Stocks finished with good gains again, though slightly off earlier highs, on a busy company news day.
Shares in Investec rose sharply after the asset manager posted a rise in profits in the year to 31 March. The company, which operates in South Africa, the UK, Australia and other markets, said operating profit before tax £434.4m from £432.3m the previous year.
Heading the other way was Invensys, the engineering and IT company, which has taken a tumble in early trading. Revenue grew by 11% in the full year ended 31 March, while operating profit jumped 6%. However, the group said that order intake declined by 1%, after a lower-than-expected order intake in Invensys Rail, reflecting "the uneven nature of order intake in the industry and in particular the unexpected delay in the award of some larger contracts," the group said.
Quality and safety services provider Intertek fell after reporting a slow-than-expected performance in the Consumer Goods division. Nevertheless, organic revenue grew by 8% in the year so far, and the group anticipates achieving organic revenue growth in the high single digit range for the full year.
In the FTSE 250, shares in Lamprell surged after the oil and gas engineer proposed the acquisition of United Arab Emirates-based firm Maritime Industrial Services (MIS) for a total consideration of $336.1m (£208.1m). MIS is an engineering and contracting group focused on the energy sector, which recorded a pre-tax profit of $37.1m in 2010. As at 31 March, the firm had gross assets of $351.6m.
CPP was in demand after the identity theft and credit card insurer that is under investigation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for certain issues surrounding the sale of its products in the UK, said it has launched a new product. Its identity protection product Identity Safe can now be bought on its website, it said today.
Pre-tax profits at TalkTalk , another strong riser today, soared in the year to 31 March as more customers signed up and monthly subscriptions increased, sending the shares sharply higher. Headline earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to £276m from £221m the previous year on revenues that climbed by £1.77bn from £1.69bn. TalkTalk, which was demerged from Carphone Warehouse, said average revenue per user in the fourth quarter rose to £25 a month from £23.60 in the previous quarter.
Cash and carry wholesaler Booker was wanted after it increased full year pre-tax profit by a quarter, beefed up its dividend and said it is on course to meet full year expectations despite tough retail conditions. Pre-tax profit rose to £71.4m for the 52 weeks ended 25 March 2011 while total sales increased 6.2% to £3.6bn. Like for like sales were up 5.1%.
A solid performance from its spreads and cheese businesses helped chilled foods firm Dairy Crest report a 5% increase in full year adjusted pre-tax profit as tough trading conditions in dairies continues. The maker of Clover and Cathedral City said adjusted pre-tax profit rose to £87.6m for year ended 31 March 2011 from £83.5m the year before. Pre-tax profit was flat at £77.8m while revenue fell 2% to £1.6bn during the year
Brewing firm SABMiller has hailed an "excellent financial performance" for the year ended 31 March, as profits swelled by 24%, helped by strong growth in the emerging markets. As a result, the group hiked its full-year dividend by almost a fifth from 68 cents to 81 cents.
Food sales continue to drive growth at brewing and pubs group Marston's, though drinkers are putting their hands in their pockets more often, too. Revenue in the 26 weeks to April 2nd rose to £317.9m from £309.2m at the interim stage last year. Profit before tax and exceptional items advanced to £29.2m from £27.8m the year before.
National Grid saw pre-tax profit rise by 25% in the year to the end of March, on the back of continued strong UK returns. The dividend has been increased to 36.37p from 33.68p the year before.
Turning to smaller firms, investors in OMG may have been uttering the company's name as an exclamation after the imaging software group said revenues in the half year to 31 May were hit by project delays. The company, which has been involved in films such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Gulliver's Travel's, posted an adjusted pre-tax loss of £0.3m for the period, against a profit of £1.4m over the same period the previous year. Revenues fell to £13.3m from £14.4m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Investec (INVP) 487.00p +5.43%
ITV (ITV) 69.70p +4.03%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,528.00p +3.87%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,773.00p +3.38%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,250.00p +3.14%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,070.00p +2.99%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 309.00p +2.83%
Barclays (BARC) 277.45p +2.49%
Kingfisher (KGF) 285.00p +2.15%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) 250.40p +2.12%
Aberdeen Asset Management was a high riser in London on Monday, providing a lift to the financial sectors as investors celebrated the company's annual results and acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP). [18 Nov '13]
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