The Brexit effect is rippling through the UK economy, and having a very different impact on different companies. We saw how the internationally-focused FTSE 100 index soared after sterling fell in the wake of the vote, while the domestic-exposed FTSE 250 index plunged. The same thing is happening to individual stocks, and investors need to be aware of how Brexit could affect their performance and share prices.
Real estate company Capital & Counties Properties boasts two of London’s very best estates: Covent Garden and Earls Court. Yet this hasn’t prevented the company’s share price from performing horribly since Brexit, falling almost 20% over the last month. Commercial property has been one of the hardest hit sectors, witness the run on open-ended funds investing in the sector, as panicky investors rushed for the exits.
There were signs of a slowdown in the property sector even before the referendum, but the shock result has magnified uncertainties. Markets were unimpressed by today’s interim results for the six months to 30 June, which showed equity attributable to owners of the parent falling to £2.8bn, down from £2.9bn. EPRA adjusted, diluted net asset value was down 5% to 344p per share, compared with 361p at the end of December. Total property value stood at £3.6bn, down 4% on a like-for-like basis from £3.7bn. The result was a 5% drop in the share price in early trading.
That said, I think there could be an opportunity here, given the share price plunge, and the fact that the group has a strong financial structure, with a low group loan-to-value ratio of 20%, up from 16%, and cash and available facilities of £457m, up from £412m at the start of the period. The business also boasts high liquidity and since I believe London will retain its global allure whatever happens to Brexit negotiations, now could prove a tempting opportunity for long-term investors.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group has had a better Brexit, its share price rising almost 10% over the last month, although it has fallen slightly on today’s six-month interim update. The results were hailed as a “good underlying financial performance” with 5% revenue growth to £619.4m.
However, this was overshadowed by a 40% drop in reported profit before tax to £55.2m, which the board blamed on investment in the US and exceptional costs. The 7% drop in underlying profit before tax to £89.2 million reduced to just 2% and £106.4m once that US investment was removed.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson provides insurance, reinsurance, employee benefits-related advice and brokerage services, and operates in more than 40 countries around the world, giving it the global exposure that many companies crave in the wake of Brexit uncertainty. With the pound still flailing, the group reported a positive impact from foreign exchange movements. Let’s hope for more to come. Its interim cash dividend rose 4.5% to 11.6p.
Group chief executive Dominic Burke – who openly supported the Leave campaign during the referendum – hailed a high level of new client wins and growing collaboration between its various operations around the world, which is sustaining the momentum despite “challenging” economic and industry conditions. Today’s results still disappointed markets but its future may be clearer once those exceptional costs are out of the way.
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Harvey Jones has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Jardine Lloyd Thompson. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.