- The FTSE 100 index moved higher on Wednesday with several companies reporting higher sales and profits.
- WH Smith and Whitbread bounce back to pre-covid levels, while Bloomsbury reports record-high sales.
The FTSE 100 index moved higher on Wednesday with several companies reporting higher sales and profits, including Bloomsbury (LON: BMY), WH Smith (LON: SMWH), and Whitbread (LON: WTB). The blue-chip index was up by 1.37% at around 11:00 AM (GMT+1) on 15 June 2022, at 7,285.55 points.
Let’s look at the performance of the above-mentioned companies.
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Bloomsbury Publishing plc (LON: BMY)
On Wednesday, UK-based global publishing house Bloomsbury released the highest results it has ever achieved for the year ended 28 February 2022. As compared to the last year, the sales of the company have surged by 24% to £230.1 million, with a 40% increase in its profits hitting £26.7 million. The reading appetite of people post-covid continues to go up, represented by a 41% jump in sales and a 70% hike in profits as compared to the figures from two years ago.
The revenue growth in the consumer and non-consumer divisions of the company stands at 25% and 23%, respectively. The company has acquired three businesses over the year, including ABC-CLIO LLC, the Red Globe Press list, and Head of Zeus Limited. Owing to its robust performance, the company has proposed a 24% hike in its final dividend to 9.4p.
After the announcement, Bloomsbury’s shares were trading at GBX 389.50, up by 2.50%, at 11:15 AM (GMT+1) on 15 June. With a market cap of £310.11 million, the company has provided its shareholders with a one-year return of 14.58% as of 15 June.
WH Smith plc (SMWH)
Leading British retailer WH Smith has declared its revenue in the 15 weeks to 11 June 2022. For the first time since the pandemic came along, the revenues of the group have surpassed the 2019 levels, going up by 107%. With the removal of the pandemic-related restrictions, the travel sector has been bouncing back to normalcy, contributing significantly to the robust performance of the group.
The travel retail market has been recovering globally, leading to increased sales over the 125 stores of the company worldwide, with more stores to open in the future. Several tenders are in progress across the company’s key markets. As compared to the pre-covid levels of 2019, the revenues from the company’s travel division have gone up by 123%, while from the High Street division there has been a jump of 79%, with the overall group revenues surging by 107%.
After the announcement, WH Smith’s shares were trading at GBX 1,459.00, up by 7.40%, at 11:40 AM (GMT+1) on 15 June. The FTSE 250 company holds a market cap of £1,778.42 million as of 15 June and its performance has deteriorated over the past year, with a negative one-year return of -16.13%
Whitbread plc (WTB)
UK-based leading hospitality business Whitbread announced its trading update for the first quarter of 2022 on Wednesday. The company has outperformed the market with its robust results, well ahead of the pre-covid levels. The company’s performance has been way above expectations in the UK and Germany. Whitbread has 40 hotels operational in Germany, with 38 more in the pipeline.
As compared to the pre-covid levels, the total sales of the company have gone up by 21.8%. While the company has outperformed the market and expects to do the same in the future as well, it is planning to invest additional costs in the range of £20 million - £30 million into labour, refurbishments, and IT over the next year, taking the currently tight labour market into account.
After the announcement, Whitbread’s shares were trading at GBX 2,714.00, up by 5.77%, at 11:59 AM (GMT+1) on 15 June. The FTSE100 company holds a market cap of £5,183.91 million as of 15 June and its performance has deteriorated over the past year, with a negative one-year return of -16.71%.