- The Office for National Statistics said that the construction sector grew by 1.6% in March relative to the same month last year and output was 3.9% higher than in February. Private sector housing returned to growth after 5 consecutive months of contraction. Gareth Hird from consultantcy McBains Cooper commented, “today’s figures represent encouraging news. However, it would be premature to call this a recovery just yet”.
- US industrial output continued to fall in April despite analysts forecasting a 0.1% rise in production. Poor performance in the mining and utilities industries dragged down the
overall results and has led to five consecutive months of contraction. However, overall output levels were 1.9% higher than a year ago.
- The FTSE 100 tumbled 12.55 points to 6,960.49 points; the FTSE 250 rose by 91.09 points to 18,020.42; the FTSE All Share decreased by 2.53 points to 3,779.96 points; and the FTSE AIM All Share finished the day up by 1.64 points at 761.11 points.
Quality testing and safety solutions provider Intertek (ITRK) said that its performance in the first
four months of 2015 has been in line with expectations with good growth in most regions and business developments. Reported revenues were 3.3% higher than in the same period of last year, primarily due to improved foreign exchange conditions. Management reiterated its previous full year guidance. The share price fell by 10p to 2,695p.
Ahead of an AGM today, housebuilder Bovis Homes (BVS) said it has seen an 8% rise in forward sales volumes over the year to 8th May with average sales prices also showing sustainable increases.
Production levels are 9% higher than in the prior year. On the basis of this, the board has proposed that the 2015 divided be increased to 40p from 35p, subject to shareholder approval. Shares in Bovis
Homes dropped by 1p to 1,046p.
Exploration and production outfit Caza Oil and Gas (CAZA) reported revenues for the first quarter of 2015 27% lower year-on-year at $3.3 million (£2.1 million), as declining oil and gas prices outweighed a significant increase in output. Management remain hopeful and CEO W. Michael Ford said that “while
we have taken the prudent decision to cut back on capital expenditures during this time of low oil prices, many of the Company’s Bone Spring properties could deliver acceptable rates of return at current price levels, and we expect to drill one Bone Spring obligation well this year and possibly several development wells later in the year assuming prices continue to rise or maintain the current improved levels”. Shares in Caza declined by 0.75p to 3.88p.
Speciality drug developer Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) intends to make a cash offer of around £139
million for Swedish competitor Aerocrine as well as a £100 million offer for privately held Prosonix. The purchases will be funded through a placing that Circassia hopes will generate £275 million. Both acquisition targets are focused on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and CEO
Steve Harris said that “the combined organisation will give us both the capability and resources to
commercialise our enlarged late-stage pipeline of potential new allergy and asthma products, once approved, and thereby generate significant shareholder value”. The shares closed at 287p, a fall of 33p.
Monday’s news today
Babcock International (BAB), Mitie (MTO) and Cranswick (CWK) are among the firms publishing
results on Monday.
Quote of the day
“When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”
― Oscar Wilde