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Market Update

Publicis Lifted by U.S. Business, Unilever Revises Margin Target Higher

Author: Sarla Buch
Last Update: 10:57 AM ET July 20 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt – easyJet lifted fiscal profit forecast. Publicis revenues rose after improved performance in the U.S. Premier Foods sales declined on weak grocery sales. Sports Direct profit tumbled. Unilever net soared.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index jumped 58.61 or 0.8% to 7,489.10 and in Frankfurt the DAX index advanced 61.83 or 0.5% to 12,513.78.

In Paris, CAC 40 index increased 10.98 or 0.2% to 5,227.05.

easyJet Plc plunged 5.4% to 1,336 pence after the U.K.-based budget airline said revenues in the third-quarter ending in June soared 16% from a year ago to £1.4 billion and the number of passengers jumped 10.8% to 22.3 million.

The budget airline said total revenue per seat in the quarter increased 5.9% to £57.78 and total revenue per passenger advanced 4.7% to £62.07.

easyJet lifted fiscal 2017 pretax profit forecast to between £380 million and £420 million from the earlier estimate of £375 million and seat capacity to grow 8.5%.

Revenue per seat is estimated to decline 2% while 67%of seats are already sold for the fourth-quarter.

Publicis Groupe SA jumped 4.5% to €66.77 after France-based communications and marketing services provider reported revenues in the first-half ending in June rose 1.9% from a year ago to €4.8 billion.

Net income in the period increased 1.6% from a year ago to €387 million from €381 million and diluted earnings per share gained €1.89 from €1.81.

Premier Foods Plc advanced 2.7% to 39.80 pence after the U.K.-based food and beverage provider said total sales in the first-quarter ending on July 1 declined 3.1% from a year ago period after lower sales volumes notably in dessert and grocery sales slumped 5.6%.

In the quarter, non-branded sales in the grocery business jumped 8.9%, non-branded sales in Sweet Treats soared 17.8% and international business surged 20%.

Mr Kipling cakes, Bisto gravy maker remains confident to deliver positive sales growth in second-quarter.

Sports Direct International Plc surged 11.9% to 336.40 pence after the U.K.-based sports goods retailer said group revenues in the year ending in April jumped 11.7% from a year ago to £3.2 billion.

Net profit in the year tumbled 17.1% from a year ago to £229.9 million from £277.4 million and diluted earnings per share slumped to 38.3 pence from 45.5 pence.

Revenues in the U.K. jumped 6.3% to £2.14 billion and revenues in the international sports soared 38% to £665.6 million.

“It’s clear we have smashed the ball out of the park with our Selfridges of sport concept,” said chief executive officer Mike Ashley as he intend to invest more than £300 million in property assets per year over 2 to 4 year period.

Unilever NV gained 0.2% to €49.82 after the Netherlands-based consumer goods maker reported revenues in the first-half ending in June advanced 5.5% from a year ago to €27.7 billion.

Net income in the period surged 18.3% to €3.3 billion from €2.7 billion in the year ago period and diluted earnings per share increased €1.09 from €0.88.

The consumer goods maker forecasted operating margin of 20% by 2020 as reported operating margin in the first-half achieved 17.5% or increased 310 basis points.

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