Market Report: FTSE treads water as Covid-19 cases continue to surge and UK shopkeepers battle storm

FTSE 100 was marking time after profit taking on Wall Street amid the ongoing coronavirus concerns and Democrat calls to impeach Donald Trump with less than 10 days of his presidency to run have hit a republican wall. London’s blue chip index dipped 3 to 6,794 in early trading.

Britain’s shopkeepers endured their worst year on record in 2020 as sales of fashion and homeware tumbled. The overall total dropped by 0.3% in spite of a healthy 5.4% rise in food sales, said the British Retail Consortium.
It’s a different online, however and THG PLC (LON:THG) better known as Hut Group, upped its growth guidance for 2021 again after sales were even stronger than expected in December.  Expectations for revenue growth in the new financial year are now 30-35% compared to previous guidance of 20-25%.

Kingfisher PLC’s (LON:KGF) full-year profits are also likely to be at the high end of expectations after sales were strong over the festive period. The group’s B&Q and Screwfix stores have thrived as people pay more attention to their homes during lockdowns.

Among the small caps, Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has inked an agreement with Portuguese energy major Galp to develop the Mina do Barroso lithium project in northern Portugal. Galp will take a 10% stake in Savannah’s subsidiary via a US$6.4mln investment to support a definitive feasibility study.

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) expects revenue and earnings for 2020 to be ahead of current market expectations. The franchise specialist said it had seen a strong recovery in the second half of the year.

Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) moved into profit after a sharp increase in the value of its investment portfolio. The investing company is focused focus on esports and e-payments.

Quick facts: THG PLC

Price: 708 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £6.87 billion

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