Date: Wednesday 19 Oct 2011
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,821.57 +0.12%
- FTSE 100 5,450.49 +0.74%
- FTSE 250 10,231.83 +0.52%
LONDON (ShareCast) - Footsie enjoyed a buoyant if unspectacular day, with almost two-thirds of its constituents finishing in the blue.
The market shrugged off the news that Spain's credit rating has been cut by two notches by the Moody's rating agency, and preferred to concentrate on a report in The Guardian newspaper that France and Germany have reached an agreement to boost the Eurozone's rescue fund.
That provided a boost to banks, with the likes of Barclays, RBS and Lloyds all posting good gains.
REACH FOR THE SKY
It was satellite TV, landline and broadband supplier BSkyB that led the advance, however, after it saw a strong rise in profits in the quarter to 30 September, on the back of increased sales in all parts of the business. Revenue rose to £1.66bn from £1.53bn over the same period the previous year the previous year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation climbed to £381m from £335m.
Investors also raised a glass to Diageo, the FTSE 100 drinks company behind such brands as Guinness, Red Stripe and Baileys, after it said it saw sales growth of 9% in the three months to 30 September.
STUCK IN REVERSE
GKN was the worst performing blue-chip. After accounting for the final charge of £11m relating to its plant closure in the US, pre-tax profits rose by a measly 1% in the third quarter. The automotive, aerospace and land systems engineer revealed that pre-tax profit was £89m in the three months ended 30 September, up just £1m from £88m the year before.
A finalised non-recurring charge of £34m has been realised in the year-to-date for the temporary closure of the Hoeganaes Gallatin plant, of which £23m was accounted for in the first half results.
Home Retail fell sharply after sales and profits dropped at the company behind Homebase and Argos. Overall sales were down 6% to £2,568m in the half year to the end of August while profit before tax fell 70% to £28m and operating profit was down 72% at £27m.
Sports clothing and accessories retailer Sports Direct International showed that customers are still buying despite worries on the high street, as it reported an 11.5% rise in group sales in the nine weeks to 25 September.
The sales growth was a significant improvement on the first 13 weeks of the financial year, when trading was met with tough FIFA World Cup comparisons.
Turning to smaller companies, attracting new franchise candidates to manage Domino’s Pizza overseas outlets has been more difficult than expected, Global Brands, the company seeking to roll out the pizza delivery chain in Switzerland, has admitted.
Sales in the quarter to 30 September were up by just 2.6% from the same period the previous year at CHF3.43m (£2.42m), a much lower growth rate than the 11.1% growth recorded over the nine months to 30 September. The shares are lower.
Cosalt, the struggling provider of safety equipment to the oil industry, has lowered its trading expectations for the year to be 'significantly lower' than previously anticipated. The announcement saw the share price more than halve. The share price has fallen 83% in the past year which has seen the company's losses almost triple as it encounters challenging trading conditions.
Shares in Coal of Africa leapt after it regained an integrated water use licence for its Vele Colliery project in South Africa. The licence had been suspended following an appeal by a coalition of non-governmental organisations, leaving the coal explorer unable to continue activities that required the use of water.
However elsewhere in mining, Algeria-focused mining tiddler GMA Resources saw both gold and silver production fall in the third quarter and the shares are lower.
Shares in gold miner Aurum SURGED after it announced it had had significant success with drilling at its Spanish joint venture. The firm said it had seen excellent assay results from the first two holes drilled on the 'El Facho' structure of its Zamora gold project.
FTSE 100 - Risers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 710.00p +5.11%
Wolseley (WOS) 1,775.00p +4.60%
Diageo (DGE) 1,331.00p +3.98%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 33.15p +3.38%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 24.47p +3.07%
Amec (AMEC) 900.00p +2.74%
Barclays (BARC) 179.45p +2.48%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,701.00p +2.47%
Bunzl (BNZL) 810.00p +2.27%
Standard Life (SL.) 214.20p +2.05%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
GKN (GKN) 185.90p -4.72%
G4S (GFS) 233.60p -3.27%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,555.00p -2.63%
BAE Systems (BA.) 278.50p -2.35%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 580.50p -1.86%
Meggitt (MGGT) 364.90p -1.62%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,225.00p -1.37%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,005.00p -1.28%
British Land Co (BLND) 504.50p -1.27%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 678.00p -1.24%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ashtead Group (AHT) 159.80p +5.97%
Renishaw (RSW) 918.00p +5.46%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 47.48p +5.42%
Regus (RGU) 73.25p +4.79%
Perform Group (PER) 210.00p +4.48%
Drax Group (DRX) 479.80p +4.26%
Michael Page International (MPI) 369.00p +3.94%
Shanks Group (SKS) 109.70p +3.39%
Logica (LOG) 90.00p +3.39%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,695.00p +3.35%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Home Retail Group (HOME) 99.50p -16.88%
William Hill (WMH) 217.40p -4.98%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 248.30p -3.65%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 229.60p -3.41%
Mothercare (MTC) 191.10p -3.34%
Cranswick (CWK) 663.50p -2.86%
Cape (CIU) 460.20p -2.46%
Debenhams (DEB) 62.75p -2.33%
Synergy Health (SYR) 832.00p -2.23%
Chemring Group (CHG) 518.00p -2.17%
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