7.50am: Smiths’ delivers fastest revenue growth in a decade
Smiths Group (LON:) PLC reported its fastest revenue growth in nearly a decade as it unveiled full year results to the end of July, 2022.
Revenue of £2,566mln, rose +3.8% on an organic basis and ahead of expectations it said, with operating profits up 1.7% to £417mln, again on an organic basis.
Return on capital employed rose 30 basis points (bps) to 14.2% although organic operating margins dipped 30bps to 16.3%.
The listed engineering group reported high demand across most end markets with strong order growth of +11% and rewarded shareholders with a 5% increase in the total dividend to 39.6p.
The group said pricing actions were offsetting inflation and mitigating other supply chain impacts.
Looking ahead Smiths’ forecast 4.0%-4.5% organic revenue growth with moderate margin improvement with strong order books and leading market positions to support sustained momentum.
7.30am: Chancellor to focus on growth
Kwasi Kwarteng will promise a “new era for Britain” with a major package of measures to “turn the vicious cycle of stagnation into a virtuous cycle of growth” Sky News reports.
The chancellor is set to announce tens of billions of pounds both of increased spending and of tax cuts when he delivers his mini-budget at around 9.30am on Friday.
The statement is expected to include details of how the government will fund the energy price cap for households and businesses, and put into practice many of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s tax-slashing promises.
The government is dubbing it a “growth plan” at a time when the UK faces a cost of living crisis, soaring inflation and climbing interest rates.
Speaking about his priorities in a speech to the House of Commons, the chancellor is expected to say: “Growth is not as high as it needs to be, which has made it harder to pay for public services, requiring taxes to rise.
“This cycle of stagnation has led to the tax burden being forecast to reach the highest levels since the late 1940s.”
“We are determined to break that cycle. We need a new approach for a new era focused on growth.
7.00am: FTSE 100 set to open higher
FTSE 100 expected to open higher this morning, looking to end the week on a brighter note after heavy losses yesterday, with attention in London focused on the mini budget due at 9.30am.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Karteng has also announced a reversal in the national insurance increase made by his predecessor while the corporation tax rise that was due to take effect next year may also be cancelled.
Ahead of this spread betting companies are calling London’s blue-chip index up by around 20 points.
In the US, markets endured another down day.
The closed Thursday down 108 points, 0.4%, at 30,076, the lost 153 points, 1.4%, to 11.067 and the S&P 500 declined 32 points, 0.8%, to 3,758.
The Dow nearly salvaged a winning day, flashing into the green in the afternoon, but ultimately the benchmarks each declined for the third consecutive session.