Drinks giant Diageo Plc. (DGE.L, DEO) Thursday reported a drop in organic net sales growth and volume for the third quarter, as currency and economic weakness impacted consumer confidence across many emerging markets. The stock fell 5 percent in early morning trade.
The U.K. unemployment rate fell below the 7 percent threshold to a five-year low in February and average earnings finally moved above inflation reducing the squeeze on household finances. The jobless rate came in at 6.9 percent of the labor force, the lowest since February 2009, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday.
Tesco Plc's shares increased around 4 percent in the morning trade in London after the British supermarket chain posted Wednesday a higher profit in its fiscal year 2014, benefited by lower charges and a slight increase in sales. Group trading profit, meanwhile, declined 6 percent due to a weakening UK grocery market and challenging trading conditions mainly in Europe.
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. (RBGPF.PK, RB.L) Wednesday reported lower revenue for the first quarter, hurt by currency fluctuations. Excluding the currency impact, revenue grew and the firm said it is on track to achieve its fiscal 2014 financial targets.
BHP Billiton Ltd on Wednesday raised its full-year production outlook for iron ore and metallurgical coal after production of the commodities during the third quarter rose 23 percent and 28 percent year-over year respectively. However, the mining giant's copper production for the third quarter declined 5 percent from last year.
Consumer price inflation in the U.K. eased to the lowest level in four-and-a-half years during March and house price growth accelerated sharply in February, separate figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.
British brewer SABMiller Plc reported that its financial performance is in line with expectations, with an increase in net producer revenue for the fourth quarter and fiscal year at an organic, constant currency basis. Meanwhile, the reported results would be negatively impacted by the depreciation of key currencies against the US dollar. SABMiller shares declined around 3 percent in London.
Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc reported Monday that global iron ore production for the first quarter grew eight percent from last year, reflecting the continuing ramp up of mining operations in the Pilbara region. The company reported record first-quarter iron ore production, shipments and rail volumes. The company also maintained its full-year 2014 production guidance.
U.K. house prices rose to a record high due to the lack of property coming for sale in April, data from the property tracking website Rightmove showed Monday. Asking prices increased at a pace of 7.3 percent year-on-year in April, the highest since October 2007 and takes it back to pre-credit crunch levels. This follows a 6.8 percent rise reported for March.