May 25, 2023
Pets at Home Wants Investors’ Tails Wagging: The London Rush
(Bloomberg) -- The decline in electricity prices stemming from Ofgem’s reduced price cap today won’t just be a relief for people living in the UK who have been paying through their teeth to keep the lights on. Lower energy bills may also give pet owners more cash to spend on their cats and dogs — at least that’s what Pets at Home is probably hoping for as it targets growth of 7% a year. Question is, will that be enough to keep their investors’ tails wagging?
Here’s the key business news from London this morning:
In The City
London Stock Exchange Group Plc: The financial services company’s CFO Anna Manz will step down from her role to take a job outside of financial services.
Cineworld Group Plc: The cinema chain expects to emerge from Chapter 11 cases in July 2023, 10 months after it first filed for bankruptcy in the US.
- The owner of Regal and Picturehouse cinemas has support from the majority of its debtholders for the restructuring
Pets at Home Plc: The pet supplies retailer unveiled unveiled growth plans to bring together everything pet owners need onto a single platform.
- That comes as the company reports a full year adjusted pretax profit that beat analyst expectations
Ofgem: The UK’s energy regulator will cut the amount an average household will pay in electricity bills to £2,074 a year from July, a fall of 37%.
- The new price level will be below the UK’s Energy Price Guarantee, which is currently set at £2,500
Rishi Sunak’s government promised a shake-up of health care in England that will allow patients to book free treatment in private hospitals, in an effort to cut record waiting lists. Patients will be able to use the NHS app or website to choose from up to five providers — including in the independent sector — for operations, scans and procedures, the Department for Health and Social Care said.
England’s health-worker shortage is so severe that the National Health Service can’t staff “virtual wards” that were meant to relieve the burden on its struggling hospitals, according to the NHS Confederation, which represents UK medical workers and hospitals.
In Case You Missed It
Bang on time. Microsoft formally filed its appeal against the UK antitrust watchdog’s decision to block its $69 billion Activision Blizzard deal. The US tech giant lodged the suit at the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Wednesday, the deadline to file an appeal.
Brexit is responsible for a third of UK food price inflation since 2019, according to research by the LSE that undermines government efforts to show the EU divorce has benefited Britain. Regulatory, sanitary and other border checks added almost £7 billion to total domestic grocery bills over the period from December 2019 to March 2023.
Nowhere is the inflation dilemma more jarring that in the price of an English breakfast. The cost of ingredients has risen to a record of almost £36, according to Bloomberg’s Breakfast Index, which showed every product was more expensive in April than a year earlier. Items such as milk posted smaller price rises than before, indicating inflation may be slowing in some categories, but the average increase was 22%.
UK retail sales probably inched up in April after dropping 0.9% the month before, but it may be light relief. While data tomorrow are expected to show volumes — including auto fuel — rose 0.3% last month, the extension in government support with energy bills and the easing in energy prices likely played a role, not to mention a growing take-up of buy-now-pay-later products, according to Bloomberg Economics.
For a more considered take on the UK's economic and financial news, sign up to Money Distilled with John Stepek.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.