Premarket London: Burberry Profit Edges Up; New CEO at BHP

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© Reuters. © Reuters. — Here is a rundown of regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, 14th November. Please refresh for updates.

  • Burberry Group (LON:) said its underlying earnings per share rose 12% and raised its dividend fractionally after a first half in which comparable store sales rose 3% in currency adjusted terms to 1.28 billion pounds.
  • The luxury group known for its scarves and trenchcoats said it still expects “broadly stable” revenue for the full year “despite incremental pressure on gross margin from the disruptions in Hong Kong and (product) mix.”
  • Hong Kong sales fell by more than 10%, offset by a “mid-teens’ percentage rise in mainland China.
  • The company said it has also entered into an exclusive partnership with social media and gaming group Tencent to develop “social retail” – “a concept that blends social media and retail, creating digital and physical spaces for engaged communities to interact, share and shop.” It will debut the concept with a store in Shenzhen, China, in the first half of next year.
  • Mining giant BHP (LON:) said it had appointed company veteran Mike Henry to succeed Andrew Mackenzie as chief executive officer from January 1.
    • Henry has been on the company’s leadership team for the last eight years and is currently president of operations for the group’s Australian mines.
    • Henry, 53, has a reputation as a thoughtful, ethical, diligent leader, more a safe pair of hands than an aggressive company builder, according to Reuters
  • Train and bus operator First reported revenue up by 4.1% in the six months through September, thanks largely to a strong performance by GWR and increased immigration in the U.S. which helped its Greyhound business. The latter was amplified by a strong dollar.
  • The group still swung to a statutory operating loss of 118 million pounds due to an impairment charge against Greyhound, part of its preparations to sell the unit.
  • Statutory EPS were -14.3 pence. Like-for-like passenger revenue was up 4.9%.
  • First Group upheld its outlook for the year, which has improved as a result of its successful bid for the West Coast Partnership. That franchise will connect Scotland, the North-West of England, North Wales, the Midlands and London from December.
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