Majestic Wine, Kier Group and Hill & Smith

“The FTSE100 opened on the front foot following a mixed performance on Wall Street overnight. Investors are looking to EU consumer-price index data mid-morning, followed this afternoon by US inflation figures, housing starts, building permits and unemployment claims,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

Majestic Wine swung into the red in the first half but the group has reinstated its interim dividend and reiterated its goal of annual sales of £500m by 2019. The group is only in the first year of a three-year plan and at the tipping point of when it expects future sales growth to translate into profit growth. Sales are encouraging and the US market continues to grow but the UK market is likely to remain challenging for some time to come due to high levels of uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Kier Group remains on course to meet full year forecasts despite increased economic uncertainty in the UK following the EU referendum. Kier has been buoyed by recent Government decisions on the Hinkley Point C power station and Heathrow airport expansion which reflect a commitment to further investment in infrastructure, which is a key sector for the group.

Hill & Smith topped the FTSE250 board in early trading following a bullish trading update. The group, which supplies infrastructure products and galvanizing services to global markets, expects full-year results to be at the top end of forecasts. Trading since July has been encouraging, overall conditions in many of its infrastructure end markets remain favourable and the group’s overseas earnings will benefit from sterling’s weakness. Hill & Smith’s shares were up by more than 8% in early trading.”

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