A quarterly trading update is out from Tesco this morning and investors will likely be cheered by the news, especially the success so far of the acquisition of wholesaler Booker Group. Like for like sales at the cash and carry chain are up almost 15%, against a rather more modest improvement of 1.8% for the group as a whole. One notable dip was as a result of changes to trading hours legislation in Poland and Slovakia. This resulted in the stores closing in the respective countries for 6 and 4 days, knocking sales in the region by 1% to 1.5%.
Technology recruitment company SThree has a half year trading statement out this morning and their international reach always makes for interesting analysis. Continental Europe sales are up by 18% and US sales are up by 9%, whilst UK sales have fallen 2%. Although the UK accounts for less than 20% of the company’s turnover, this news arguably carries an important message over the continued economic uncertainty in the UK and the effect this is having on business.
An interesting note from Stobart Group to shareholders this morning, following yesterday’s news that the company’s former Chief Executive – Andrew Tinkler – planned to vote against the re-election of Iain Ferguson as chairman. Mr Tinkler has now been dismissed from the company and the note is aiming to galvanise shareholder opinion over the future outlook. The business is currently going through a strategic shift to become a more focused group on energy and aviation. Boardroom disquiet at a time like this cannot be helpful.