“The FTSE100 opened on the front foot and broke through the 7000 barrier with shares in builders doing well following good results from Bellway,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Housebuilder Bellway had another record year as the British love affair with property remained as solid as ever. The number of homes sold rose by 12.5% to a record 8,721, the group’s seventh successive year of volume growth. The long term outlook continues to be positive with strong customer demand, a substantial forward order book and favourable trading conditions across all areas of the country where Bellway operates.
“Ryanair is feeling the pinch from its policy of heavily discounting fares to compete with budget rivals and a weaker trading environment. The airline now expects full year profit growth of 7% instead of 12% previously. Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary was a prominent supporter of the Remain campaign during the EU referendum and the fall in sterling post Brexit is weighing heavily on the group’s performance reducing fares in the second half by 13% to 15% as opposed to the previously guided 10% to 12%. As Ryanair will continue to focus on maintaining its load factor, passengers can expect fares to remain low throughout the winter season.
“Iconic fashion brand Burberry was the biggest blue-chip faller despite forecasting an additional £20m uplift in profits due to the fall in sterling since the end of September. Total revenues in the first half were down 4% on an underlying basis but up 5% at reported exchange rates and the group’s ambitious revenue growth and productivity plans are on track. But the trading environment remains challenging and while there was a significant outperformance in the UK in the second quarter there was continued uneven demand in the Americas.”
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