Feb 2, 2023
Superdry Commits to Staying Public, for Now: The London Rush
(Bloomberg) -- Superdry’s listing in London hasn’t necessarily been kind to the brand — the shares are currently valued at less than a quarter of the price at which they went public more than a decade ago. That’s given rise to reports founder Julian Dunkerton might delist it. Dunkerton this morning said there are no plans to take the company private "at the moment."
Prepare also today for more debate surrounding the extraordinary amount of cash oil and gas companies have made from higher prices. Shell Plc smashed its previous earnings record, beating analyst estimates for another quarter. Those prices drive inflation, which the Bank of England is hoping to tame with another expected rates hike at midday. Watch closely for signs the committee might take its foot off the gas a little.
Here’s the key business news from London this morning:
In the City
Superdry Plc: The apparel maker’s founder said he has no plans to take the company private, despite press reports suggesting otherwise.
- The Sunday Times reported in December that Dunkerton had held discussions with private equity firms about a possible buyout
Shell Plc: The energy giant launched a $4 billion share buyback after reporting full year results that are by far their most profitable ever.
- Fourth-quarter adjusted profit was well ahead of estimates at $9.8 billion, giving the oil and gas company nearly $40 billion of profits for the year, beating the previous mark of $28.4 billion set in 2008
BT Group Plc: The telecommunications firm affirmed its outlook for the full year, despite what it called inflationary headwinds.
- The company said revenue was slightly down year on year after price increases and better trading in its Openreach and Consumer were offset by fewer sales of strategic equipment sales in its Global unit, amongst other issues
Rishi Sunak addressed a gala dinner of his Conservatives last night, attempting to reassure his unsettled party that he can improve their electoral prospects. “The hard work is only beginning” for the prime minister, writes Bloomberg’s Kitty Donaldson.
Labour unions emerged emboldened from Britain’s worst day of strikes for a decade, threatening further coordinated action to force the government’s hand in pay negotiations.
Meanwhile, NatWest Group Plc boss Alison Rose irritated MPs by refusing to give testimony at a hearing next week on why big retail banks have been slow to pass on higher interest rates to savers.
In Case You Missed It
Barclays Plc is weighing an increase in the bonus pool for its fixed income trading division, with the unit expected to produce record revenue after 2022’s wild market swings. Like other Wall Street firms, Barclays is considering cutting bonus pools for their investment bankers by as much as 40% amid a dealmaking slump, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Barclays’ former chief Antony Jenkins, meanwhile, is building technology he wanted when he ran Barclays. On this week’s In the City, Jenkins joins podcast hosts Francine Lacqua and David Merritt to share his story of starting 10x Banking Technology, a key player in London’s growing fintech scene.
At noon today, the Bank of England is likely to deliver its 10th consecutive interest-rate increase alongside forecasts underscoring the risk that inflation becomes more persistent in the UK economy. Officials are worried that a record leap in wages will lead companies to boost prices — and consumers to expect more increases.
For a more considered take on the UK's economic and financial news, sign up to Money Distilled with John Stepek.
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