Tuesday’s weaker than anticipated UK inflation numbers also spurred morning trading. The pound softened to $1.24 against the dollar and fell by 1% to €1.15 relative to the euro, following the unexpectedly low inflation data and revelation that Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet has no Brexit strategy in place.
This was welcome news to Land Securities, EasyJet and Vodafone, who saw their share prices rise by 2.2%, 3.3% and 0.81%, respectively, despite returning Brexit-battered profits.
Both Land Securities and Vodafone swung to a loss over the first half of the year.
The UK’s largest commercial property developer lost £95m, bogged down by the post-Brexit overhang, which the group said has had “a tangible effect on the commercial property market,” particularly in London. Brexit uncertainties exacerbated both demand for office spaces in the City and real estate pricing generally. Land Securities said it has experienced asset mark downs of 1.8% since 31 March.
Despite still currently standing in “uncharted territory,” Land Securities chief executive Robert Noel said the group remained “resilient” with “strong leasing performance and lower interest costs” contributing to a 4.5% rise in revenue profit to £192.5m.
Meanwhile, Vodafone endured a blistering loss of €5bn (£5.8bn), more than double the loss reported last year, as greater competition in India took its toll on revenue growth and profitability.
Although the telecoms giant experienced organic growth in Europe, led by Germany and Italy, that was “modestly ahead” of its expectations, group revenue was down 3.9% (€27bn). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization sunk 1.7% to €7.9bn but were up 4.3% on an organic basis.
EasyJet did not declare any losses by the end of the financial year, but nonetheless saw pre-tax profit nosedive by 28% (£495m). This figure was still well within the scope of its estimated full year profits, however.
Total revenue for the period was roughly £4.7bn, down slightly from last year’s figure by 0.4%.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall highlighted the group’s “resiliency” navigating a turbulent post-Brexit climate by transporting a record 73.1 million passengers during the year, a 6.6% improvement, and expanding capacity by 6.5% to 80 million seats.
And the budget airliner confirmed plans to continue to grow capacity in 2017 to 9% and predicted half of its growth would come from the UK.
“Looking ahead, the easyJet model remains strong as does the demand environment and we continue to see opportunities in the medium term to grow revenue, profit and shareholder returns,” McCall said. “In a tougher operating environment strong airlines like easyJet will get stronger and we will build on our already well-established network.”