Weekly Investment Update
24 May 2017 to 30 May 2017

Business News
Irish airline Ryanair has reported a record net profit of £1.2bn for the year to March as its revenues rose by 2% to £5.8bn. The airline said the price of air fares had fallen by 13% over the last year, and expected the price to continue to fall this year.

Tiffany & Co, the upmarket jewellery maker, has reported its sixth consecutive quarter of falling sales, as they decreased by 3% in the three months to April. Net sales rose slightly to £694m, while net profit for the quarter rose to £72m from last year.

Marks and Spencer has seen the cost of restructuring eat into its annual profits. For the year to the end of March sales were flat at £10.6bn, while profits fell 64% to £176m.

B&Q and Screwfix owner, Kingfisher, saw its Q1 total group sales rise by 5% to £2.9bn. Meanwhile, Halfords, the car part, bike and camping retailer, has reported revenues for the year to March rose by 7.2% to £1.1bn, whilst pre-tax profits fell by 10.5% to £71m.

Australian business Ansell is selling its condom division, which makes brands such as Mates, Skyn and Jissbon, to a Chinese consortium of Humanwell Healthcare Group and CITC Capital China Partners for £462m.

Econominc News
The second estimate of the UK’s GDP growth in Q1 has been revised down to 0.2% from the initial estimate of 0.3%. The change was due to a reduction in the growth of the UK’s dominant service sector.

The price of oil fell by around 5% last Thursday, despite agreement by energy ministers from oil-producing nations to maintain output restrictions for another year.

US GDP growth for Q1 has been revised upwards to an annualised 1.2%, from 0.7%, thanks to changes to estimates of consumer spending.

Credit ratings agency Moody’s has cut China’s credit rating by one notch from A1 to Aa3. This is the first time since 1989 that the agency has cut China’s rating.

Mongolia has received a £4.2bn aid package from the IMF, to try and stabilise its economy, in exchange for reforms such as higher taxes and reduced spending. The digital currency Bitcoin is enjoying a period of growth, doubling in value over the last two months to £1,700 and now has a market capitalisation of around £23bn.

Courtesy of Legal & General
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