By Patrick Munnelly, Market Strategist, Tickmill
On Thursday, the UK’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index saw a decline following a three-day streak of gains. The index slipped by 1.0%.
In the previous session, the FTSE 100 had reached a near one-month high, driven by easing inflation figures that raised hopes of the Bank of England concluding its interest rate hikes. The decline on Thursday was attributed, in part, to luxury group Burberry’s announcement that it would face challenges in meeting revenue targets.
Burberry hit by slowdown in demand
Shares of British luxury fashion brand Burberry Group [LON:BRBY] tumbled 11%, making it the top loser on the FTSE 100. The company cited a global slowdown in luxury demand impacting current trading. If this trend persists, Burberry is unlikely to meet its revenue forecast of low double-digit growth for the current financial year. Additionally, the company anticipates its adjusted operating profit for the fiscal year to be towards the lower end of the current consensus range of £552 million to £668 million ($683.49 million to $827.12 million). The luxury sector is facing challenges as even higher-end consumers are tightening their belts. Analysts suggest there could be further pressure before improvement, especially if a broader pullback in spending occurs in 2024 after the festive trading season. The stock is down about 14.1% year-to-date.
Halma sees record profits
On the positive side of the ledger, shares of Halma Plc [LON:HLMA] climbed by 3.2% by the close, making it the top percentage gainer on the FTSE 100 index. The technology firm reported a record adjusted pre-tax profit of £177.5 million ($219.8 million) for the first half-year ended September 30, marking a 3% year-on-year increase. Halma’s half-year revenue also rose by 9% to a record £950.5 million. The company proposed an interim dividend of 8.41p per share, up 7% year-on-year. Halma anticipates its full-year 2024 adjusted pre-tax profit to be in line with analyst consensus expectations. The stock reached its highest level since September 21, contributing to year-to-date gains of more than 3%.