MARKET REPORT: Shares in Glaxo spin-off Haleon hit a record high

Booming demand for painkillers and nasal drops due to high numbers of cold and flu cases lifted Haleon shares to a record high.

The FTSE 100 firm, which was spun out of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) nine months ago and is behind Otrivine nasal drops and painkillers Panadol and Advil, said a strong start to 2023 meant revenue growth should reach the upper end of the 4 per cent to 6 per cent range it gave in March.

Shares, which floated at 330p a pop in July last year, rose 2.9 per cent, or 9.95p, to 353.55p.

Haleon, which also makes Sensodyne toothpaste, said sales jumped 9.9 per cent to £3billion in the first three months of this year.

It hiked prices by 7 per cent during the period, and Panadol and Advil flew off the shelves in China following the end of its strict lockdown measures.

Shares up: Haleon said a strong start to 2023 meant revenue growth should reach the upper end of the 4% to 6% range it gave in March

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘A lot of consumers seeking relief from pain will stick with brands they trust, believing they offer a superior product. That might explain why Haleon has done well.’

Haleon is worth more than £32.5billion, up from its float valuation of about £30.5billion. Meanwhile, GSK fell 1per cent, or 15p, to 1470.8p.

The FTSE 100 was almost flat, up 0.1 per cent, or 3.84 points, to 7902.61 while the FTSE 250 fell 0.3 per cent, or 64.98 points, to 19135.87.

Rio Tinto sank 1.6 per cent, or 88p, to 5442p after the miner lowered its copper production forecast for this year following a conveyor belt fault and geological concerns.

Homeware and furnishings retailer Dunelm’s third-quarter sales were up 6 per cent to £423million in the 13 weeks to April 1 compared to the same period a year ago. 

Profit for the year to July should be in line with market forecasts of £185million. Shares slipped 0.1 per cent, or 1p, to 1136p.

Deliveroo gained 2.7 per cent, or 2.8p, to 106.5p after the food delivery app’s revenue rose 4 per cent during the first quarter to £512million.

Stock Watch – Hochschild

Hochschild fell 11.3 per cent or 10.15p, to 80p, saying political and social instability in Peru hit profit and production.

The precious metals explorer’s profits plunged 84 per cent to £19.5million in 2022 while revenue fell 9  to £591.1million.

Its mines produced 358,826 ounces of gold and 25.8m ounces of silver in 2022, lower than the year before.

It expects to mine even less gold and silver in 2023 due to rising costs and civil unrest.

A final dividend would be ‘imprudent’, it added.

At AJ Bell, the investment platform raked in £1.2billion of gross inflows and £600million of net inflows in March ahead of the end of the tax year as customers and advisers took advantage of annual pension and ISA allowances.

Assets under management jumped 70 per cent to £3.9billion in the three months to March 31 compared with the same period a year ago. It rose 2.7 per cent, or 8.8p, to 336.2p.

Segro, the commercial property group which buys and builds warehouses, was up 3.6 per cent, or 27.4p, to 799.2p, after it said there was strong demand for space amid limited supply.

Data analytics firm Relx reiterated its forecast for the year and said its four businesses were trading well. It also launched a £250million share buyback programme. Its stock rose 1.7 per cent, or 46p, to 2689p.

RWS, which employs language specialists to translate niche documents such as patient reports for drug firms, became the latest firm to be hit by a cyber-attack.

One of its applications has now been restored and is back up and running. Shares rose 1.2 per cent, or 3.4p, to 288.4p. 

GB Group soared 9.5 per cent, or 26.6p, to 308.2p after the fraud prevention specialist’s revenue climbed 15 per cent to £279m for the year to March 31.

There was good news for Rentokil after the ratcatcher’s first- quarter revenue rose 64.5 per cent to £1.25billion thanks to its £5.4billion acquisition of rival Terminix in October. It rose 1.8pc, or 10.8p, to 611.4p.

Rank, the owner of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor casinos, reported a 13 per cent lift in like-for-like net gaming revenue to £174million in the three months to March 31 as visitors returned to venues. 

Profit for the year to June 30 should be at the upper end or ahead of its previous range of between £10million and £20million. It soared 8.6 per cent, or 6.1p, to 77.3p.