Car charger runs out of power on supply worries

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21st November 2022

Pod Point, the car charging firm, slipped into reverse yesterday after it sounded a profit alert.

The company said that growth has “slowed markedly” in the second half as customers have been delaying orders of its chargers because of long waits for electric cars.

Pod Point reckons that losses this year will amount to £7 million on revenues of £70 million. It also thinks that if these supply chain issues continue, it will deliver a “mid-single figure” loss for the 2023 financial year with annual sales potentially coming in at £85 million.

However, it said that the UK is expected to “return to rapid growth in plug-in vehicles as the supply chain restrictions and general economy recovers”. Investors, though, were having none of it and the shares, which are down nearly three quarters in a year, fell 5.5 per cent, to 72p.

It was a glum start to the week as rising coronavirus cases in China dented the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

The FTSE 100 closed down 8.67 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 7,376.85 with losses from big-name miners and oil stocks dragging the index lower and overshadowing gains made by its dollar earnings peers.

Oil prices, which are also sensitive to the health of the global economy, pulled back on news of the Chinese restrictions, with a barrel of Brent crude falling by more than 5 per cent to trade just above $83. Harbour Energy surrendered 28p, or 8.5 per cent, to 299½p, while BP slid 18p, or 3.8 per cent, to 458¼p and Shell gave up 72p, or 3.1 per cent, to £27.72½.

Miners tracked the slide in metal prices. Anglo American fell by 73½p, or 2.3 per cent, to £30.87; Rio Tinto by 115p, or 2.1 per cent, to £52.70; and Antofagasta by 15½p, or 1.2 per cent, to £13.07½.

On the flip side, a rebound in the US dollar gave a leg up to the blue-chips that generate much of their earnings in the US. The drugs giant GSK advanced 29¾p, or 2.2 per cent, to £13.98; Rentokil, the pest control company, rose 13p, or 2.4 per cent, to 547½p, and Bunzl was 58p, or 1.9 per cent, higher, at £30.84.

The FTSE 250 index, propped up by financial stocks, enjoyed a more upbeat start to the week, rising 130.30 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 19,413.35. A big boost came from Virgin Money UK, up 21¾p, or 14.9 per cent, to 167½p on the back of a solid set of full-year results.

Elsewhere, investors threw out their retail shares after Panmure Gordon said that the 7 per cent reduction in UK living standards over the next two years expected by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the official forecaster, is “going to stretch the period of risk to retailer’s forecasts further into the future”.

In turn, Panmure’s Georgia Pettman downgraded Next, considered a bellwether of the high street, from a buy to a hold recommendation, causing the shares to slip 66p, or 1.2 per cent, to £56.66.

Shares in Asos and Marks & Spencer fell 46½p, or 6.6 per cent, to 657p, and 3¾p, or 2.9 per cent, to 120p as Pettman kept her hold ratings, while Boohoo was also under pressure, falling 3½p, or 7.7 per cent, to 39¾p, as Goldman Sachs, as well as Panmure, cut their ratings to hold.

The sell-off in technology stocks did not bode well for Molten Ventures, the venture capitalist that invests in early stage companies which are reliant on raising more cash to fund their businesses. Shares in the FTSE 250 group fell by 13p, or 2.8 per cent, to 437¼p, as it said that the gross value of its portfolio fell to £1.45 billion as at September 30, down from £1.53 billion at the end of March.

Endeavour strikes more gold
Endeavour Mining has discovered a major gold deposit in Côte d’Ivoire (Tom Saunders writes).

Its chief executive, Sebastien de Montessus, called the discovery “one of the most significant discoveries made in West Africa over the last decade”.

The company estimated that the site contains 1.1 million ounces of gold, potentially increasing to 3 million ounces. Endeavour is planning a 70,000-metre drilling programme to further investigate the site.

Endeavour operates gold mines in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Senegal and is based in London where it listed on the stock market in June last year and is now a constituent of the FTSE 100.

A month ago Endeavour reported that it had started construction on a gold mine at Lafigué which is expected to produce an average of about 203,000 ounces of gold a year.

Yesterday the share price rose by 1.95 per cent to £16.72.

The company has forecast that it will achieve its target of discovering between 15 and 20 million ounces of gold in the five years to 2025. It plans to produce between 1.32 and 1.4 million ounces of gold at costs of between $880 and $930 per ounce.

Wall Street report
Wall Street’s main indices slipped on fears of Covid restrictions returning in China. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 45.41 points to 33,700.28, the Nasdaq dropped by 121.55 points to 11,024.51 and the S&P 500 closed 15.4 points lower at 3,949.94.

Original Article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/car-charger-runs-out-of-power-on-supply-worries-7gcff9pbn

Author: Jessica Newman, Journalist, The Times

Georgia Pettman

Analyst, Research, Retail

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