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Ian Pollard: Fastjet On The Brink

Fastjet plc FJET admits that it has not received the additional funding which it needed by the end of October if it was to continue operating, It has however been able to continue operating beyond that deadline due to some improvement in trading and cash generation. This has allowed it further time to continue discussions with its major shareholders and creditors and these have in part been positive. However without a successful conclusion “in the coming days” it will be unable to continue trading as a going concern.

Next plc NXT is maintaining the full year sales and profit guidance issued 5 weeks ago, despite full price sales growth in quarter 3 slowing substantially to 1.3% compared to the average of 3.1% over the first nine months. Retail sales were the problem with a third quarter fall of 8% whilst online helped to save the day with a rise of 12.7%.

Standard Chartered plc STAN significantly increased its profitability during the first nine months of the year, with underlying profit before tax of $3.4bn rising by 25%. In quarter 3 to the end of September this rose further to 31% whilst on a statutory basis the increase was 37%. Income from Africa & Middle East was down 5 per cent or 3 per cent on a constant currency basis. Macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds continued to impact performance in the third quarter particularly in the UAE. In Europe & the Americas things were better with income rising by  6 per cent. Management takes credit for the fact that the bank now makes as much profit in a quarter as it did in all of 2016

Computacenter CCC is having to find excuses as to why quarter 3 saw a decline. The only thing it can come up with is that 2017 was better or in technical jargon the comparatives were significantly more challenging. Thus overall Group revenue for the third quarter declined year-on-year by three per cent to £900 million both in real and in constant currency. The UK was particularly hit in the third quarter with a 9% decline in overall revenue although this has still  lead to a year-to-date increase of 17 per cent. Germany and France also suffered from third quarter declines. The International sector on the other hand grew by 13%. Expectations for the fourth quarter are for improved growth but not at the levels seen in the first half of the year.

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