Date: Thursday 31 May 2012
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open up six points from yesterday's close of 5,297, with investors expected to take a breather following significant sell-offs in both the UK and the US.
Sweeteners firm Tate and Lyle returned full year profits bang in line with expectations as it saw steady top-line growth across a number of its markets. Adjusted profit before tax in the year ended March 31st was £323m, up 23% (26% on a constant currency basis) from £263m the year before. That was adjacent to the £323.6m expected by the market. Sales crested the £3.0bn mark at £3,088m, up 14% (16% on a constant currency basis) on the previous year's figure of £2,720m. The market had pencilled in a figure of £3,001m for sales.
It was a case of 'rain stops pay' at do-it-yourself retailer Kingfisher in the company's first quarter. Total sales in the 13 weeks to April 28th were down 3.6%, or 1.3% on a constant currency (CC) basis, from a year earlier at £2,632m, as poor weather across Europe affected footfall. Like-for-like (LFL) sales were down 4.8% on a CC basis.
Financial services giant Prudential is to get its hands on Reassure American Life Insurance Company (REALIC) through the acquisition of its US holding company from Swiss Re. Jackson National Life Insurance, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Prudential, on Wednesday entered into an agreement to buy SRLC America Holding Corp for $621m (£398m) in cash, financed from its own resources. SRLC is a life insurance business working within the US division of the insurance titan Swiss Re's Admin Re.
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