“The FTSE100 confounded forecasts and edged higher as traders awaited the latest manufacturing and industrial production data for November, due this morning,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Moss Bros was a double-digit faller after it warned that full year profits would be slightly below forecasts. The group continues to grow retail sales against a backdrop of weaker consumer demand and increasing cost headwinds but footfall was lower than anticipated during December. Hire sales in the 23 weeks to 6 January were 3.6% down on a like-for-like basis but improved on the first half when they were 8.4% lower. The group’s shares were down by more than 13.8% in early trading.
“Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s edged up in early trading after sales rose in the run-up to Christmas. The group’s figures were bolstered by record online sales which accounted for about 20% of its business. Sainsbury’s has upgraded its profits guidance after extracting more savings from takeover of Argos. Sainsbury’s shares were up by over 0.4%.
“Fashion retailer Ted Baker’s shares were up after a 9% jump in Christmas sales. The group has opened a number of new stores abroad and its e-commerce sales increased by 35% and now account for more than 30% of the total. Gross margins were in line with forecasts and while trading conditions remain challenging it is well positioned to continue the long-term development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand. The group’s shares were up by more than 5%.”
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