Tadawul index advances slightly

Updated 26 December 2012
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Tadawul index advances slightly

The Saudi stock market bucked the three-day downward trend and turned green yesterday, adding couple of points merely.
The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) advanced a little from earlier levels to 6,866.71 points. The TASI spending most of the session in the red territory and within a range of 41.2 points finally crossed the break-even line, gaining a nominal 0.03 percent for the entire session.
Only Small cap among the market cap indices moved downward slightly.
Most of the major sectors closed in the green territory, accumulating an aggregate of nearly 266 points.
Transport showed the best performance among sectoral indices, rising 1.78 percent for the day. Media and Publishing sector also continued its upward march, showing an increment of 48 points or 1.58 percent.
On the negative side, six sectors closed the day lower, dropping 129 points yesterday. Insurance sector went downward for the second straight day, reflecting a further reduction of 1.57 percent.
Top ten market cap companies ended the day in a mixed fashion. The losses made by the Saudi Telecom (-0.91 percent) and Saudi Arabia Fertilizers Co. (-0.82 percent) being offset by rise in Kingdom Holding (+2.7 percent) and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (+0.91 percent).
The market breadth with advance-decline ratio of 0.73:1 remained unfavorable.
Saudi Industrial Export Co. made the biggest jump among all Saudi equities, surging by 7.89 percent to close at SR 75.25.
The share trading activity remained roughly 15 percent lower than previous day. Specifically, 147.1 million shares worth SR 4.3 billion changed hands on the Saudi stock market.


Debenhams adds to UK retail gloom with new profit warning

Updated 6 min 5 sec ago
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Debenhams adds to UK retail gloom with new profit warning

  • First half underlying pretax profit down 52 percent
  • Finance chief quits for job at Selfridges

Department store group Debenhams added to the grim start to 2018 for Britain’s retail sector, lowering its full-year outlook for the second time in four months and cutting its dividend after a 52 percent slump in first half profit.
Shares in Debenhams fell as much as 13 percent on Thursday, taking its year-on-year plunge to 61 percent.
The 240-year old Debenhams, which delivered the sector’s first profit warning of the year in January, also said Matt Smith, its chief financial officer, was quitting to take up the same role at rival Selfridges.
Debenhams is not alone in finding the going tough. Official UK data showed the biggest quarterly fall in retail sales in a year.
Debenhams’ problems have, however, also been self-inflicted.
“We didn’t help ourselves at Christmas because our approach wasn’t good enough,” CEO Sergio Bucher told reporters. Debenhams said in January it had been forced to cut prices to drive sales of Christmas gifts.
Already this year Toys R Us UK, electricals group Maplin and drinks wholesaler Conviviality have plunged into administration, while fashion retailer New Look and floor coverings firm Carpetright are closing stores.
Rival department store group House of Fraser is seeking rent reductions while market leader John Lewis has cautioned on the outlook.
Bucher, a former Amazon and Inditex executive who joined Debenhams in 2016, is one year into a turnaround plan focused on closing some stores, downsizing or revamping others, cutting promotions and improving online service, while seeking cost savings.
Progress has been hampered by changing shopping habits, a squeeze on UK consumers’ budgets, a shift in spending away from fashion toward holidays and entertainment, as well as intense online competition and bad weather, including snow in March that temporarily shut almost 100 stores.
“The market has remained very volatile and competitive with consumer confidence and the clothing market continuing to fall,” said Bucher.
“The retail market is changing but this is happening faster than we or anybody expected and therefore we need to accelerate our pace of change,” he said.
Outgoing CFO Smith denied his exit showed a lack of confidence in Bucher’s plan. “I was part of developing the plan, it’s a good plan,” he said.
Bucher said progress had been made, pointing to strengthened management, sales growth from digital channels ahead of the market, encouraging returns from new store formats, and partnerships with other retailers.
“It’s not easy from the outside to appreciate the amount and magnitude of change that is happening inside Debenhams,” he said.
Debenhams made an underlying pretax profit of £42.2 million ($59.9 million) in the 26 weeks to March 3, below analysts’ average forecast of £44 million, on revenue down 1.6 percent to £1.65 billion. The interim dividend was cut by 51 percent to 0.5 pence to fund the recovery strategy.
The group is now forecasting a 2017-18 pretax profit at the lower end of analysts’ forecast range of £50-£61 million versus previous guidance of £55-£65 million. It made £95.2 million in 2016-17.
“Our biggest concern remains relevance, Debenhams has lost the customer as the product offer has become tired,” said analysts at Peel Hunt, reiterating their “sell” recommendation.
“The CFO is leaving for Selfridges, investors should follow,” they said.