MARKET REPORT: Recovery in the pipeline at online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing after 85% wiped off share price in the last year
Are we starting to see the green shoots of recovery at Victorian Plumbing, the online bathroom retailer that has seen almost 85 per cent wiped from the share price in the last year?
The market appears to think so with the stock up 4.4p, or 8.7 per cent, at 54.8p after an interim results statement revealed a 67 per cent fall in underlying profits to £6.7million.
Victorian has been battered by a perfect storm of factors out of its control – namely supply chain issues and inflation.
Calming: Victorian Plumbing stock is up 8.7% and the company said things will improve as the financial year unfolds
But yesterday the company said things will improve as the financial year unfolds. Chief executive and founder Mark Radcliffe has staked not just his reputation, but cold hard cash on the recovery.
In December he bought 3million shares in the company for 96.65p each, which are worth roughly half that now. He followed this in early April with the purchase of 700,000 shares at 50.6p, leaving him with a stake of almost 47 per cent.
The FTSE 100 extended its positive run to a third trading day as it advanced 53.55 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7518.35.
Imperial Brands led the way after a well-received set of interims that burnished the cigarette maker’s credentials as a defensive investment. The shares rose 135p, or 7.9 per cent, to 1847.5p.
Fresnillo (up 21.6p, or 2.9 per cent, at 778.4p) benefitted from a positive recommendation, with Canadian bank RBC slapping an ‘outperform’ rating on the precious metals miner.
Prudential (up 50.9p, or 5.2 per cent, at 1016.5p) was firmer after Bank of America issued a ‘buy’ note, albeit edging its price target down from 1660p to 1600p.
The warning of ‘apocalyptic’ food prices from Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey on Monday hit the retailers and suppliers in equal measure.
Tesco (down 8.4p, or 2.9 per cent, at 278.3p) led the Footsie losers, though Reckitt Benckiser (off 2.1 per cent), Unilever (down 1.8pc) and Sainsbury (1.8 per cent lower) weren’t far behind.
Stock Watch – 4D Pharma
4D Pharma creates drugs from good bacteria designed to interact with the human microbiome found in the gut.
Called biotherapeutics, they are being developed to treat diseases ranging from cancer to conditions affecting the central nervous system.
Staff are in San Francisco at a conference showcasing promising data from an early-phase trial of a potential new treatment for asthma.
The shares were up 1.75p, or 5.3 per cent, at 35p, valuing the Leeds-based group at just under £65million.
‘Food prices, which Bailey apologised for being apocalyptic about, remain in focus as the impact of India’s wheat export ban is felt and the conflict in the “breadbasket of Europe” continues to rage,’ said Russ Mould of AJ Bell.
The FTSE 250 outperformed the blue-chip index with a rise of 141.48 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 20065.59 with bid interest sparking demand for some second liners.
The catalyst was a £1.75bn private equity bid for power generator ContourGlobal (up 63.6p, or 32.9 per cent, at 257p).
It is estimated there is around £1trillion of unallocated private equity cash waiting to be deployed, and the largely unloved 250 stocks are seen as ripe for the picking.
It wasn’t a day of unalloyed joy among the mid-caps. TI Fluid Systems, which makes fuel tanks for vehicles, saw a 4.1 per cent drop in revenues greeted by a 28p, or 14.9 per cent, drop in the share price to 160p.
It has been hit by the gamut of supply chain issues including the war in Ukraine and the Covid shutdowns of some Chinese cities.
On AIM, Kinovo saw its shares slump 4p, or 23.2 per cent, to 13.25p after a former subsidiary went into administration.
Giving back some of the ground it gained on Monday, Covid drug developer Synairgen fell 3.98p, or 11.4 per cent, to 31.02p.
The market’s biggest riser was found among the tiddlers. BSF Enterprise surged 3.5p, or 63.6 per cent, to 9p after the cash shell formally completed the reverse takeover of biotechnology assets spun out of Newcastle University.
Its most interesting piece of technology is an animal-free cell growth agent for culturing skin, muscle and fat cells which will be used for lab-grown meat and leather production.