This is a story that has done the rounds often enough before but this morning. Whitbread has confirmed that it will demerge the Costa Coffee brand in a bid to optimise value for shareholders. Activist shareholders have been pushing this point over the years and the proposal is expected to be delivered against during the next 24 months. Further details will be made available at the full year briefing to analysts and shareholders later today.
Bank reporting gets underway today with an interim management statement from Lloyds. They’re evidently faring well off the back of the buoyant UK economy with low unemployment and steady GDP growth both being credited in the note. Compared to the same period last year, earnings per share are 1.5p against 1.1p, whilst the PPI provision is
‘only’ £90 million for the quarter versus £350 million a year ago.
Full year results from boohoo .com the online fashion retailer are also out today. Pre-tax profits are up a healthy 40%, whilst revenues have almost doubled. There may have been some erosion of profit margins in the process here, but the new distribution centre is now built and the fit-out is on schedule. Good stories in the retail sector may seem hard to come by at the moment, especially on the high street, but online is still motoring ahead.