Hot on the heels of yesterday’s news from Direct Line, fellow insurer esure has updated the market today and it’s assessment of the cold weather is even worse than that of its peers. The ‘beast from the East’ and storm Emma caused a reported £8m worth of claims for the business. The challenge is the company had only accounted for £2m worth of weather related payouts for the period. The company’s motor policy business continues to grow well and they’re confident that they can ride out this storm (sorry) without impacting full-year profitability.
The market may not be so sure in the short term…
#2. Trinity Mirror
Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has issued an update for the first four months of the year, ahead of today’s AGM and it doesn’t make for pretty reading. Publishing revenues are down by 9% and although there are some signs of it being a better picture in digital, the existing strategy seems to rely on selling these opportunities off the back of print contracts.
The acquisition of Northern & Shell may present some synergies and advertisers in the future may be a little less inclined to spend so big on Facebook, but the picture clearly remains a difficult one for the industry.
#3. Smith & Nephew
There’s a Q1 trading statement from Smith & Nephew that certainly doesn’t give investors much to cheer this morning. Revenues are up 5% but this can be explained entirely on the basis of foreign currency movements. It’s not what was expected and will have an impact on guidance for the full year – although the business still believes it can improve on the profit margin posted in 2017.
There’s some decent growth being posted in emerging markets, but the new Chief Executive who arrives next week certainly has some work to do.