There may have been some positive signs coming from UK retail stock this week, but Carpetright has arguably pulled the rug under this theme today. A ‘sharp deterioration’ in trading has had a significant impact on profitability and the company’s outlook for the full year. Sales and margins have suffered and even the European operation has struggled despite the falling value of the pound.
It may be a rather morbid subject, but eventually we’ll all need the services of an undertaker. The UK’s only listed funeral service provider – Dignity – has published an update this morning and changes are afoot which reflect some recently reported moves in the market. Price cuts for the company’s “simple” funeral packages are effective immediately, in a bid to shore up losses in market share. The headline reading is that revenues for the full year will be in line with expectations, but it’s difficult to see how, in the face of price competition the company can return to recent rates of growth.
HSBC has announced this morning that it will settle a fine with the US Department of Justice relating to historical issues over its foreign exchange trading activities. The penalty is just over $100m, but reflects a 15% reduction from the original charge and investors may well see the fact that this matter has now been resolved as something of a positive.