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January 6: Bad news all over the place today, led by retailers. JJB Sports has issued yet another profits warning and Games Workshop has also reported weak Christmas trading as people begin to loose interest in Lord of the Rings at last. The Today programme said John Lewis’s latest figures were slightly disappointing for the week between Christmas and New Year but I haven’t had a chance to look at them myself yet. We’ll provide you with a useful wrap up of what we know so far about Christmas trading from these and other companies in tomorrow’s paper.

George Wimpey has become the latest housebuilder to warn on profits, following Redrow’s warning on Thursday. Redrow said the market for new build and second hand homes was the weakest for 30 years. Despite saying its annual profits would fall below analysts’ forecasts, Wimpey chief executive Peter Johnson sounded more optimistic than some about the year ahead. Read Lex.

DX Services, the old Hays business which handles post and packages for businesses, delivered its own profits warning. it said it expected to report lower earnings because of sluggish demand from clients in the property industry. Revenue in the first half dropped at all three of the company’s units compared with the same period a year before and costs are expected to rise. The stock is off 13 per cent.

We have also picked a theme out of yesterday’s news that Andy Hornby is taking over from James Crosby as chief executive of HBOS. It should be a treat to read over your Saturday morning breakfast.

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