Centrica, Reckitt Benckiser, BP and the week’s other big news
It was a week to forget for Centrica (CNA) as shares in the energy company hit a 21-year low following a series of bad news.
Chief executive Iain Conn agreed to step down following a £446m pre-tax loss in the six months to 30 June, and the company slashed its interim dividend by more than half.
Shares in the British Gas owner fell to around 79p, a marked contrast to the 150p they were trading at a year ago.
Whoever replaces Conn will have a tough task, as will incoming Reckitt Benckiser (RB) CEO Laxman Narasimhan.
Reckitt revised its full year expectations after a flat first half of its year, impacted by a slowdown in demand for its infant formula products in China.
Also weighing on the results were competitive pressures and its inability to successfully push up prices. Big companies like Reckitt aim to have pricing power, but the firm has faced flagging sales with its Dettol, Durex and Scholl brands.
London Stock Exchange (LSE) swirled investor excitement on the FTSE 100 this week as its shares soared to an all-time high of £65.15 following confirmation of its talks to buy data provider Refinitiv for $27bn.
Together LSE and Refinitiv would be the largest listed global financial markets infrastructure provider.
BP (BP) also had a good week despite being hit by lower oil prices. Its shares moved up to 546p after it beat expectations on its version of net income, underlying replacement cost profit, which stood flat at $2.8bn in the second quarter, better than the $2.46bn forecasted.
Sports Direct (SPD) on the other hand had a terrible time as its shares started the week over 25% down following its delayed results debacle.
The company hid at the bottom of its results document a shock €674m tax bill from the Belgian authorities, something which led its auditor Grant Thornton to quit.