MARKET REPORT: Another sales fall sparks rollercoaster ride at THG


MARKET REPORT: Another sales fall sparks rollercoaster ride at THG

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 4.4 per cent 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 7.1 per cent yesterday morning before reversing that decline later in the day to finish up 4.4 per cent, 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.

Volatile: THG  – formerly known as The Hut Group – posted a 4.4% drop in group revenue for the three months to September 30

Volatile: THG  – formerly known as The Hut Group – posted a 4.4% drop in group revenue for the three months to September 30

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 5 per cent. 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 £5.4billion when it listed in 2020 in the largest float since Royal Mail in 2013. It is now worth around £835million.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent, 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 2.7 per cent, 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 0.02 per cent, or 0.1p, to 462.85p by the close.

Stock Watch – Frontier Developments

Frontier Developments made much-needed gains as it aimed to return to profit and turn the business around following recent woes.

The video game seller said its review, which should be completed by early next year, seeks to reduce annual costs by up to 20 per cent through recruitment freezes, spending cuts, and redundancies.

Frontier hopes to cash in on the release of a Warhammer game, alongside Black Friday and Christmas sales. Shares soared 19.2 per cent, or 37p, to 230p

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 FTSE 250 firm’s revenue rose 14 per cent to £115.6million 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 40 per cent. And revenue in the travel insurance business surged more than 30 per cent 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 9.5 per cent, or 23.2p, to 268.2p, taking its gains for the year to 40 per cent.

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 2.3 per cent, or 6p, to 274p. And aerospace firm Melrose increased its forecasts for its engine business. But shares fell 1.2 per cent, 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 £1billion 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 9.8 per cent, or 8.55p, to 78.75p.



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