5 killer stats to start your week

March 5, 2018

1.    Flybe’s profits could be £10 million below expectations


What with Ryanair’s staffing woes and then the collapse of privately held Monarch, airlines have been very much in focus in recent weeks. The sector is still making headlines, with FlyBe publishing its interim results last week. These came along with a warning that full-year profits could be as much as £10 million below expectations. Falling capacity doesn’t seem to be providing the benefits we might expect right across the sector.


2.    Netflix to spend up to $8 billion on content


Netflix issued its third-quarter results, and international (so non-US) sales are surging ahead, with 80% of the new subscribers being overseas, but this has come at a cost.

The company needs to keep growing its subscriber base, so consequently has to produce or procure an ever-wider range of content and this was played out in the numbers. For the year as a whole, the company expects to spend around $6 billion on content and that could grow to $8 billion next year, releasing around 80 films as part of its Originals slate.

Ultimately however there’s a limit to just how many people can subscribe and with the company looking increasingly to distribute content over partners like T-Mobile, maintaining profit margins could become tougher.


3.    Merlin Entertainments’ shares fell as much as 21%


Theme park operator Merlin - the company behind Alton Towers, Legoland, Thorpe Park and the London Eye to name but a few - published its latest results mid-week and the news was far from great – shares fell as much as 21% in reaction. Sales have been hit hard by the recent terrorist attacks in the UK - and clearly haven’t been countered by the fall in the value of the pound which is driving tourism to the country to record highs.

The company has however signed a new licensing deal with Peppa Pig owners EntertainmentOne but the share price remains well down on the week.


4.    Pearson expects to make £606m this financial year


Pearson, the publisher of educational textbooks who until a couple of years ago also owned the Financial Times newspaper and The Economist, saw its shares jump 11% last week. The company has had a torrid time with falling demand for text books - and some questions over ethics - blighting the share price with a string of profit warnings, but this week’s optimistic trading update saw investors jumping to buy shares. Brighter times may well lie ahead.


5.     UK’s cost of living edged up to 3%


Inflation in the UK hit its highest level since 2012, edging up from 2.9% to 3%, and the Bank of England governor Mark Carney said it had further to rise. The rise from 1% in the past year has been largely due to the fall in the value of the pound, which has made imports more expensive.