MARKET REPORT: Bad weather casts cloud over McColl's investors 


Convenience store chain McColl’s has become the latest retailer to blame poor weather and economic uncertainty for falling sales.

Sales at shops which have been open for more than a year fell 2.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to August 25, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Unseasonably poor weather across the summer and tough retail conditions were the culprits for the dampened sales, according to the firm, which has been struggling since its key supplier Palmer & Harvey went bust in 2017.

McColl's shares slumped by 5.5 per cent, or 2.65p, to close at 45.75p

McColl’s shares slumped by 5.5 per cent, or 2.65p, to close at 45.75p

Chief executive Jonathan Miller said: ‘This has been a highly unseasonable summer for the retail sector and our sales performance reflects both this and the ongoing macro-economic uncertainty.’

He has been working to revive the business by reviewing its product range and shutting underperforming sites.

But it could still have a way to come, in the eyes of investors, after its shares slumped by 5.5 per cent, or 2.65p, to close at 45.75p. 

Astrazeneca advanced after making progress with another drug, this time taking a leap forward with a treatment for the autoimmune disease, lupus. Earlier this week it also reported good results from tests of a pulmonary disease drug.

The FTSE 100 group said the second round of phase-three trials for anifrolumab, a new drug, had showed positive results on lupus patients. Shares lifted 1.4 per cent, or 99p, to 7365p.

The wider Footsie closed up 1 per cent, or 69.61 points, to 7184.32 points, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index increased by 0.5 per cent, or 89.51 points, to end at 19292.50 points. Two AIM-listed oil minnows soared after making a mammoth oil discovery in, of all places, Hull.

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Reabold Resources and Union Jack Oil, working with private firm Rathlin, thought they would find an impressive gas field.

But when they drilled they actually found what they believe could be the biggest discovery of its kind since the 1970s.

Reabold rose 10 per cent, or 0.12p, to 1.38p, while Union Jack Oil lifted 7 per cent, or 0.02p, to 0.3p.

Consumer goods firm PZ Cussons tracked higher after it agreed to offload two of its brands as it hones in on its core ranges.

It will sell Greek food business Minerva for £41million to a company controlled by Luxembourg-based investment firm Diorama. And it has exchanged contracts on the sale of its Polish personal care brand, Luksja, to Athens-based Sarantis. Shares rose 2.2 per cent, or 4.5p, to 210p.

Smiths Group’s stock climbed after brokers at Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’. Analysts noted its plans to further simplify the business and getting rid of its pension burden, which is now in surplus, as positive moves they will take into account when looking at its stock in future. Shares closed up 5.1 per cent, or 80p, to 1638.5p.

Tullow Oil shed 5.3 per cent, or 11.5p, to 205.8p after it was forced to cancel a £734million agreement to sell a stake in an oil project in Uganda.

After a run of good news related to oil exploration in Guyana, Tullow Oil was stung by news it has been forced to cancel a £734million agreement to sell a stake in a project in Uganda. The latest tiddler to join AIM, construction supplier Brickability Group, had a solid first day on the junior market.

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It produces roofing, doors, windows and, don’t forget, bricks – supplying around 300m each year.

The 25-year-old firm raised £57million on listing and added big-name institutional investors to its roster, including Lion Trust and Blackrock. Shares in Brickability rose around 5 per cent from the listing price of 65p, lifting 3p to 68p.



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