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Reckitt announces new chair, SSE adjusted earnings top forecasts

Published 15/11/2023, 07:51
Updated 15/11/2023, 08:11
© Reuters.  Reckitt announces new chair, SSE adjusted earnings top forecasts

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Consumer products group Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RKT) has announced that Chris Sinclair is to step down as chair next May and will be replaced by board member Sir Jeremy Darroch. Darroch, who joined the board as senior independent non-executive director in November 2022, was boss of Sky between 2018 and 2021, and has held board positions at Marks & Spencer and Burberry. He also worked at Reckitt rival Procter & Gamble (LON:0NOF) for 12 years earlier in his career, working up to become the European finance director of healthcare.

SSE (LON:SSE)'s half-year report on Wednesday showed adjusted earnings per share of 37.0p, exceeding expectations due to improved operational performance and lower expected taxes. However, reported earnings per share were 28.3p, impacted by non-cash accounting impairments and financial guarantee liabilities. Despite increased investments in SSEN Transmission and a strong performance in SSE Thermal, profitability in SSEN Distribution was affected by cost inflation recovery timing.

Newspaper round-up

Manchester City have announced record-breaking revenue for the 2022-23 financial year. The club confirmed income of £712.8m, outstripping the Premier League record £648.4m reported by Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) last month. City’s figure is up from £613m and the club almost doubled its profit to £80.4m, from £41.7m, despite a large increase in wages. The 2022-23 season was highly successful for City, who won a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble, boosting finances through commercial and broadcast revenue. – Guardian

The UK’s business and trade secretary has signed a deal to increase trade with Florida, the British government’s latest pact with a single American state as it awaits a broader, post-Brexit US free trade agreement. The memorandum of understanding, signed on Tuesday by Kemi Badenoch and the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, is the seventh deal between the UK and individual US states. – Guardian

A Thai retailer has seized control of Selfridges after a key shareholder in the luxury department store was hit by a cash crunch. Central Group said it has become Selfridges’ largest shareholder after converting a €364m (£317m) loan provided to the department store into equity. – Telegraph

Over-65s refusing to downsize are stopping young families getting on the property ladder, says Zoopla. Older homeowners who are staying in homes that are larger than they need are driving a national shortage of three-bedroom homes, according to the property website. – Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt should create a “British Isa” in next week’s autumn statement to end a “downward spiral of investment and lower valuations” on London’s markets, business leaders have said. In a letter to The Times, a group of investors, brokers, City grandees and chief executives call on the chancellor to launch a dedicated incentive for backers of UK-listed companies that would put the £70 billion invested each year into the tax-efficient savings accounts “to work on behalf of the UK”. – The Times

US close

US stocks surged from the off and held on to impressive gains by the close after a bigger-than-expected drop in inflation reignited hopes that the Federal Reserve will refrain from hiking interest rates again this cycle.

Many Fed policymakers – including chair Jerome Powell – had made comments in the past week indicating that they wouldn't hesitate to hike rates again if inflation didn't start coming down towards the 2% target.

So Tuesday's downside surprise came as welcome relief to the market, driving the S&P 500 and Nasdaq's best daily performances since April.

Stocks were also helped by a tumble in bond yields with the US 10-year Treasury yield dropping 18.1 basis points to 4.455%.

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