Melrose considers job cuts; Britvic revenues fall by a sixth; Declining travel hits Stagecoach; Sales boost for Kingfisher

Updates this morning have come from Britvic, Melrose, Stagecoach and Kingfisher
Updates this morning have come from Britvic, Melrose, Stagecoach and Kingfisher
The FTSE 100 is expected to fall this morning as investors show signs of being less excited by measures to stimulate recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Turnaround specialist Melrose Industries has signalled it could lay off an unspecified number of employees as the company trims costs to cope with the coronavirus-led downturn, having booked losses in the second quarter. 
Soft drinks maker Britvic posted lower third-quarter revenue, as fewer people drank its beverages in public places due to the coronavirus-induced lockdowns. It fell 16.3 per cent to £328.9million for the three months to June 30.
Transport company Stagecoach said it was difficult to forecast future profitability after its earnings per share fell 39 per cent in its 2019-2020 financial year as the pandemic lockdown and restrictions hit demand for travel. 
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has forecast first half underlying profit ahead of last year after strong second quarter trading, combined with cost reductions. IT said its bumper e-commerce sales soared by over 200 per cent in June year-on-year.Pub reopenings 'can only be good news for its out-of-home sales'
Pearse Carson, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, comments on Britvic's results: 
'When you scratch past the surface of Britvic’s third quarter update, there are a few reasons to be hopeful if you’re a shareholder.
'Yes, revenue is down overall, but the soft drinks maker has seen families buy more of its products to drink at home during lockdown, which has led to an increase in its market share.
'And while pubs are not yet firing at full capacity, the fact they have now reopened can only be good news for its out-of-home sales, a key source of revenue for the J2O juice maker.'
It added: 'The strength of its post-Covid-19 share price recovery will be determined by when it decides to reintroduce its dividend – if it does at all, that is – but the ingredients are at least there to see a recovery in its sales.'
Donald Trump's Covid claim scares the European markets
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, comments on the markets this morning:
Abandoning an initially placid start, the European markets started to tumble on Wednesday, scared by Donald Trump’s claim that things are going to get worse before they get better.
It appears that Trump’s pivot towards the presidential in an attempt to boost his plummeting approval ratings – urging Americans to wear face masks during a relatively sombre first daily covid-19 press conference since April – has worried investors. After all, if Trump has now dropped his long-held stance that everything is OK, then it is probably time to REALLY be concerned.
The DAX slipped 0.5%, falling back to 135100. The CAC, meanwhile, was down 0.9%, causing the French bourse to hit 5050. The FTSE, meanwhile, dropped half a percent as it dipped below 6250 once again (getting past 6300 has been a repeated issue in the last month and a half).
Tesco staff are told to clean toilets, shelves and floors
Tesco staff will be asked to clean toilets, shelves and floors of 2,000 of its stores after supermarket bosses axed contract cleaners. 
Regular employees at Metro and Express supermarkets will have to take over the responsibilities of professional cleaners from August 24 - a move that will come as a surprise at a time when the global pandemic has increased the focus on hygiene. 
UK close to giving up hope of striking post-Brexit trade deal with EU
Britain is close to giving up hope of striking a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU as Boris Johnson runs down the clock to his July deadline.
The Government is assuming there will not be a deal and expects it will trade with the bloc on WTO terms when the transition period ends on December 31.

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