6.7 percent, or 2.7 pence, to 43.2 pence.

The leading shareholder of the educational software provider Tribal spoke out against a takeover offer.

Jenzabar, which owns a 20.96 percent stake, said on October 5 that it “strongly rejects” the £159 million offer from Tribal’s US rival Ellucian and vowed to vote against any further proposals.

It also confirmed that it had no intention of making a firm offer for the group. Shares rose 6.6 percent, or 4.2 pence, to 67.5 pence.

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: DrewWeisholtz@worldtimetodays.com.

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