Festive figures fail to impress for retailer ; YESTERDAY IN THE CITY [Western Daily Press (UK)]
(Western Daily Press (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) One of the star performers of 2012 suffered a new year hitch yesterday after disappointing the City with its Christmas trading update.
Debenhams posted like-forlike sales growth of 5 per cent, but margins suffered as competitive trading conditions forced it into one-off price cuts of up to 50 per cent on some products. Having risen by more than 90 per cent last year, Debenhams shares succumbed to profit-taking yesterday, with the stock down almost 8 per cent, or 9p, to 108.1p, in the FTSE 250 Index.
In the top flight, the FTSE 100 Index fell 11 points to 6053.6, as it emerged unemployment in the eurozone hit a record high of 11.8 per cent in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also opened lower, with investors pessimistic about the approaching run of corporate earnings reports.
The pound was down against the US dollar and the euro at 1.60 and 1.22 respectively, amid weak UK construction and services data last week. Mobile phone giant Vodafone was among the top blue-chip risers, up 2.8p to 162.4p, after the boss of Verizon Communications discussed the possibility of buying the UK company's 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless.
Miner Anglo American was also doing well after investors reacted positively to the company's appointment of Mark Cutifani as chief executive, replacing Cynthia Carroll who will step down at the end of April. Shares were 1.4 per cent higher, up 27.5p to 2028p.
Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland continued to rise yesterday after proposals aimed at ensuring firms can survive a short-term crisis were softened by regulators. Shares were up 1 per cent yesterday, ahead 3.1p to 337p.
Sainsbury's was the best performing stock in the supermarket sector after till roll figures from Kantar Worldpanel said the chain was the only retailer to increase its market share compared with last year. Its share price rose 7.3p to 339p. Tesco was also on the risers board with shares up 2.2p to 351.5p. Morrisons, which saw its market share fall to 12 per cent in the 12 weeks to December 23, was down 2.8p to 253.3p.
6053.6 The FTSE 100 Index at the close of market yesterday, down 11 points
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