Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hot Stuff as Tesco Gets the Cash Tills Ringing; Market Report

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hot Stuff as Tesco Gets the Cash Tills Ringing; Market Report

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL CLARK

SOARING temperatures may not be good news for wilting City traders but they have got the cash tills working overtime at Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain.

Analysts have been telling clients that the arrival of summer means sales of ice cream, lollies, soft drinks, bottled water, suntan lotion and swimwear are booming.

It is estimated that Tesco sold 15 million ice creams and lollies and 800,000 bottles of mineral water last weekend.

So punters went on the offensive today filling their shopping trolleys and sending shares climbing 8 3/4p to 248 3/4p. Analysts have been briefed to expect big things from the company and interim results in September are likely to show that it has increased its stranglehold on the groceries market.

For the full year to next February, brokers are forecasting pre-tax profit of about [pound]1.22 billion, up from just over [pound]1 billion last time. Other supermarket chains were being snapped up for their defensive qualities.

Sainsbury rose 6 1/2p to 411 1/2p, while Somerfield firmed 61 2p to 127p.

Share prices managed to extend yesterday s supported by a strong opening rise for the Dow Jones in New York this afternoon. The FTSE 100 rose 59 points to 5505.7.

Recent bear closing has driven selected technology stocks higher. But now the bears have covered their positions, leaving CMG 6 1/2p off at 250 1/2p, and Dimension Data off 6 3/4p at 128 1/4p. Misys fell 12p to 368p after Deutsche Bank warned that there would be little organic growth in the current year. It has slashed its earnings forecast by 10% to 18.1p and by 11% to 20.6p for 2003, but remains a buyer of the stock.

Bookham Technology remains gloomy about the outlook and that will do little for shareholder confidence - especially among those who took up last year's extra fundraising at 3500p. …

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