London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.5% at 18,077.60 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Online electrical goods retailer AO World surged to the top of the index, with traders pointing to positive read-across from Asos, which said annual sales and profit were set to be “significantly ahead” of market expectations. Although one sells electricals and the other clothes, traders highlighted the positive impact of the shift to online shopping during lockdown.
Homeware retailer Dunelm was in the black after Barclays initiated coverage of the shares at ‘overweight’ with a 1,425p price target as it highlighted its resilience and strong balance sheet. The bank said that while there may be risk to the homewares/furniture markets in a recession, its UK Spend Trends 2.0 indicates industry growth rates are currently strong.
“Combined with market share gains for Dunelm, we believe the company will be resilient and deliver attractive growth (14% profit before tax growth in FY22),” it said.
Going the other way, Capital & Counties fell after it said first-half losses widened as net rental income and property values slumped as a result of lockdown.
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group – formerly Sports Direct – was weaker after saying late on Tuesday that it was delaying the release of its full-year results.
“Due to the undoubted scrutiny of our accounts, management and our auditors RSM will take this extra week to robustly review the final accounts and ensure that all necessary disclosures have been completed,” it said.
“For the avoidance of doubt we can confirm there are no significant matters to address outside of normal audit completion procedures and the final accounts disclosure review.”
Frasers also delayed its annual results in 2019, pinning the blame on uncertainty about trading at House of Fraser and increased scrutiny of auditor Grant Thornton.
Housebuilder Bellway was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘hold’ at Peel Hunt.
FTSE 250 – Risers
AO World (AO.) 202.00p 10.02%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 32.40p 5.54%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 92.00p 4.84%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 890.00p 4.71%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 55.14p 4.16%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 1,367.00p 4.11%
Just Eat Takeaway.Com N.V. (CDI) (JET) 9,006.00p 3.78%
FirstGroup (FGP) 45.42p 3.13%
Royal Mail (RMG) 210.90p 3.03%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 1,196.00p 3.01%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 131.50p -6.74%
Shaftesbury (SHB) 535.00p -6.47%
Trainline (TRN) 377.40p -6.45%
Energean (ENOG) 600.00p -4.61%
Frasers Group (FRAS) 283.00p -3.81%
Bellway (BWY) 2,364.00p -3.75%
Hammerson (HMSO) 53.66p -3.28%
Future (FUTR) 1,436.00p -3.10%
Provident Financial (PFG) 189.90p -3.01%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 292.50p -2.82%