Weekly Investment Update
28 June 2017 to 4 July 2017

Business News
Profits at Dixons Carphone grew by 10% to £501m for the year to the end of April. Total sales rose by 3% to £10.5bn, with results benefitting from currency movements. Office supply chain Staples has been bought for £5.3bn by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Engineering giant Rolls-Royce has announced plans that will safeguard 7,000 UK jobs as it invests £150m in new facilities in the East Midlands. Retailer Supergroup, owners of the Superdry brand, has seen its full-year pre-tax profits rise by 53% to £85m with sales up by 27% to £752m.

The Australian owner of Homebase, Bunnings, has revealed plans to create 1,000 new jobs in the UK by opening 20 Bunnings stores. It also plans to invest £500m to convert all 258 Homebase stores to its Bunnings brand. Food and pet care manufacturer Nestle has announced its plans to embark on a £16.3bn share buyback scheme.

Sandwich chain Subway has said it plans to open another 500 new shops by 2020 creating 5,000 new jobs in the process.

UK cosmetics chain The Body Shop has been bought by Brazilian cosmetics chain Natura for £880m from French giant L’Oreal who had owned the chain for the past 11 years.

Econominc News
A report by Nationwide shows that UK house prices rose by 1.1% during June, after a dip of 0.2% in May. Annual
prices rose to 3.1%.

Analysis by Halifax on first-time buyers shows that in the first six months of 2017 the average price of a first home rose to a record high of £207,693, and the average deposit paid by first-time buyers was £32,899.

The US GDP growth rate for Q1 has been revised up again, this time to an annualised growth rate of 1.4% helped
by growth in consumer spending. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has revised down its estimate for US economic growth to 2.1% for both 2017 and 2018; down from 2.3% and 2.5% respectively.

China’s £7 trillion bond market has been opened to foreign investors for the first time. The Chinese bond market is the third largest in the world.

A new report on banking habits estimates that by 2022 most people will only visit a bank branch four times a year. Banking through apps is likely to grow, as desktop banking shrinks.

Courtesy of Legal & General
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