Today’s news in brief-26/3/24

Asos reported an 18% decline in sales during the first half of fiscal year 2024, yet maintained its profit guidance. Despite the sales dip, Asos showcased strong free cash flow performance, reaching £20m, its best since FY17. CEO José Antonio Ramos Calamonte highlighted the company’s progress in implementing its ‘Drive Change’ agenda to enhance profitability and streamline operations. Asos remains optimistic about its future, reaffirming its full-year guidance, which includes expectations of positive adjusted EBITDA and reduced net debt.

Pets at Home revealed its expectation of a £132m profit before tax for the full year, in line with previous guidance. The company’s retail and vet arms performed as anticipated in Q4, and it successfully launched a new digital platform, offering enhanced user experience across its app and website. With plans to transition all online sales to a new delivery centre by H1 FY25, Pets at Home expressed confidence in meeting analyst expectations for underlying profit before tax in the range of £137m to £150m for FY25.

Holland and Barrett appointed Anthony Houghton as CEO of UK&I and announced organisational changes to accelerate growth. The restructuring involves creating three new divisions and appointing new leaders to drive transformation. Executive chair Alex Gourlay emphasised the company’s momentum and its focus on creating integrated customer experiences through a localised and omnichannel approach. These changes aim to simplify operations, empower local decision-making, and drive performance across the organisation.

Ocado reported a 10.6% increase in sales to £645.3m in H1 2024, with growth in active shopper numbers and average orders per week. The online supermarket maintained its guidance for FY23, expecting revenue growth in the mid-high single digits and an EBITDA margin of 2.5%. CEO Hannah Gibson credited the company’s ‘Perfect Execution’ program for the positive results, highlighting efforts to enhance customer propositions, product availability, and pricing strategies. Gibson expressed confidence in the company’s strategy resonating with customers and anticipated further progress in 2024.


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