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FTSE 100 Closes 0.1% Lower as B&M Plummets

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.1% on Tuesday, as convenience retailer B&M plunged and oil majors surrendered gains towards the end of the session. B&M was the blue-chip index's worst performer on Tuesday, with shares falling 15% after it reported results for the year ended March 26. B&M is simultaneously losing the tailwind it had during the pandemic when its shops remained open, and its value-based proposition means margins are skinny and vulnerable to inflation, Russ Mould from AJ Bell says in a note. In addition, oil majors, which had helped the FTSE 100 outperform earlier in the day on the back of a rise in crude prices, slipped back towards the close. BP closed up 0.2% and Shell gained 0.1%. The best performer was Unilever, with shares jumping 9.4% after it said activist investor Nelson Peltz was joining its board. "The introduction of Peltz to the board comes as a healthy shake-up that could breathe new life into the shares," Victoria Scholar from Interactive Investor says in a note.

 
Companies News: 

GSK to Buy Affinivax for Up to $3.3 Bln

GSK PLC said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Affinivax, Inc. for up to $3.3 billion.

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Unilever to Add Activist Investor Nelson Peltz to Board

Unilever PLC said it would add Nelson Peltz to its board and that the activist investor's Trian Fund Management LP holds a 1.5% stake in the company, a move that comes as the Dove owner seeks to reinvigorate its performance.

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B&M European Value Retail FY22 Earnings Mostly Flat; Appoints New CEO

B&M European Value Retail SA reported on Tuesday a flat set of results for fiscal 2022 while it warned of returning to markdowns in the current financial year, and said that it has appointed Alex Russo to succeed Simon Arora as the company's new chief executive.

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Pennon Group FY 2022 Pretax Profit Fell on Higher Finance Costs

Pennon Group PLC said Tuesday that pretax profit for fiscal 2022 fell amid higher finance costs because of inflation, and that it raised its dividend payout.

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PCF Group Is in Takeover Talks With Castle Trust Capital

PCF Group PLC said Tuesday that it is in early-stage talks over a possible takeover by Castle Trust Capital PLC in a deal that would give shareholders a minority stake in the enlarged group.

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GYG Sees 2022 Performance In Line With Views

GYG PLC said Tuesday that it is confident in achieving its performance objectives for 2022 after a positive first quarter.

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Billington Performing in Line With Market Views in 2022 Amid Contract Wins

Billington Holdings PLC said Tuesday that 2022 has started positively, performing in line with market views and securing a number of contracts.

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PCF Group FY 2021 Pretax Loss Narrows; Appoints Garry Stran CEO

PCF Group PLC on Tuesday reported a narrowed pretax loss for fiscal 2021 as it booked lower impairment charges and said that it has appointed Garry Stran as its chief executive officer.

 
Market Talk: 

Pennon's Inflation Cost Shouldn't Surprise

0916 GMT - Pennon has flagged higher costs from power, chemicals and the impact of inflation on debt interest for fiscal 2023, which shouldn't come as a surprise because it is similar to what other water companies have reported to date, Citi's utilities analyst Jenny Ping says in a research note. As for fiscal 2022, Pennon reported results broadly in line with consensus, with dividend and net debt also as expected, she says. Shares fall 1.9% after the FTSE 250 water company released earnings for the year ended March 31. Citi has a neutral rating on the stock. (jaime.llinares@wsj.com)

Unilever's Activist Investor Could Speed Streamlining

0840 GMT - Unilever's appointment of Nelson Peltz to the board was welcomed by investors as it may push the Anglo-Dutch retailer to advance plans to streamline the business and attend to governance concerns, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. Mould says Peltz's presence is also likely to ramp up pressure on CEO Alan Jope, who was already in a difficult situation after the failed takeover of GSK's consumer health division. Unilever shares are up 6.7% at 3,729.0 pence. (michael.susin@wsj.com)

Unilever Breakup More Likely After Trian Stake Purchase

0835 GMT - After Nelson Peltz took a 1.5% stake in Unilever, his hedge fund Trian Fund Management will most likely push the company to go back to basics, investing in innovation, tying compensation incentives to growth and accelerating the pace of M&A, Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne says in a note. Furthermore, a Unilever breakup could be on the cards, as it may simply be too spread out to run effectively, Monteyne says. "We aren't aware of any companies the size of Unilever that are successfully operating whilst being spread so broadly." (Saabira.Chaudhuri@wsj.com)

B&M European Value Retail Seen Facing Growth Headwinds in FY23

0802 GMT - B&M European Value Retail results for fiscal 2022, which ended on May 26, were broadly in line with views, RBC Capital Markets says in a note. The London-listed convenience retailer's outlook for FY 2023 was softer than expected, though, RBC adds. "We believe that various headwinds will make it more difficult to grow earnings meaningfully over the next two years," the Canadian bank says. B&M isn't expected to offer any further cash returns in the near term given it has already returned around GBP500 million to shareholders in the past two years, RBC says. (sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix)

 

Contact: London NewsPlus; paul.larkins@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2022 12:04 ET (16:04 GMT)

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