Glencore's $1bn divi and Rolls-Royce returns to profit: Results to watch

·4-min read
Campinas, SP, Brazil - December 15, 2018: Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine that equips the Airbus A330 (engine number 1, located to the left side of the aircraft - the correct one is
Rolls-Royce is still under pressure, despite the lifting of many international travel restrictions. Photo: Getty

Mid-year results season continues, with a number of big hitters in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 slated for today.

This will be updated on a rolling basis throughout the day with new insights.

Here's what you need to know as it plays out on Thursday: 

  • Times are changing at Frasers Group (FRAS.L) as it reported its financial results. While revenue decreased by 11.4%, omnipresent CEO Mike Ashley said he would be stepping down from the top spot. 

  • "A little more confidence has been infused into Frasers Group with the latest sales figures a boost after the long days of lockdown, but the company sees continued uncertainty ahead for retail with new variants causing concern," said Susannah Streeter, senior investments and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. 

  • Shares moved 0.7% lower in early trade in London. 

  • WPP (WPP.L) shares ticked up 3.3% as the day started on Thursday, buoyed by what it called a strong first half across the business and a recovery from the earlier COVID rout. 

  • "The like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs growth rate of 19.3% in the second quarter is our highest on record, as clients reinvest in marketing, particularly in digital media, ecommerce and marketing technology," said CEO Mark Read. 

Read more: FTSE moves lower ahead of Bank of England rate decision

  • Serco (SRP.L) shares fell even as it paid out its first interim dividend since 2014. 

  • The UK COVID test-and-trace supplier said its underlying trading profit for the six months ending 30 June was £123m, compared with £78m a year ago.

  • Its reported operating profit increased by 31%.

  • Rolls-Royce (RR.L) was gliding at the top of the FTSE 100 this morning following a strong set of interims. 

  • It returned to profit in the first half of 2021, but warned that the pandemic-hit international aviation industry is not set to recover until after 2022. 

  • Still, the engine maker faces pressures: "There is no question that Rolls-Royce continues to face significant challenges due to the slow summer for aviation given its recent decision to ask its 19,000 staff to take unpaid leave for two weeks as it strives to preserve cash," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

It has been a rocky ride for Rolls-Royce stock over the last six months. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
It has been a rocky ride for Rolls-Royce stock over the last six months. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
  • Glencore (GLEN.L) said it could dramatically increase returns to shareholders going forward as the company cashes in on high prices for the commodities it mines and trades.

  • The miner announced $1.18bn in dividends and share buybacks after surging metals prices helped drive first-half earnings to a record.

  • Glencore’s payouts remain well below mining rivals like Rio Tinto Group and Anglo American Plc, which last week announced a combined $13.2bn in shareholder returns, also after record profits.

  • Hammerson (HMSO.L) warned that footfall in its shopping malls was still lagging pre-COVID levels even as lockdowns lifted and said it would no longer give rent concessions to tenants. 

  • Losses narrowed to £376m for the six months through June compared with £1.09bn a year earlier, while adjusted earnings improved to £20.1m from £17.7m.

  • Shares in the FTSE 250 company fell more than 2% in early trade, before rebounding to 0.7% lower in late morning. 

Read more: Brexit, staff shortages, and battle for materials slow UK builders

  • Evraz (EVR.L) said its interim dividend for 2021 would be $802.3m ($0.55 per share), "reflecting the board's confidence in the group's financial position and outlook". 

  • The news came as profit for the first half improved, reflecting a rise in steel prices.

  • The steelmaker's stock ticked up 0.4% in early trade in London. 

A 'For Sale' Savills estate agent board sign outside properties in Edinburgh
A 'For Sale' Savills estate agent board sign outside properties in Edinburgh. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Savills' (SVS.L) revenue for the first half hit £932.6m, up £141.2m from the same period last year, buoyed by people relocating for space due to the pandemic as well as the stamp duty holiday. 

  • The news cheered investors, sending stock up 4.4%. Savills will pay an interim dividend of 6 pence per share. 

  • The UK was its strongest market with a 40% bump compared with the same period in 2020. 

  • Gold miner Centamin (CEY.L) saw profit decline in the first half of the year, as production dropped off and operating costs rose.

  • Shares were down 2.9% in early trade in London in the FTSE 250-listed stock as investors digested the news. 

  • Despite the setback, the company has maintained its full-year production and cost guidance for 2021.

  • Mondi (MNDI.L) shares gained strongly as the packaging manufacturer said it was well-positioned for growth. 

  • It said the first half had seen higher sales volumes, higher average selling prices and effective cost control.

  • The CEO said that in the second half, the business expected to see the full impact of price increases on materials. 

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