Friday, 7 Aug 2020

FirstGroup FY Loss Widens

Lagarde Says ECB Has Time to Assess Stimulus Effectiveness

Christine Lagarde signaled the European Central Bank will keep policy unchanged at its next meeting after its massive emergency stimulus helped calmed markets.

Speaking in an interview with Financial Times published on Wednesday, the ECB president said that measures unleashed in the wake of the pandemic have “demonstrated their efficiency, their effectiveness.” The Governing Council’s next decision is in just over a week, its first since it almost doubled the size of its pandemic purchase program to 1.35 trillion euro ($1.52 trillion).

“We have done so much that we have quite a bit of time to assess” economic data “carefully,” Lagarde told the newspaper.

Her comments confirm the ECB has effectively switched to a wait-and-see mode after the economy began to bounce back. Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said on Tuesday the recession could turn out somewhat milder than expected.

Lagarde also told the newspaper her institution wants to “explore every avenue available in order to combat climate change,” which could include examining “greener” changes to all of the central bank’s operations, including asset purchases.

Victrex Q3 Group Revenue Down 18% – Quick Facts

Victrex plc (VCT.L) reported that its third quarter Group sales volume was down 12% to 805 tonnes from 912 tonnes, prior year, with Group revenue down 18% to 58.8 million pounds. On a year to date basis, Group sales volume was 2,797 tonnes, broadly in line with the prior year. Group revenue was 210.3 million pounds, down 3%.

The Group’s net cash position at 30 June 2020 was slightly ahead of its expectations at 72 million pounds. The Group has an undrawn and committed RCF of 20 million pounds, together with a 20 million pounds accordion facility.

Accolade To Debut On Nasdaq On July 2

Seattle, Washington-based Accolade Inc. is scheduled to go public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “ACCD” on July 2, 2020. The initial public offering price is expected to be between $19.00 and $21.00 per share.

Accolade is a provider of personalized, technology-enabled solutions that help people better understand and utilize the healthcare system and their workplace benefits.

The Company currently has 60 customers spanning across the media, technology, financial services, transportation, energy, and retail industries, comprising more than 1.7 million members.

Accolade has offered to sell 8.75 million shares of common stock in the offering, and the underwriters have an option for 30 days to purchase up to 1.313 million additional shares.

Underwriters of the IPO:

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities, Piper Sandler, Credit Suisse, William Blair, Robert W. Baird, and SVB Leerink.

Financial Numbers:

The Company generates revenue on a contractually recurring per-member-per-month fee basis.

For the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, Accolade’s net loss narrowed to $51.4 million or $9.13 per share from a net loss of $56.5 million or $12.17 per share in the comparable period last year.

Revenue for the year rose to $132.5 million from $94.8 million a year ago. The company’s four largest customers namely American Airlines, Comcast Cable, Lowe’s, and State Farm accounted for 59% of the revenue.

Boohoo to launch independent review of supply chain

The online fashion retailer Boohoo has announced it will launch an independent review of its UK supply chain after recent allegations that some factories in Leicester that sell clothes to Boohoo pay workers below the minimum wage and failed to protect them from coronavirus.

Boohoo, which owns brands including Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal, said the review will be led by Alison Levitt QC, and said it would initially invest £10m towards “eradicating malpractice” in its supply chain.

The company said in a statement that the board was “shocked and appalled by the recent allegations” and was committed to working to rebuild the reputation of textile manufacturing in Leicester.

The Boohoo group chief executive, John Lyttle, said the board is taking the matters seriously, adding: “We will not hesitate to terminate any relationships where noncompliance with our code of conduct is found.”

The independent review comes after retailers including Next, Asos and Amazon removed all Boohoo clothing from sale, and investors sold off the company’s shares, leading to £1.5bn being wiped off the brand’s market value in two days.

FirstGroup FY Loss Widens

FirstGroup plc. (FGROY.PK,FGROF.PK,FGP.L) reported that its loss attributable to equity shareholders for the year ended 31 March 2020 widened to 327.2 million pounds or 27.0 pence per share from 66.9 million pounds or 5.5 pence per share in the prior year.

Statutory operating loss was 152.7 million pounds, compared to profit of 9.8 million pounds last year, reflecting charges relating to the North American self-insurance provision, Greyhound impairment charges, restructuring and reorganisation costs and coronavirus-related charges.

Statutory loss before tax was 299.6 million pounds compared to loss before tax of 97.9 million pounds in the previous year.

Adjusted profit before tax was 109.9 million pounds down from 208.2 million pounds in the prior year.

Adjusted earnings per share was 6.7 pence, down from 13.2 pence last year.

The Board is not proposing to pay a dividend in FirstGroup for the year to 31 March 2020 but will continue to review the appropriate timing for restarting dividend payments.

“Recognising the usual seasonality of our First Student business over the school summer holiday period, we would expect this relatively resilient financial performance to persist while these arrangements remain in place,” the company said in a statement.

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