5 Killer Stats
Sales up at Greggs
The high street baker issued a trading update on Tuesday, covering the first seven weeks of the year. Sales soared, with the headline-grabbing vegan sausage roll being seen as instrumental in driving performance. The company has now said that full year profits will likely be ahead of previous expectations, which was sufficient to push the share price up by more than 10%.
Payout for Lloyds shareholders
The high street bank which is also the country’s largest mortgage lender announced that in 2018, it has amassed profits of almost £6 billion. Shareholders will benefit from a combination of dividend payments and a share buy back. Shares in the company rose almost 3% on Wednesday as a result, but the gains proved short lived.
Profits at British Gas
Parent company Centrica may have reported a modest rebound in profits for last year, but the household supply division continues to struggle as news this week showed almost 750,000 customers left for cheaper providers. Further cost savings in the business have been promised but investors are reportedly concerned that the dividend will need to be cut. Shares fell by more than 10% on Thursday morning.
Samsung’s new phone
The South Korean tech giant unveiled its new mobile handset this week, which comes complete with a folding screen. The 4G version will go on sale at the end of April, priced at just under $2,000, but with iPhone sales said to be slowing as a result of handset prices getting too high, concerns have been voiced over this release. However, an even more expensive 5G version has been promised shortly.
Volkswagen’s liability to US tariffs
German car giant VW has this week acknowledged that industry estimates of the hit US import tariffs would make – equivalent to 13% of earnings – are broadly close to the worst case scenario. However owing to the complex global supply chains used by vehicle manufacturers, there are concerns that such a move would push up the cost of cars assembled in the US, too.
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