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FTSE 250 movers: Currys finds favour; Redde Northgate, Mitie go ex-div

(Sharecast News) - FTSE 250: 19,249.90, +2.96%

Electrical retailer Currys held annual guidance as interim losses narrowed and its Nordics unit reported an improvement in gross margins, although sales fell 4% as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.

The seller of televisions, fridges and laptops posted a loss before tax of £46m, compared with a loss of £548m a year earlier. UK like-for-like revenue fell 3% to £2.2bn, while group sales on the same basis fell 4% to £4.1bn.

"Our priorities this year are simple: to get the Nordics back on track, to keep up the UK&I's encouraging momentum, while strengthening our balance sheet and liquidity. We're making good progress on all these in a still challenging economic environment," said chief executive Alex Baldock.

"In the Nordics, our trusted brands have delivered substantial gross margin gains, which combined with strong cost discipline have resulted in significantly improved profits. There's still a long way back to healthy Nordics performance, but we're on the way."

However, he also fired a broadside at the government over increases in wages and business rates.

'For the retail industry as a whole, having the big hike in the national living wage at the same time as an expected half a billion pound increase in the business rates bill just shows how little the government appears to understand or care about this industry.'

Aarin Chiekrie, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said "consumers are simply struggling to justify as much discretionary spending on TVs and gadgets amidst a cost-of-living crisis, despite Christmas being just around the corner".

"That's led to a small decline on the top line ... and in the Nordics region, the group's second-largest segment, the market remains extremely tough. Almost all categories saw sales declines and inflationary cost pressures remain a force to be reckoned with."

"While there's no magic wand to fix all the headwinds, finding a new home for its Greek electronics retailer, Kotsovolos, should ease some of the pressure in the short term. The £156m of net cash Currys expects from this sale will provide a welcome boost to the group's balance sheet, as well as allow management to sharpen its focus on the remaining regions."

Redde Northgate fell after going ex-dividend, as did Mitie Group.

FTSE 250 - Risers

Currys (CURY) 50.05p 10.53% Mobico Group (MCG) 71.55p 10.50% CAB Payments Holdings (CABP) 63.00p 10.33% Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) 185.10p 10.05% Future (FUTR) 662.50p 9.59% IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 290.00p 9.10% Genuit Group (GEN) 382.50p 8.51% Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 853.00p 8.18% Marshalls (MSLH) 269.00p 7.77% LXI Reit (LXI) 100.10p 7.69%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

W.A.G Payment Solutions (WPS) 86.60p -2.70% Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 630.00p -2.17% Jlen Environmental Assets Group Limited NPV (JLEN) 94.70p -0.53% Capital Gearing Trust (CGT) 4,510.00p -0.44% Mitie Group (MTO) 99.60p -0.30% Bakkavor Group (BAKK) 83.00p -0.24% Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) 88.20p -0.23% Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 443.50p -0.22% QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 312.00p -0.19% Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 29.40p -0.17%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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