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Market Update

Booker Agrees to Merge with Tesco, H&M Drops on Inventory Worries


Author: Sarla Buch
ticker.com
Last Update: 10:50 AM ET March 30 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt – Booker agreed to be acquired by Tesco for £3.7 billion. DFS Furniture reaffirmed revenue and pretax profit forecast. Hilton Food net surged. H & M drops to a new 4-year low on inventory worries. Symetis agreed to be acquired by Boston Scientific.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index dropped 28.29 or 0.4% to 7,345.36 and in Frankfurt the DAX index rose 10.89 to 12,214.84.

In Paris, CAC 40 index edged up 5.84 to 5,074.85.

Booker Group Plc fell 0.5% to 198.10 pence after the U.K.-based food wholesaler agreed to be acquired by Tesco Plc for £3.7 billion or $4.6 billion in cash and stock.

Separately the retailer said total group non tobacco sales in the fourth-quarter jumped 4.5% and comparable store sales increased 4.7% and online sales soared 8% to £233 million.

However, group tobacco sales declined 7.9% with tobacco comparable store sales slumped 7.5%.

Total sales in the fifty-weeks ending on March 24 surged 6.7% to £5.3 billion and non-tobacco sales in comparable stores rose 2.8% but tobacco sales in comparable store plunged 4.6%.

The food wholesaler said total sales in the full-year to increase 7%.

DFS Furniture Plc slumped 2.2% to 246.75 pence after the U.K.-based upholstery maker stated group revenues in the first-half ending on January 28 advanced 6.8% from a year ago to £379.9 million.

Net income in the period tumbled 42% from a year ago to £13.1 million from £22.6 million and diluted earnings per share decreased to 6.1 pence from 10.5 pence.

The furniture’s maker said gross sales for 12-month period may exceed £1 billion for the first time and group gross sales in the period jumped 7% to £493.7 million.

However, DFS reaffirmed fiscal 2018 revenue and pre-tax profit forecast.

Hilton Food Group Plc advanced 3.5% to 663.12 pence after the U.K.-based meat packing retailer reported revenues in the year ending on January 1 soared 12.8% from a year ago to £1.2 billion.

Net income in the period surged 24.2% from a year ago to £26.7 million from £21.5 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 33.2 pence from 27.2 pence.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB plunged 4.7% to 226.20 Swedish kronor after the Sweden-based apparel retailer reported sales in the first-quarter jumped 7% from a year ago to 54.4 billion kronor.

Net income in the quarter fell 3.5% from a year ago to 2.46 billion kronor from 2.55 billion kronor and earnings per share decreased to 1.48 kronor from 1.54 kronor.

RPC Group Plc dropped 3.8% to 845.50 pence after the U.K.-based plastic containers and packaging products maker estimated revenue and operating profit in the year ending in March are ""significantly ahead"" of the previous year.

RPC said the acquisition of ESE was completed on January 31st and the company is expected to contribute in the year ending in March 2017.

The plastic containers and packaging products maker said acquisition of Letica Group was completed earlier this month and ""limited integration work"" is underway while acquisition of Astrapak Ltd is expected to complete in June.

Symetis SA the Switzerland-based trans-catheter heart valve maker agreed to be acquired by the U.S.-based rival Boston Scientific Corporation for about $435 million in cash.

The transaction is expected to close in the second-quarter of this year.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc