The number of workers seeking unemployment benefits stubbornly jumped again last week even amid hopes that the labor market was getting back on track, the feds said Thursday. Last week’s 744,000 initial jobless claims brought the total for the COVID-19 pandemic to about 79 million — a number more than triple the size of North Korea’s population. New filings have ticked up for two consecutive weeks after dropping below the pre-coronavirus record of 695,000 in mid-March. The latest total once again defied the predictions of economists, who expected 690,000 claims last week as vaccinations added fuel to the nation’s economic reopening, according to Wrightson ICAP. “The biggest reason to temper optimism is a negative turn in the course of the pandemic, including new variants” of the coronavirus, Bloomberg economist Eliza Winger said. Weekly jobless claims have bounced up and down in recent weeks while struggling to stay below the pre-pandemic record after a year of painfully high readings. The four-week moving average, which smooths out the volatility, also ticked up to 723,750 a week after reaching its lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic first gutted the American economy. The latest US Department of Labor data came a
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WM Morrison says its pre-tax profit took a hit in H1 due to COVID-19.
The British company reports £8.73 billion of revenue in the fiscal H1.
Morrisons hired 45 thousand new workers in the United Kingdom.
WM Morrison Supermarkets plc (LON: MRW) said on Thursday that its pre-tax profit came in lower in the first six months of the current fiscal year on an annualised basis. The company attributed the decline to the Coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than 358 thousand people in the United Kingdom and caused over 41 thousand deaths.
Shares of the company closed the regular session about 3% down on Thursday. At 186 pence per share, WM Morrison is now about 15% down year to date in the stock market after recovering from a low of 164 pence per share in March when the impact of COVID-19 was at its peak. Confused about choosing a reliable stockbroker to trade online? Here’s a comparison of a top few to make selection easier for you.
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Morrisons reports £8.73 billion of revenue in the fiscal H1
The COVID-19 crisis, the company added, increased costs in the fiscal first half and consequently resulted in lower revenue. In the first week of January this year, Morrisons had reported worst Christmas sales since 2014.
At £145 million, Britain’s 4th largest chain of supermarket said its pre-tax profit in the first half was significantly lower than £202 million in the same period last year. Extra costs related to the pandemic, as per Morrisons, were valued at £155 million in the six months that concluded on August 2nd.
In terms of revenue, the Bradford-based company recorded £8.73 billion in H1 versus a higher £8.83 billion in the comparable quarter of last year. The decline in revenue, Morrisons said, was primarily attributed to a sharp decline in fuel demand in recent months due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Morrisons hired 45 thousand new workers in the United Kingdom
Excluding fuel and value added tax (VAT), Morrisons’ first-half sales on a comparable basis saw an 8.7% decline versus the year-ago figure. In the second quarter, however, the supermarket chain registered a 12% growth in this metric.
Morrisons’ board declared 2.04 pence per share of interim dividend on Thursday. In the first six months of the previous year, its interim dividend was announced at 1.93 pence per share. Morrisons revealed earlier this week that it had hired 45 thousand new workers since COVID-19 in the UK.
At the time of writing, WM Morrison Supermarkets plc has a market cap of £4.48 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 12.87.