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Weaker trading at Greene King sparks concern for retailers

08 September 2017 08:46

It was bad news from the UK's largest pub retailer Greene King (GNK) after its like-for-like sales fell 1.2% in the first 18 weeks of its financial year compared to a market decline of 0.7%.

The company blamed weak trading on bad weather in July and warned it expected other challenges, including lower consumer confidence, higher costs and competition to continue.

Greene King was the biggest mid-cap faller as the share price dropped 13% to 570p.

The underwhelming performance by Greene King spooked the market, triggering declines in blue-chip retailers such as Marks and Spencer (MKS), Kingfisher (KGF) and Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB).

Miners were also weak with Antofagasta (ANTO) and Anglo American (AAL) leading the sector lower with falls of 1.7% and 0.6%.

Overall, the FTSE 100 retreated 0.3% to 7,375.

Brent crude oil rose 0.2% to $54.58 per barrel. Gold gained 0.7% to $1,354 per ounce and copper ticked 1.2% lower to $6,790 per tonne.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

A profit warning at Safestyle UK (SFE) hit the share price hard, plummeting 29.6% to 165p. The windows and doors manufacturer reported that order intake declined beyond expectations, affecting the firm's margin performance and full year profits. Safestyle also warned of 'accelerating weakness in the market resulting from increasing consumer caution.'

Benchmark Holdings (BMK) reported contributions from its new sea lice treatment were unlikely to be recognised in the year to 30 September 2017. The farming supplier blamed this on delayed commercial field trials, which were unlikely to start before the end of 2017.

Benchmark reported sales were likely to meet expectations, but this didn't stop the stock from falling 13% to 43.7p.

Shares in mattress manufacturer eve Sleep (EVE) were flat at 80.7p despite a major retailer agreement with Germany department store chain Karstadt.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: GNK

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