Glencore slumped as much as 4% in London on Tuesday after it reported a sharp fall in first-half profit and cut returns to its shareholders.
The Switzerland-based mining firm blamed a decline in the price of coal, which has plunged 69% since September last year, as well as disappointing growth in China. It is now seeking to increase the supply of key materials, such as copper, cobalt, and nickel.
First-half core earnings came in at $9.4bn (£7.4bn), half the record number it posted last year when Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent energy prices soaring. It was also 15% below analyst consensus.
Glencore added that it would top up its dividend by $1bn and buy back a further $1.2bn of its own stock — also sharply lower than a year earlier, in part because the company is holding back $2bn in cash while it bids to buy Teck Resources’s (TECK-A.TO) coal business.
"Overall, while the numbers are substantial, the results may leave stakeholders somewhat underwhelmed," Jamie Maddock, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said.
"The shadow of a fluctuating commodity market and a seemingly cautious approach to both capital returns and strategic partnerships could define the near-term outlook for Glencore. How the company navigates these challenges will be closely watched in the coming months."
Abrdn tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) after it reported a drop in its assets under management thanks to clients pulling money from its funds amid volatile markets. The stock is currently 10% lower on the day.
Assets dropped to £495.7bn from £500bn at the end of 2022, while net outflows came in at £5.2bn in the first half of the year, compared to an average £3.1bn forecast by analysts.
Analysts on average also expected AUMA of £500bn for the period, according to company-compiled estimates.
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The asset manager raised its share buyback plan to £300m from £150m announced in June.
Adjusted operating profit for the first half rose 10% to £127m as the company reined in costs, however, it still missed analysts' estimate of a profit of £133m.
Stephen Bird, chief executive, said: "The business has been reshaped to deliver greater resilience, while getting set to take advantage of fast moving sectoral and macroeconomic factors.
"There is still work to do to complete our transformation."
Japanese investment firm Softbank Group reported a net loss of $3.3bn in the first quarter thanks to investment losses and the negative impact of a weaker yen.
The fund, which owns Cambridge chip designer Arm, posted a net loss of ¥477.6bn in the three months to June, despite market expectations of a profit.
It suffered investment losses “due to declines in the share prices of Alibaba, Deutsche Telekom, and T-Mobile US,” the company said in a statement.
However, Softbank said it was "timidly" restarting investment again after its flagship Vision Fund unit returned to the black for the first time in six quarters. The unit booked an investment gain of ¥159.77bn due to a recovery in global tech valuations.
Before the April to June period, the Vision Fund had logged five consecutive quarters of losses, downtrodden by the sharp fall in global tech valuations.
Chief financial officer Yoshimitsu Goto struck an upbeat tone, stressing that the environment for technology issues was improving.
“We must pay attention to the conditions and adjust stepping on the gas pedal, as well as on the brakes on investments accordingly,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L)
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) saw a jump of nearly a quarter in the latest half-year thanks growing demand for travel.
The group, which owns hotel chains including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Regent, said its reported revenues hit $1bn (£780m) in the six months to the end of June, up 23% from $840m the year before.
Its operating profit also jumped by 27% to $479m over the period, driven by a sharp rebound in sales in China as COVID-19 restrictions eased at the start of the year.
IHG added that a buoyant demand for leisure travel helped its performance, although business and group travel rebounded more slowly.
Shares rose 2% on the back of the news, meaning they are up by around a fifth year-to-date.
Elie Maalouf, chief executive officer, said: “Travel demand is very healthy, with RevPAR improving year-on-year across all our markets and exceeding 2019 pre-pandemic peaks for four consecutive quarters.
“In the Americas and EMEAA regions, leisure demand has remained buoyant and business and group travel continued to strengthen, while in Greater China, demand has rebounded rapidly.”
RevPAR in the Americas rose 11% in the first half while growth in EMEAA jumped 42%.
Average daily rate rose 7%, with occupancy up nine percentage points and now 1.3 percentage points below 2019.