We have a statement out from BT’s Openreach division regarding wholesale pricing. That’s where BT sells broadband network capacity to competitors and it has been the subject of much debate in recent years. The company notes that the commitments go beyond what had been asked of it by the regulator Ofcom so that might not go down too well with shareholders. On top of that, the move will have “an adverse impact in the order of high tens of millions of pounds on Openreach’s revenue and EBITDA in 2018/19.” Perhaps the best hope for investors is that this draws a line under the long-running saga over access.
We reported yesterday on news of some retail park disposals from Hammerson and the company has published its half year trading update today. It’s a lengthy read, but it provides some good insight into the changing shape of retail in the UK, with two stand out factors. Smaller shopping centres are falling out of favour and it is luxury outlets which are set to outperform. At a headline level, the half year figures seem up to scratch but the basic EPS has slumped 80% following a big non-cash revaluation loss.
Another set of results worth toasting from Fever-Tree this morning with revenues up a staggering 45% at the half year point, which will presumably be sufficient to allow shareholders to overlook the very slight dip in gross margins to 53.2%. Investors are also being rewarded with a 40% increase in dividends and perhaps most interestingly the company’s strongest revenue growth is still being seen in the UK.