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MARKET REPORT: Hammered! Auction Technology dives 8.2%

Lower Bids: Auction Technology operates as a marketplace connecting bidders to auction houses to purchase items such as antiques, sofas, and paintings.

Shares of Auction Technology spooked investors after issuing a cautious note on the outlook.

The FTSE 250 company, which operates as a marketplace connecting bidders to auction houses to buy items such as antiques, sofas and paintings, has warned that revenue may not rise as rapidly this year as the last year.

It said it expects “high single-digit to low double-digit revenue growth” for the fiscal year through the end of September 2023.

Lower Bids: Auction Technology operates as a marketplace connecting bidders to auction houses to purchase items such as antiques, sofas, and paintings.

Lower Bids: Auction Technology operates as a marketplace connecting bidders to auction houses to purchase items such as antiques, sofas, and paintings.

The prospect of ‘single-digit’ growth has raised fears it will not match the 11% rise in revenue to £119.8million it achieved in the 12 months to September 2022 .

The group also returned to a profit of £9million last year, after posting a loss of £25million 12 months earlier. Auction Technology said its outlook for 2023 was based on “elevated levels of macro-economic uncertainty.”

It will also aim to achieve £2 million in cost savings per year from 2025.

The shares, which floated at 600p in February last year, fell 8.1%, or 69p, to 788p.

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The FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, or 14.56 points, to 7,558.49 and the FTSE 250 rose 1.1%, or 205.19 points, to 19,368.52.

Pearson plunged 5.2%, or 51.6p, to 943.6p after BNP Paribas downgraded the education group’s rating from ‘outperforming’ to ‘neutral’.

Meanwhile, Spirax-Sarco’s acquisition spree accelerated as the engineer added another business, with a £279.1million takeover of Durex Industries, a US company that manufactures industrial electric heaters.

Stock Watch – Tribal Group

tribal group issued a profit warning after pinning its hopes on a contract now set to drop £12million.

The company, which provides software for higher education, estimates its contract with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, which began last year, is worth £17 million over eight years. But there have been delays in implementation and delivery.

This means profit for this year is now expected to be £9m lower than previous expectations. It fell 17.9%, or 10p, to 46p.

It follows the acquisition of Vulcanic by Spirax-Sarco at the end of September. The shares rose 1.6%, or 1,755p, to 11,380p.

On a tough day for Peel Hunt, broker City slid into the red after its profits were nearly wiped out due to a lack of listed companies.

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Profits fell 99.7% to £100,000 in the six months to September from £29.5m a year earlier.

Only five UK listings took place in the first six months of 2022, down from 37 a year earlier. Revenue fell to £41.1m in the period from £71.4m. Its shares plunged 5.4%, or 4.5p, to 78.5p.

But business looked good for AJ Bell, where profit rose 6% to £58.4m in the year to the end of September as it added more than 57,000 customers.

The increase came despite a 2% drop in assets under administration to £64.1bn as market turmoil affected the value of investments on its platform.

AJ Bell also predicted that its profit margins would increase in the coming year as it benefited from higher interest payments on customer cash held by the company.

The shares fell 1%, or 3.8p, to 360p.

Darktrace climbed 4.3%, or 14.8p, ​​to 355.8p after Redburn launched its cover with a “buy” rating and a target price of 550p.

Hotel Chocolat recorded an annual loss of £9.4million in the 12 months to June, after making a profit of £3.7million a year earlier.

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The slump came despite a 37% rise in revenue to £226.1million with UK sales up 35%.

He had to write off nearly £30m after his Japanese joint venture went bankrupt.

Meanwhile, Hotel Chocolat chairman Andrew Gerrie and chief financial officer Matt Pritchard will both be leaving next year. The shares fell 1.4%, or 2p, to 147p.

Kin & Carta found itself at the center of a shareholder revolt over its remuneration policy.

At its annual general meeting, the digital consultancy, formerly known as St Ives, said the compensation plan had passed despite opposition from more than a quarter of investors (26.9% ).

Kin & Carta said it was “engaged in an open and transparent dialogue” with shareholders. It rose 1.3%, or 3p, to 239.5p.

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