Market Report: Heatwave goes down well at Wetherspoon

Thirsty traders were diving into the pubs group JD Wetherspoon as the heatwave helped to sell more pints and glasses of Pimm's. Wetherspoon raised its profit guidance for the year and the chairman and founder, Tim Martin, said he was "more bullish" after the positive period.

Its better-than-expected fourth quarter included a 3.5 per cent jump in sales for the 11 weeks to 14 July.

Traders were betting that the heatwave would further boost the business and the shares soared more than 12 per cent.

HSBC's analysts said they "expect a period of strong trading" for pubs groups and raised their target price for Wetherspoon to 700p, up from 520p.

Analysts at Numis raised their rating to add, and James Hollins at Investec said: "This is a very strong performance and we take further encouragement from the margin, given historic criticism of the group chasing revenue at the expense of margin." He raised his full-year pre-tax profit forecast by 4 per cent to £76.3m.

Wetherspoon, which has 800 pubs and plans to open 30 more in the next financial year, was 82p better at 750p.

Across the wider market, better-than-expected manufacturing data in Europe and good corporate updates helped the FTSE 100 index to advance 22.9 points to 6,620.43. The market remained reasonably quiet, and although the blue-chip index hit its highest levels since the end of May it has struggled to get past this.

Michael Hewson, an analyst at the spread betting group CMC Markets, said: "It continues to struggle to overcome the 6,660 area which has acted as a cap for the last few days, and given this lack of follow-through we've seen markets slowly drift back and the gains melt away in the afternoon sessions."

EasyJet soared 49p to 1,385p after it said third-quarter sales were strong and it raised its full-year profit guidance to between £450m and £480m. Fears that it had been hit by a slowdown in last-minute bookings due to the hot weather at home were allayed for now. Airline peer IAG also gained, up 5.5p to 291.4p.

Tate & Lyle was 29.5p sweeter at 853p after a first-quarter update that was in line with expectations.

Compass, the world's largest catering business and a key Wimbledon supplier, reported a 4 per cent rise in third quarter sales and was 9.5p healthier at 885.5p.

On the mid-cap index, a snub by the hi-tech manufacturer Renishaw left City analysts cross. Renishaw, which makes measuring devices for the healthcare and industrial sectors, said that after a review it had decided it would no longer see investors or analysts for one-to-one meetings.

The cold shoulder left the City slighted, and Investec said the decision would "do a disservice to the company and its external shareholders".

Renishaw, which announced the change at its full-year results yesterday, did reassure investors that it would still allow "shareholder meetings" with senior management, which could be "arranged where a shareholder wishes to communicate their views". It reported a 12 per cent drop in fourth-quarter sales growth and the shares fell 40p to 1,527p.

The department store chain Debenhams "is the cheapest stock" in UBS's European retail coverage, and it raised its price target to 125p and rated it a buy. The chain, which recently added the London Fashion Week designer Todd Lynn to its roster of brands, added 2.7p to 107.9p.

Ocado fell out of favour with analysts at Exane BNP Paribas who were concerned that there was no "imminent catalyst" for the shares to rise further. They rated it neutral and the shares lost 5p to 320p.

Exane does not rule out M&A activity, however, and said "Ocado's unique technology makes it a buyout target". But they expect others businesses to continue to develop their own technology first.

The price of gold soared for a third day to reach a one-month high, and the west African gold producer Avocet Mining felt the benefit with a 3p rise to 11p.

The Aim-listed "clean" energy expert Greenko Group released full-year results with sales up 10.4 per cent and it swept up 3.63p to 117.5p.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Stephen Hawking is reportedly taking steps to trademark his name
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor