22nd July 2021
Good morning The Millennial love of bling has helped the Royal Mint turn a profit after a loss making 2020. The government-owned maker of UK and international coins said that there was a 430% increase in young investors using their new gold investment platform in the past year.
Netflix numbers chill
Next set for a great summer
Yesterday's market moves
FTSE 100 +1.7% 6,998 FTSE 250 +1.9% 21,542
Markets continued to recover from their Monday wobble as investors set aside their unease about the rapid spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus … for now.The FTSE 100 rose a further 1.7% on its best day since February and the FTSE 250, up 1.9%, enjoyed its best day this year.
MEDIANetflix numbers chill
What’s going on?Netflix released less than impressive subscription numbers for the three months to June. The US streaming service added only 1.5m customers in the period, the lowest quarterly increase it’s ever reported.
Why is this important?
Netflix was undoubtedly a big winner from lockdown last year, adding 10m subscribers between April and June 2020.But as restrictions have lifted across the world the company says that unsurprisingly people are watching less TV. Investors had expected growth to slow but not by as much as Netflix reported.Alongside competition from IRL activities, rival streaming services from Amazon and Disney have added extra pressure in the fight for consumer attention. The pandemic also created delays in production of shows meaning it had less of a pipeline of original content for audiences.Worryingly for the company it lost 400,000 customers in the US and Canada. It also now expects to add 3.5m users from July to September, down from initial estimates of 5.5m.
TakeawayNetflix is working hard on finding more ways to prop up subscriber numbers and announced that it’s moving into gaming to do this. The company added that games would be included in members’ subscriptions at no extra cost, and that it would initially focus on mobile games. It plans to publish its first games next year.
RETAILNext set for a great summer
Next is raising sales and profit targets for this year driven by a combination of:
Warm weather in May and June
Pent up demand for fashion with consumers itching to buy summer clothes
Billions saved up during the pandemic meaning consumers are ready to spend
The clothes retailer said full-price sales rose 19% in the past 11 weeks compared with the same period in 2019, way above its forecast for 3%.The company said profit for the 12 months to January 2022 would be about £750m, an increase of £30m on what it previously expected.Performance has been so strong that the company is planning to give an extra £240m in cash back to shareholders later this year.But Next appreciates that the good times can’t last forever, it said it expects sales to cool towards the end of the year.Shares were up 7.5% yesterday on the news, taking gains in the past year to 60%.
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