Date: Friday 08 Jan 2010
London’s blue chips look set to rise in early dealings Friday morning, with traders expecting the Footsie to add around 23 points.
Pub group Mitchells and Butlers said trading in the new financial year has remained strong, thanks to sales growth across the main brands, but cautioned that it is still cautious on the outlook for consumer spending.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to sell certain fund management assets and contracts of RBS Asset Management to Aberdeen Asset Management for £84.7m.
Aberdeen Asset Management had a ‘successful’ last three months of 2009, with gross new business wins more than 3½ times the figure for the fourth quarter of 2008. Wins for the period of £9.6bn compared with £2.6bn a year earlier, with a further £3.1bn of new mandates awarded but not funded at the end of December.
Recovery continued in all areas in the fourth quarter for recruiter Michael Page except the UK, which Page says is likely to remain a difficult market. Operating profit for the year 2009 will come in at £20m after a full year gross profit of £351.7m, down 36.4% on 2008.
Sales surged at designer fashion group Ted Baker in the run-up to Christmas, with the UK in particular performing above expectations. Margins also rose on better stock control. Total sales jumped by 19.1% increase between 1 November and 24 December compared with last year.
The Restaurant Group, the company behind the Frankie & Bennie’s and Chiquito chains, expects full-year profits to be well ahead of the top end of the range of current market forecasts.
In the US, attention will be on the non-farm payrolls data for December. Figures from payrolls processing firm ADP on Wednesday showed private-sector employment fell by 84,000 in December, the smallest decline in jobs since March 2008, but bigger than expected.
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