(Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Wednesday.
FTSE 100 - WINNERS
Standard Chartered, up 2.6%. The bank warned of "growing headwinds" despite achieving solid profit growth in the third quarter of 2019. For the three months to September, StanChart's pretax profit rose by 4% year-on-year to USD1.11 billion, with the underlying figure up 16% to USD1.24 billion. The emerging markets lender's income climbed by 7% to USD3.98 billion, and StanChart said there was "broad-based growth" across all business segments and regions. However, StanChart wared there are "growing headwinds", in the form of continued geopolitical tensions as well as an expected slowdown in global economic growth and lower interest rates.
Smurfit Kappa, up 1.7%. The packaging firm said it delivered a "strong performance" in the year-to-date. For the nine months to September 30, revenue was up 3% to EUR6.85 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation 11% higher at EUR1.26 billion. The firm's Ebitda margin increased 140 basis points to 18.3%. Key metrics have been at, or ahead of, stated targets, said Smurfit. This performance "continues to demonstrate the strength and resilience of the group's business model", the company said. "While there have been, and continue to be, obvious macro-economic and political challenges, SKG's very strong performance against this backdrop shows, once again, the quality of our business and the benefits of our geographic diversity," said Chief Executive Tony Smurfit.
FTSE 100 - LOSERS
Next, down 2.4%. The clothing & homewares retailer said third-quarter full price sales were slightly ahead of guidance as it held steady its outlook for the full-year. Total full price sales were up 2.0% in the quarter to October 26, being last Saturday, which Next said was "slightly ahead" of guidance given in September. Retail sales were down 6.3%, online sales up 9.7% and finance interest income up 7.0%. In the year to October 26, total full price sales were up 3.5%. The UK retail bellwether said it thinks strong sales in July pulled forward sales from August, while sales in September were "adversely affected by unusually warm weather". This was followed by a "significant improvement" in October when temperatures fell and the heavens opened with rain. The retailer maintained its guidance for the financial year ended in January, with total full price sales to grow 3.6% and pretax profit to edge up 0.3% year-on-year to GBP725 million.
FTSE 250 - WINNERS
ConvaTec, up 9.0%. The medical device maker said trading in the third quarter was in line with management expectations, and it has kept its 2019 guidance unchanged. ConvaTec said its total revenue in the three months ended September 30 was USD462.9 million, 2.4% higher than the USD452.2 million reported a year before. The company said the improvement was driven by 4.6% growth in organic revenue. Group performance was boosted by growth in all of the company's units - Advanced Wound Care, Ostomy Care, Continence & Critical Care, and Infusion Devices. In the nine month period, revenue was USD1.35 billion, which represents a reported drop of 1.6% - blamed on foreign exchange movements - but growth of 1.5% on an organic basis, CovaTec said.
Computacenter, up 6.6%. The computer services provider said for the nine-month period to September 30, both revenue and profit remained "well ahead" of its performance a year ago on a like-for-like basis. "Following the challenging first-half comparison, the group has, as expected, comfortably beaten its prior year third quarter comparative with the positive momentum seen in the first six months of the year continuing throughout the quarter," the company said. In the UK, Computacenter reported "pleasing revenue growth" within Technology Sourcing, with Germany and France performing strongly. Meanwhile in the US the company "saw a strong return to both revenue and profitability growth".
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - WINNERS
Block Energy, up 4.9%. The Georgia-focused exploration and production company said it has entered a gas sales agreement with gas supplier and purchasers Bago, for the offtake of gas produced from Block's onshore West Rustavi field. The agreement runs until the end of December 2022, under which Bago will purchase gas produced from the field at a price of USD5.24 per thousand cubic feet. Bago will also pay for costs of installing the infrastructure necessary to connect the gas produced from the field to Georgia's gas distribution network.
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - LOSERS
De La Rue, down 20%. The product authentication service provider said its first-half adjusted operating profit, for the period ended September 28, to be "low-to-mid single digit millions". As a result, the company said its full-year adjusted operating profit, for the period ending March 2020, will be "significantly" lower than market expectations. In the first half last year, De La Rue reported an adjusted operating profit of GBP17.0 million on revenue of GBP257.6 million. For financial 2019, the company reported adjusted operating profit of GBP60.1 million on revenue of GBP516.6 million. "Management, led by the new chief executive officer, is conducting a detailed review of the business and will update the market further when it reports its first half results on November 26 2019," the company said Wednesday.
By Lucy Heming; firstname.lastname@example.org
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