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Conviviality (CVR) has announced the board intends to appoint administrators within 10 business days “unless circumstances change”. The announcement this morning points out the secured creditors can appoint administrators without the requirement for notice.

The directors intend to allow the business to continue to trade and the company continues to work alongside advisers in order to preserve as much value as possible for all stakeholders as it explores a number of inbound enquiries regarding a potential sale of all or parts of the business, the statement said.

The shares remain suspended pending further notice.

This morning’s announcement comes after a post-close update on fundraising last night when the company said there was ultimately insufficient demand to raise the full £125m required, despite a “significant” number of meetings with potential investors.

The post-close statement said shareholders in the company would receive little-to-nil value.

Morning update

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased three points in March. All five of the constituent measures recorded higher values.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has increased three points this month to +3. This is one point higher than this time last year. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has increased five points to +10 this month – seven points higher than March 2017.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased three points to -26. This is five points lower than March 2017.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased four points to -22, which is two points lower than this time last year.

The Major Purchase Index has increased two points this month to +2, which is four points lower than March 2017.

The Savings Index has increased one point to +13 in March – 14 points higher than this time last year.

John Staton, head of experience innovation UK at GfK said: “Despite the Beast from the East leaving the nation shivering under a blanket of snow, stoic UK consumers turned faintly bullish this March with a three-point uptick in the Overall Index Score to -7.

“Spring is in the air with increases across the board on personal finances, the general economy – over the last year and next year – and on current major purchase intentions.

“The prospect of wage rises finally outstripping declining inflation, high levels of employment with low-level interest rates, and finally some movement on the Brexit front appear to have boosted our spirits.

“It’s still a little early to be talking about green-shoots, and the core score is of course still negative, but this is definitely a movement in the right direction. Consumers are feeling a tiny spring in their step – let’s see next month if April showers dampen the mood.”

Daniel Wosner has resigned as a non-executive director of Premier Foods (PFD), effective immediately.

The announcement came after Oasis Management Company served notice of the termination of its Relationship Deed with the Company, effective from 6 April. Wosner was Oasis’ nominee to Premier’s board.

Eddie Stobart Logistics, which had been scheduled to report its finals today, has changed the reporting date to 10 April because it was taking longer than anticipated to complete its audit.

This was because of “the complexity” of its financial year ended 30 November 2017 which included its IPO, a number of acquisitions and a refinancing, it said.

The business remains “confident” of delivering full year revenue, underlying EBIT performance and recommending a final dividend in line with market expectations.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 remained the right side of the 7,000pts threshold which it broke through again yesterday. It climbed 0.2% to 7,055.1pts in early trading.

On the march were Coca Cola HBC (CCH), up 1.5% at 2,622p, WH Smith, up 2.5% at 1,966p, Morrisons (MRW) up 1.7% at 212p and Tesco (TSCO) up 0.8% at 207.2p.

Fallers so far today included Devro (DVO), off 0.7% at 202.5p, Compass Group, down 2.9% at 1,442p, Premier Foods, down 0.5% at 37.5p and Stock Spirits Group (STCK), down 0.8% at 255p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 broke back through the 7,000pts barrier – up 0.6% at 7,044.7pts.

The latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry revealed a weak month for retailers, with year-on-year sales volumes declining for the first time since October 2017.

Some 32% of retailers said sales volumes were up in the year to March, whilst 40% said they were down, giving a balance of -8%. Some 32% of respondents expected retail sales volumes growth to increase in the year to April with 16% expecting a decrease, giving a balance of +16%.

Growth in internet sales volumes slowed sharply in the year to March (+11%, from +45% in February), indicating the slowest pace of growth since this series began in 2009. Online sales are expected to pick-up somewhat in the year to April (+21%).

Ben Jones, CBI Principal Economist, said: As winter finally loses its grip, retailers expect a recovery in sales growth in April, albeit a fairly tepid one. While the latest wage and price data point to the first green shoots of a recovery in real household incomes, any gains are likely to be modest, with conditions for retailers likely to remain challenging for some time yet.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance has reported second-quarter adjusted net earnings up 16.6% to $1.7bn (£1.2bn) on sales up 12.1% to $33bn. Its Boots retail business accounted for a 2.6% fall in sales to $3.3bn and a 6.6% dip in adjusted operating income to $280m.

Stefano Pessina, vice chairman and CEO said it had been another good financial quarter with “reasonable” progress in its key numbers.

George Fairweather, vice-president and global chief financial officer, said Retail Pharmacy International total and comparable store sales on a constant currency basis were lower this quarter with market conditions continuing to be tough, particularly in retail.

Comparable pharmacy sales increased by 0.6 percent, with Boots UK climbing 1%. Comparable retail sales decreased 2.8% – 3.3% lower at Boots.

Market fallers included Ocado Group (OCDO), down 1.9% at 531.8p, SSP (SSPG), down 1% at 602p, McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS), down 0.9% at 218p and Fevertree Drinks (FEVR), which ended the day 2.1% lower at 2,750p.

Stocks that ended the day higher included Stock Spirits Group (STCK), which closed up 7.8% at 257.5p. Hilton Food Group (HFG) following its full-year results that morning, moved 3.9% higher at 800p, Hotel Chocolat Group (HOTC), up 2.3% at 340p, Greene King (GNK), up 1.34% at 469.6p and Glanbia (GLB) perked up 2.2% at 14.1p.

Dairy Crest (DCG) also ended the day higher, up 2.3% at 503.5p, as did AG Barr (BAG), up 3.8% at 650p and Associated British Foods (ABF), up 3.3% at 2,502p.