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Losses narrow for Aston Martin, BAT posts higher revenues

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 28 Jul 2021

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open five points higher on Wednesday, having closed down 0.42% at 6,96.08 on Tuesday.
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Luxury car maker Aston Martin posted a narrowing of its first-half losses on Wednesday as revenues surged, thanks in part to its first sport utility vehicle, the DBX. In the six months to 30 June, pre-tax losses narrowed to £90.7m from £227.4m in the same period a year ago, while revenue jumped 242% to £498.8m. Meanwhile, total wholesale volumes rose 224% to 2,901.

British American Tobacco on Wednesday reported higher revenues driven by more people using its vaping products. On a constant currency basis, adjusted revenue at the maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes for the six months to June 30 rose 8.1% to £12.1bn, led by 41% growth in its new categories business, which includes vaping. Profits from operations rose 5.4% to £5.2bn.

Broadcaster ITV reported a rise in interim profit and revenue on Wednesday as it said it was "emerging from the worst effects of the pandemic", with a recovery in advertising revenues. In the six months to 30 June, statutory pre-tax profit increased to £133m from £15m in the same period a year ago, with total revenue up 27% at £1.5bn. Total revenue for ITV Studios grew 26% to £798m, with the substantial majority of programmes back in production. It also benefited from a number of programmes and licences being delivered earlier than expected.

Newspaper round-up

Plans to significantly open up international travel are expected to be announced on Wednesday, with UK ministers poised to let people who have been fully vaccinated in the US and EU avoid quarantine if arriving from amber list countries. The move would benefit millions of people by finally letting them be reunited with family and friends based in the UK, as well as businesses in the aviation and tourism sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic. - Guardian

Boris Johnson may block a Chinese-owned company from purchasing the UK's largest producer of semiconductors, a senior government adviser has suggested, as they warned Beijing was on the brink of initiating a new "cold war". Tony Abbott, the former prime minister of Australia recruited by Johnson to advise on post-Brexit trade, said he was heartened by a review being launched into the takeover of Welsh microchip manufacturer Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia and suggested it meant the process could be paused. - Guardian

The biggest shareholder in Morrisons has come out against a £6.3bn takeover bid for the supermarket chain in an embarrassing setback for the grocer's board. Silchester, which owns a 15.4pc stake in Morrisons, said it is not inclined to back the bid from Fortress, a US private equity firm, and described it as "disadvantageous" for existing investors. - Telegraph

Separate UK and US boards could be formed to protect Britain's national security as a condition of Ultra Electronics' potential takeover by Cobham, which is owned by US private equity firm Advent. Senior industry sources familiar with Ultra's secret operations said creating the two management structures would ease government concerns about the £2.6bn deal. - Telegraph

The collapse of Greensill, the supply chain finance firm, has resulted in a £12 million hit for Iceland, the frozen foods supermarket group. The disclosure in Iceland's financial accounts reveals that the company's cash balances had fallen from £140.3 million to £125.5 million after the loss of its supply chain facility provided by Greensill Capital. The retailer declined to comment but it is understood that Iceland had a "supplier portal" that allows its food and drink suppliers to accelerate the payment of their bills, which Greensill facilitated. - The Times

US close

Wall Street stocks finished in the red on Tuesday, as market participants digested earnings from some of the nation's biggest firms and held their breath ahead of a flurry of tech results after the close.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.24% at 35,058.52, while the S&P 500 lost 0.47% to 4,401.46, and the Nasdaq Composite was off 1.21% at 14,660.58.

The Dow closed 85.79 points lower on Tuesday, reversing gains recorded on the first day of a tech-heavy week on the earnings front.

On the macro front, demand for goods made to last more than three years grew a bit more slowly than anticipated last month, but economists said that the underlying trends remained strong.

According to the Department of Commerce, durable goods orders grew at a month-on-month clip of 0.8% to reach $257.7bn.

That was less than the 2.1% increase that economists had pencilled-in, but was offset in part by an upwards revision to May's increase from 2.3% to 3.2%.

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