Indivior, Centrica, Greggs and more big news from the past week
We examine some of the key announcements and the market reaction
Shares in Indivior (INDV) have more than halved in value since 20 November and are now trading at an all-time low of 96.52p thanks to a court injunction being lifted on rival Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. The latter is trying to launch a generic version of Indivior’s opioid treatment, Suboxone.
Jefferies analyst James Vane-Tempest warns ‘seismic changes’ are needed to salvage Indivior’s intellectual property and he is worried about a potential breach of debt covenants. He says Indivior will need to significantly cut its Suboxone price, double cost savings to $200m in 2019 and delay early-stage R&D activities.
British Gas owner Centrica’s (CNA) third quarter update revealed it was still losing customers, just not at the rate it was a year earlier. This ‘achievement’ did not impress the market.
BETTER NEWS IN THE FOOD SECTOR
A trading update from food-on-the-go outlet
Greggs (GRG) showed strong sales momentum underpinning profit upgrades. Like-for-like sales were up 4.5% in the eight weeks to 24 November. Cake selling franchise Cake Box (CBOX:AIM) reported 44% revenue growth to £8.28m in the six months to 30 September despite the period encompassing the kind of warm weather which you might expect to depress demand for its eggless and fresh cream personalised celebration cakes.
There was more bad news from the troubled outsourcing sector as Babcock (BAB) and Interserve (IRV) served up poorly received updates. Both companies revealed big adjustments and one-off items.
BLACK FRIDAY FEARS
Early reports suggest this year’s Black Friday retail event (23 Nov) may have proved more difficult for UK retailers than expected, with in-store footfall down and the growth in online sales failing to make up the balance.
Barclaycard says shoppers were buying more items but spending less on the big day, with the emphasis on smaller treats rather than big ticket items. Shopper monitor Springboard reported a 6% drop in shopping centre, town centre and retail park footfall.
Hard-pressed retailers kick-started their discounting earlier this year, enabling bargainhunting consumers to spread their spending over a longer period. However, UK shoppers are forecast to spend over £2,000 each online alone in November and December, according to Adobe research, while department store John Lewis has reported record sales in Black Friday week.
By Lisa-Marie Janes with Tom Sieber and James Crux