MARKET REPORT: The worst is over for Regus as workers return

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MARKET REPORT: The worst is over for office provider IWG as inquiries about shared workspaces climb back to pre-pandemic levels










The boss of office provider IWG insisted that “the worst is behind us” after the number of inquiries about his shared workspaces returned to pre-pandemic levels.

IWG offers open plan offices and meeting rooms with services that can be booked by the hour.

Chief Executive Mark Dixon said that after a year of working remotely, March and April marked an “inflection point” for many companies now plotting to get people back to the office.

On Demand: IWG, owner of Regus, offers serviced, open-plan offices and meeting rooms that can be booked by the hour, like this space at London Bridge

This should still take some time, as many companies will be reluctant to rush the process and over-commit to leasing space in case more stringent social distancing requirements return.

But the owner of Regus said he was benefiting from demand for satellite offices outside major cities and away from company headquarters.

Interest in the London suburbs was stronger than in the center, while in the United States, requests for Florida and Texas exceeded those for New York.

Stock monitoring – Scotgold Resources

Shares of Scotgold Resources sank after the company warned that production from its gold mine, which is built on the Scottish mountainside, would be “slower than expected”.

The AIM-listed group said it currently cannot access high-quality gold at its Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park site.

Due to the delays, it will have to seek new financing, which could take the form of a loan from its leaders.

Scotgold shares fell 22%, or 15.5 pence, to 55 pence.

During the first quarter, it signed deals with big names such as Japanese telecommunications group NTT and banking giant Standard Chartered.

But investors remain skeptical. IWG fell 0.9%, or 3.2p, to 359.8p, as it also revealed revenue fell 24% to £ 528million in the first quarter.

Sanctuary Spa and PZ Cussons, owner of Original Source, also failed to capture shareholder interest despite a 5% increase in third quarter revenue to £ 145million and business in all regions surpassing the previous year.

It was boosted by strong demand for hygiene products such as soap during the pandemic, but fell 0.7%, or 2p, to 266.5p.

The Jet2 vacation group was successful – rising 3 percent, or 42.5 pence, to 1,458 pence – as it said customers were leaving it until the last minute to book trips in case the rules of travel would change. He recorded a loss of up to £ 385million in the year through March 31.

A lukewarm update from engineering and industrial software maker Aveva was overshadowed by the shocking news of boss Craig Hayman’s departure to be replaced by a representative of the largest shareholder, Schneider Electric.

Hayman resigned after three years and returned home to the United States.

Schneider owns 60pc of Aveva’s stock, and the highly unusual decision to replace a boss with an investor representative who is “seconded” to the position has sparked speculation that he is considering a full takeover.

Aveva fell 5.4%, or 212p, to 3695p, weighing on the wider FTSE 100, which closed 0.3%, down 18.15 points, at 6,944.57. The FTSE 250 fell 0.6%, or 144.26 points, to 22,433.08.

A drop in gold prices below $ 1.78 an ounce weighed on the stock prices of major miners Polymetal (down 2.8%, or 44.5p, to 1559.5p) and Fresnillo (down 2.2%, or 20.2p, to 886.6p).

But copper prices hit their highest level in a decade, topping $ 9,795 a tonne, approaching all-time highs as concerns over supply sparked a frenzy among traders.

Elsewhere, smoke detector and automatic door sensor maker Halma fell 1.1%, or 29p, to 2,601p after buying a company that monitors mothers and babies during childbirth.

Perigen’s software technology can alert doctors, nurses and midwives to potential problems.

Test and Trace subcontractor Serco has landed contracts worth £ 350million with the Department for Work and Pensions to run ‘back to work’ services for job seekers.

It came a day after a Serious Fraud Office trial of former Serco executives was dropped over a prisoner tagging scandal because the crime watchdog did not disclose evidence to the defense. Serco rose 1.7%, or 2.4 pence, to 143.8 pence.

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