Scottish Daily Mail

Another sales fall sparks rollercoas­ter ride at THG

- By John Abiona

It was a rollercoas­ter ride for investors in THG as it posted another fall in revenues despite under-pressure boss Matt Moulding insisting that ‘progress had been made on numerous fronts’.

the troubled tech and lifestyle brand – formerly known as the Hut Group – posted a 4.4pc drop in group revenue for the three months to September 30.

It saw a slowdown in its nutrition arm due to rebranding efforts holding back new product launches. Shares fell as much as 7.1pc yesterday morning before reversing that decline later in the day to finish up 4.4pc, or 2.94p, to 69.76p. the company’s stock is highly volatile and is not for the faint-hearted.

But tHG did its best to calm investor nerves, saying that this was its best quarterly revenue performanc­e in the last year and revenues had returned to growth in September.

A ‘strong performanc­e’ across the group’s beauty division had boosted this metric, Moulding said. Several profit warnings have dragged tHG’s share price down further this year.

Yesterday tHG stuck to its annual sales guidance of flat to minus 5pc. It had downgraded its sales forecast last month.

Moulding is known for his brash criticism of the UK media and London market, which he has previously said he regrets taking tHG public on. the Manchester firm was valued at £5.4bn when it listed in 2020 in the largest float since Royal Mail in 2013. It is now worth around £835m.

the FTSE 100 rose 0.6pc, or 44.58 points, to 7675.21 and the FTSE 250 gained 1pc, or 170.07 points, to 17689.46.

the latest figures showed that real wages outpaced price rises for first time in two years.

this was helped by AstraZenec­a which rose 2.7pc, or 298p, to 11270p after the broker Guggenheim raised the pharma giant’s target price to 13200p from 12900p.

But miner Glencore will axe 1,000 jobs as part of plans to shut its three Mount Isa copper mines in Australia by the end of 2025. Shares were in the red for most of the day but inched up 0.02pc, or 0.1p, to 462.85p by the close.

Further down the market and Moneysuper­market stormed ahead as the comparison website cashed in on consumers shopping around for better insurance and travel products.

the FtSE250 firm’s revenue rose 14pc to £115.6m in the three months to the end of September.

High levels of customers switching their car and home insurance helped sales in the division jump nearly 40pc. And revenue in the travel insurance business surged more than 30pc on the back of an increase in package holidays.

Moneysuper­market boss Peter Duffy said: ‘It’s very simple – if we help customers save more, we will drive profits.’

Shares climbed 9.5pc, or 23.2p, to 268.2p, taking its gains for the year to 40pc.

Defence stocks were a mixed bag. Chemring traded higher after it told investors that it had received the necessary approval from the US Department of Defence to make its countermea­sure deliveries following a delay linked to the quality of raw material provided by a third-party supplier. Shares added 2.3pc, or 6p, to 274p. And aerospace firm Melrose increased its forecasts for its engine business. But shares fell 1.2pc, or 5.5p, to 473p.

It was a tough session for the fund manager Jupiter as it plunged to a record low after clients pulled out £1bn of funds just in the three months to the end of September. Retail clients showed little interest in getting their hands on riskier assets amid the ongoing economic pressures, the firm said. Shares slumped 9.8pc, or 8.55p, to 78.75p.

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