Market News: FTSE 100: 7214.40 53.36 0.75% FTSE 250: 23709.94 137.89 0.59% FTSE AIM: 1267.94 2.56 0.2%
The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 notched good gains on Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 setting a new 18-month high on the back of corporate earnings and a softer-than-expected U.S. consumer price index print, CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said. Among the outperformers were Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC, which reported a large pretax profit increase, and Prudential, which posted strong first-half operating profit. On the other hand, Phoenix Group Holdings PLC went down in flames after falling short of expectations for its first-half operating profit, Mr. Hewson said.
Spirax-Sarco 1H Pretax Profit Rose 41%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC said Wednesday that first-half pretax profit rose 41%, reflecting a strong recovery in global industrial production and exceptional vaccine-related demand at its Watson-Marlow subsidiary.
Phoenix 1H Operating Profit Rose
Phoenix Group Holdings PLC on Wednesday reported a rise in operating profit for the first half of the year and said that it delivered a strong cash performance in the period.
Provident Financial 1H Pretax Loss Widened on Consumer Credit Division Losses
Provident Financial PLC reported Wednesday a significantly widened pretax loss for the first half of 2021 due to losses at its consumer credit division.
Admiral 1H Pretax Profit Rose, Boosted by Penguin Portals Sale
Admiral Group PLC said Wednesday its profit soared in the first half of the year, reflecting an improved underlying performance and gains on the sale of the Penguin Portals businesses.
Deliveroo 1H Pretax Loss Narrowed as Revenue Rose; Backs 2021 Forecast
Deliveroo PLC on Wednesday reported a narrowed first-half pretax loss and backed its full-year forecast.
Hostelworld 1H Pretax Loss Widens, Sees Increase in Recent Bookings
Hostelworld Group PLC said Wednesday that its first-half revenue declined and pretax loss widened in line with expectations, but it has seen a modest bookings increase in recent weeks as travel restrictions ease.
4imprint 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose; Reinstates Interim Dividends
4imprint Group PLC said Wednesday that its first-half pretax profit and revenue rose, and reinstated interim dividends.
Quilter Swung to 1H Pretax Profit, Assets Under Management Rose
Quilter PLC reported on Wednesday a swing to a pretax profit for the first half of 2021 and said assets under management increased.
Mail.ru Invests $60.3 Mln in AliExpress Joint Venture in Return for Shares
Mail.ru Group Ltd. said Wednesday that it has provided $60.3 million in additional funding in return for shares in its AliExpress Russia joint venture with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Advanced Oncotherapy to Raise GBP37.4 Mln Via Premium Share Placing
Advanced Oncotherapy PLC said Wednesday that it is aiming to raise 37.4 million pounds ($51.8 million) via the issue of 93.5 million new subscription ordinary shares at a premium price to strengthen its balance sheet.
Northbridge Industrial 1H Revenue, Adjusted Rose
Northbridge Industrial Services PLC said Wednesday that first-half revenue and adjusted pretax profit both rose on year, beating management's expectations.
Tower Resources Raises GBP1.5 Mln to Repay Loan, Fund Drilling
Tower Resources PLC said Wednesday that it has raised 1.5 million pounds ($2.1 million) via a share placing and will use the money to repay a loan, fund drilling costs and for general capital purposes.
Pipehawk 2H Revenue Rose From 1H
Pipehawk PLC said Wednesday that revenue increased in the second half of its fiscal year compared with the first half, according to preliminary figures.
Thor Mining Raises GBP800,000 via Discounted Share Placing
Thor Mining PLC said Wednesday that it has raised gross proceeds of 800,000 pounds ($1.1 million) via a discounted share placing, aimed at exploration activities at the Ragged Range gold and nickel project in the Pilbara region of Australia.
CLS Holdings 1H Profit, Revenue Fell; Sets Emissions Target
CLS Holdings PLC said Wednesday that its first-half pretax profit and revenue fell, and that it is targeting net-zero emissions by 2030.
Gem Diamonds 1H 2021 Revenue Fell From 2H 2020
Gem Diamonds Ltd. on Wednesday reported that its revenue fell in the first half of the year from the second half of 2020, reflecting lower diamond prices and volumes.
Hill & Smith Holdings 1H Pretax Profit Rose
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC said Wednesday that its pretax profit rose in the first half as business experienced a positive recovery across all divisions after being hit by Covid-19 effects.
Smiths News Names Paul Baker CFO
Smiths News PLC said Wednesday that it has named Paul Baker as its new chief financial officer, with effect from Oct. 4.
Minds + Machines Shares Rise on $80 Mln Capital Return to Shareholders
Minds + Machines Group Ltd. shares rose Wednesday after it said it has approved a return of capital to shareholders through a $80 million tender offer after selling the majority of its assets.
EQTEC Joint Venture Acquires Waste-to-Energy Plant in Croatia
EQTEC PLC said Wednesday that it has acquired a waste-to-energy gasification plant in Croatia through its joint venture with Croatian partner Sense ESCO d.o.o.
BiVictriX Therapeutics Shares Jump in Stock Market Debut
Shares of BiVictriX Therapeutics PLC rose as much as 46% in early trade Wednesday as it started trading on the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM, implying a market capitalization of 19.3 million pounds ($26.7 million).
Aviva's 1H Operating Profit Expected to Decline
1001 GMT - U.K. insurer Aviva's operating profit for the first half of 2021 is expected to decline when compared with the previous year's GBP1.13 billion result, Citi says. The bank expects Aviva to post an operating profit of GBP732 million, while the market consensus expects a GBP781 million profit. The decline should be primarily driven by a lower result at Aviva's U.K. Life Other division. Citi also anticipates an interim dividend of 7.28 pence a share, compared with market consensus of 7.37 pence. Aviva will report 1H results on Thursday. Citi has a buy recommendation on the stock and with a target price of 500 pence. Shares are up 0.6% at 405.40 pence. (email@example.com; @sabelaojeaguix)
Phoenix 1H Set of Results, Cash Generation Were Positive
0933 GMT - Phoenix Group Holdings's first-half results were in line with consensus and its long-term cash generation was encouraging despite the effects of Covid-19, says Ming Zhu, analyst at Panmure Gordon. The European life insurer didn't declare an interim dividend, but Panmure Gordon believes the company is a step closer to meeting its two conditions for dividend growth as it continues to expand its new business. "We continue to believe that Phoenix has the most resilient dividend among the listed peers, supported by its predictable cash generation which benefits from its hedging strategy," the U.K. brokerage adds. Panmure Gordon reiterates its buy rating on the stock and increases its target price to 900 pence a share.(firstname.lastname@example.org; @sabelaojeaguix)
CMA Decision on UK Networks' Cost of Equity Misses Expectations
0932 GMT - The U.K. CMA has provisionally decided to uphold a 4.55% cost of equity for U.K. gas and power transmission companies for 2021-26, as originally ruled by Ofgem in December. This is in line with what Citi had forecast, but lower than the 4.76% consensus expectation, the bank's analyst Jenny Ping says. Hopes of upgrades were driven by expectations that the CMA would bring returns to a level similar or in excess to the 4.7% it ruled for water companies, Ping says. "In our view, this does not change the valuation upside we see in National Grid, although soft headlines numbers may not be supportive to the shares." National Grid shares fall 0.8%, and SSE is down 0.3%. (email@example.com)
Admiral's 1H Was Strong, But Shares Look Pricey -- Market Talk
0914 GMT - Shares in Admiral rise 1% to 3,502 pence after the insurer reported higher first-half profit, reflecting improved underlying trading and gains on asset disposals. The results were strong overall, helped by market-share gains in U.K. motor and home insurance, RBC Capital Markets says. "Though we expect the U.K. motor-insurance industry faces a number of headwinds in 2021, including regulatory reform and rising claims inflation, we believe Admiral's prudent approach to reserving means it's resilient to this. However, at a 2022 [expected] price/earnings of 22.0x, we await a better entry point," RBC analyst Kamran Hossain says, reiterating the bank's sector-perform rating and 3,000 pence price target. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires