Imperial Tobacco is lower though after it slashed profit expectations for its Spanish business as competition in the country forced it to cut prices for cigarettes. Imperial, whose brands include Lambert & Butler and Gauloises Blondes cigarettes, said operating profits in Spain could fall short of previous expectations by up to £110m.
Mining giant Kazakhmys is in demand after it secured a $1.5bn loan facility to help the development of a major copper project at Aktogay in Kazakstan. A memorandum of understanding was signed on Monday with the China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) for the loan. Kazakh peer ENRC is also higher.
Aim-listed wine retailer Majestic Wine reported a 26.6% increase in full year profit, lifted its final dividend and said it was encouraged by current trading despite challenging market conditions.
Energy services firm Wood Group will return 140p per share to its shareholders, in the second stage of its £1.08bn return of cash programme. Following the £412m returned through a tender offer two weeks ago, the company will return the residual £665m.
Safety systems specialist Latchways is in demand after it reported record annual profit and revenue as it introduced new products and ramped up sales to overseas markets. The group, whose safety systems are used to provide worker safety in wind power turbines, commercial rooftops, electricity transmission towers, aircraft wings and industrial plants, said pre-tax profit rose to a record £9.3m for the year ended 31 March 2011 from £7.6m the year before.
Fire engine supplier Assetco jumped after it confirmed it is in discussions with a "number of parties which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the business," it confirmed in a statement Monday morning.
Materials science company Cookson was making gains on Thursday afternoon despite some controversy at its annual general meeting (AGM) today, lifting the general industrials sector to the top of the pile. [17 May '12]
A confident start was derailed by worse than expected inflation figures and a rally in the final hour of trading only brought out profit takers right at the death, leaving Footsie in the red. [22 Mar '11]
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