European indices look set to open higher on Wednesday, with investors awaiting the Fed’s interest rate decision later on today, as well as unemployment data from the EU.
The FTSE 100 is up 0.44%. Meanwhile Wednesday sees updates from Wickes, Card Factory and Barratt Developments.
Wickes announced a trading update, confirming performance was in line with expectations and DIFM sales are ahead of last year. David Wood, CEO commented: “Our performance has been underpinned by further momentum in Trade, as local traders continue to turn to Wickes to save them time and money, and a strong performance in Do-it-for-me.”
- Wickes LFL sales are down 0.6% for the 16 weeks to 22 April.
- Delivered DIFM sales were ahead by 9.3%, with core LFL sales down 3.6%.
- Wickes stated core sales have been affected by adverse weather, affecting outdoor and weather related categories.
Card Factory reported its preliminary results for the year ended 31 January. Darcy Wilson-Rymer stated: “I have been incredibly pleased with our performance this year which has been ahead of expectations. These strong results reflect positive momentum across the business, including notable progress on our strategic growth initiatives, buoyed by the marked shift of customer spend back towards the high street.”
- Card Factory LFL revenue grew 6.7%, which was underpinned by strong performance in the core business activity.
- EBITDA of £112m was up 28.6% YoY as the majority of inflationary pressures were offset through efficiency measures.
- Basic EPS grew to 12.9p in FY23 from 2.4p in FY22.
Barratt Developments issued a trading update on Wednesday. David Thomas stated, “In February we reported early signs of recovery in our reservation rates following the exceptionally challenging trading conditions experienced at the end of 2022. Whilst the economic backdrop remains difficult, we are pleased that more positive sales rates have been maintained through this period and we are now fully forward sold for FY23. As a result, we expect to deliver full year adjusted profit before tax in line with current market expectations.”
- Net private reservations per active outlet per average week of 0.65 is below 0.93 seen in 2022.
- Total forward sales of £2.95bn compared to £4.50bn in 2022.
- Construction activity has been adjusted to account for the slower trading backdrop, with 303 equivalent homes built per average week.
- Trading outlook for the year remains in line with expectations, with the group on track to deliver between 16,500 and 17,000 homes.