The City News: Enterprise Inns Plc (ETI), Land Securities Group Plc (LAND), Marks and Spencer Group Plc (MKS) & More

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Legal & General Group Plc (LON:LGEN), BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), Prudential plc (LON:PRU), Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI), Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND), Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS), Schroders plc (LON:SDRC), Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY)

Land Securities Group

Enterprise Inns Finding Bond Favor as Debts Reduced: U.K. Credit (BusinessWeek)
Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI), the second-biggest U.K. pub operator, is finding favor with bond investors by eliminating unwanted outlets and reducing its debt burden. …Enterprise is reducing its debt since peaking at 3.8 billion pounds ($5.8 billion) in 2009, using spare cash and the proceeds from pub sales as the industry grapples with a slowdown in the economy, rising competition from cheaper supermarket alcohol and higher taxes on beer. Britain’s pub industry accumulated debt from acquiring outlets in the boom years a decade ago when consumer spending and pub attendance was increasing.

Enterprise Inns rejects government plans for pub industry (FT)
The chief executive of Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) has claimed that the government vastly overstated the number of complaints made against his pub chain in a bid to regulate large pub companies more tightly. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that landlords had made hundreds of complaints to the British Institute of Innkeeping about pub companies such as Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) when it announced plans for a statutory code of conduct for the sector in April.

Enterprise Inns Plc Left Feeling Chilly As Drinkers Stay Away (Fool)
Cold and snowy weather blamed for Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) lacklustre first half results. Investors in Enterprise Inns plc (LON:ETI) had little to cheer today as its chief executive blamed a snowy January and unseasonably cold spring weather for a tough start to the pubco’s financial year. The inclement weather kept regulars and drinkers away from the chain’s 6,000 leased and tenanted pubs, causing pre-tax profits to dip by £9m to £55m for the half year to 31 March 2013.

Land Securities Full-Year Profit Increases as Vacancies Decrease (Bloomberg)
Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND), the U.K.’s largest real estate investment trust, said full-year profit rose as the company secured tenants for empty properties. …Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) has 8.7 million square feet (810,000 square meters) of offices and shops in London, where the value of income-producing properties rose 7.4 percent through March this year, according to Investment Property Databank Ltd. The company and Canary Wharf Group Plc are building an office tower nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie in the City of London financial district as well as offices and shops in the Victoria area to capture higher rents and values amid a shortage of space under development.

A REIT Good Year For Land Securities Group Plc (Fool)
‘Walkie Talkie’ owner Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) looks set to build on a solid set of year-end results. Shares of Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) rose more than 3% to 966p in early London trading this morning, as the UK’s largest real-estate investment trust (REIT) released annual results for the year ended 31 March 2013. The group, which owns 8.7 million sq. ft. of office and retail space in London and 18.4 million sq. ft. of retail and leisure space across the rest of the UK reported that pre-tax profits were up 3.4% to £533m, while net asset value (NAV) per share increased 4.6% to 903p.

Land Securities Group Given Neutral Rating at Espirito Santo Investment Bank Research (LAND) (UtahPeoplesPost)
Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND)’s stock had its “neutral” rating restated by equities researchers at Espirito Santo Investment Bank Research in a report issued on Tuesday, Analyst Ratings Network reports. They currently have a GBX 800 ($12.27) target price on the stock. Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) opened at 927.0001 on Tuesday. Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) has a 52-week low of GBX 697.508 and a 52-week high of GBX 924.938. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently GBX 786.6. The company’s market cap is £7.215 billion.

Be Prepared For Marks & Spencer Group Plc’s Results (Fool)
Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS) is due to announce its annual results on Tuesday this coming week (21 May). At the time of writing, Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS)’s shares are trading at 424p — up 18% from a year ago, in line with the rise of the FTSE 100. How will Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS)’s business have performed in 2012/13 compared with the previous year? And will the results justify the performance of the shares?… Analysts are forecasting a modest rise in revenue, and the number should be pretty accurate because Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS) has released sales growth figures for all four quarters of the year. However, despite the rise in revenue, the City experts predict a 7-8% drop in underlying profit and EPS, due in part to difficult trading conditions and increased operating costs.

M&S revamps clothing to reverse sales fall (Reuters)
Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS.L), said on Tuesday it would focus on better quality and styles in womenswear as it attempts to reverse nearly two years of falling sales. “Recently, the world has changed at a greater pace than we have – fashion is faster, it’s more accessible and our customers are increasingly fashion literate,” John Dixon, executive director of general merchandise, told reporters and analysts in a strategy update that accompanied a preview of Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS)’ eagerly awaited new autumn/winter ranges.

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