Britain’s Young Workers Took a Big Hit in Virus Lockdown: Chart

H&M Returns to Profit as Decline in Clothing Sales Moderates

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Hennes & Mauritz AB returned to profit in the fiscal third quarter as the Swedish clothing retailer reopened the bulk of its shops and the sales decline moderated.

  • Pretax profit was about 2 billion kronor ($230 million), based on preliminary results. Sales fell to 50.9 billion kronor, a 16% decline in local currencies. Analysts expected 50.8 billion kronor.

Key Insights

  • H&M attributed the earnings to revenue exceeding its expectations, well-received collections and more sales at full price. The company will report final results for the period, which ran through August, on Oct. 1.
  • Sales improved throughout the quarter as the period started with 900 of 5,000 stores being temporarily closed. By the end of August, only 200 remained so.
  • The big question is how H&M’s inventory buildup is doing. Inventory was at a record level in relation to annual sales in the second quarter, at 40 billion kronor. Investors will have to wait until the full report in October for that information.

Market Reaction

  • The shares have dropped 26% this year.

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  • Read the statement.

Ocado Sales Surge Again as Pandemic Lifts Demand for Deliveries

Ocado Group Plc reported a 52% rise in third-quarter revenue, benefiting from Covid-wary consumers ordering grocery deliveries rather than shopping in supermarkets.

  • The U.K. company said strong sales in its retail arm, which started selling food from Marks & Spencer Group Plc this month, will help to boost full-year earnings to at least 40 million pounds ($51.5 million).

Key Insights

  • Ocado Retail, the online grocery arm jointly owned with M&S, is benefiting from the surge in demand as a result of the pandemic. The division switched from selling Waitrose products to those from M&S at the start of the month and said customers are responding positively, with the average basket size growing.
  • While Ocado sees its growth potential in the future from its technology licensing business, the grocery delivery arm is fueling growth now. Ocado Retail chief Melanie Smith said the division is on track to increase capacity by 40% by the end of the year.

Market Reaction

  • Shares in Ocado have risen 84% since the start of the year.

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  • Read the full statement here.

Fintech Startup Klarna Is Valued at $10.65 Billion in New Funding

Swedish payments and banking firm Klarna AB is now valued at more than $10.65 billion following a fresh funding round it says will help expand its shopping offering across the globe.

On Tuesday, Klarna said it raised $650 million in equity funding from tech investment firm Silver Lake alongside ​Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund​ GIC, as well as BlackRock Inc. and HMI Capital. Merian​ Chrysalis​, TCV, Northzone and Bonnier have also acquired shares from existing shareholders, it said.

Klarna is also backed, among others, by Permira Holdings, Sequoia Capital and Rapper Snoop Dogg, who stars in the company’s commercials.

Europe’s most valuable fintech startup in December said it was eyeing an initial public offering in the U.S., an important market for the Swedish company, where it continues to grow rapidly and where almost 9 million consumers have used the service.

Vectura Group Posts HY Profit

Vectura Group plc (VEC.L) reported that its profit for the six-months ended 30 June 2020 was 1.6 million pounds or 0.3 pence per share compared to loss 13.2 million pounds or 2.0 pence per share in the prior year.

Profit before tax was 3.2 million pounds, compared to a loss of 13.4 million pounds in the prior year.

Total revenue were 89.7 million pounds, down 2.2% from the prior period.

The Group expects to maintain momentum on the execution of its services based strategy during the second half of 2020.

Marshalls Posts HY Loss

Marshalls plc (MSLH.L) reported that its loss attributable to equity shareholders of the parent for the half year ended 30 June 2020 was 14.39 million or 7.25 pence per basic share compared to profit of 30.10 million in the prior year.

Loss before tax was 15.98 million pounds compared to profit of 37.09 million pounds in the previous year.

Basic earnings per share, before operational restructuring costs and asset impairments, was 0.12 pence compared to 15.18 pence per share in the prior year.

Revenue was 210.5 million pounds, a decrease of 25 percent from last year.

Russia reports 5,529 new coronavirus cases, 150 deaths

MOSCOW (REUTERS) – Russia reported 5,529 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday (Sept 15), pushing its national tally to 1,073,849, the fourth-largest in the world.

Authorities said 150 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 18,785.

Britain’s Young Workers Took a Big Hit in Virus Lockdown: Chart

The U.K.’s lockdown hit young workers particularly hard, with employment in the 16-24 age category falling by 156,000. That may reflect the share of young workers in hotels, restaurants and bars, a sector devastated by the pandemic. The latest statistics office data also show a decrease in employment for those over the age of 65, as well as part-timers and the self-employed.