Sainsbury SBRY hs been forced to cut its interim dividend by 14% to 3.1p. Despite all the hype about outperforming this and growing market share in challenging conditions etc etc, in the end it was forced to choose between sticking to its strict policy of paying an interim dividend equal to 30% of the prior full year dividend or leaving it as it was, so it chose to cut. And looking at the figures that comes as no surprise. Underlying earnings per share and profit before tax fell by 22% and 9% respectively whilst on a statutory basis profit before tax slumped from 372m to 220m and earnings per share collapsed by over 50% from 14.8 pence per share to 7.1p. The Group Chief Executive regards this as a good performance. Like for like sales for the half year to 23rd September do provide a better picture with rise of 1.6% including fuel.
Burberry Group BRBY is increasing its interim dividend by 10% after delivering a strong first half which double digit underlying profit growth of 17% after revenue growth of 4% on an underlying basis and 9% reported. It is perhaps significant that Burberry has a strong international presence which will help to protect it from the ills afflicting British retailers.
National Grid NG maintained strong momentum in the US and continued to deliver a solid performance in the UK during the half year to 30th September. Despite all round falls in profit before tax, operating profit and earnings per share, which senior executives now seem to regard as an essential before their company can be described as a success, the interim dividend is tweaked upwards by 2.1%.