– The FTSE 100 rose 16.47 points to 6,846.74.
– The FTSE 250 climbed 59.32 points to 18,089.45.
– The FTSE All Share increased by 9.36 points to 3,734.36.
– The FTSE AIM All Share finished 0.04 points higher at 773.77.
The International Monetary Fund has withdrawn its negotiating team from Brussels, striking a blow to hopes that a deal between Greece and its creditors would be reached. A spokesman for the IMF said that “the ball is very much in Greece’s court. There are major differences between us in most key areas. There has been no progress in narrowing these differences recently”. European Council President Donald Tusk also had strong words for the Greek Government and commented that “there is no more time for gambling. The day is coming, I’m afraid, that someone says that the game is over”.
The Office of Budget Responsibility has estimated that Britain’s ageing populations will necessitate an additional £20 billion of public spending cuts from 2020 in order to return national debt to pre-2008 levels. The government body said that the plans expected to be set out by George Osborne were not sufficient to meet debt reduction targets. The Office said that further changes would still be necessary to prevent borrowing increases in 50 years’ time.
Mulberry (MUL) has sold £109 million pounds worth of goods at retail in the year ended 31st March, a 1% increase despite lower price than in the past. Wholesale revenues collapsed as expected and therefore overall income dropped by 9% to £148.7 million. Pre-tax profits declined by over 85% to £1.9 million.
Edison Investment Research wrote that “it remains to be seen how quickly Mulberry can recover its profitability given its ambitions of expanding internationally and making significant investments in its store base and e-commerce operations”. Mulberry shares dropped by 4p to 901p.
Shares in broadcasting services outfit Avesco Group (AVS) have risen by 37.5p to 178.5p after the company posted pre-tax profits of £4.6 million for the 6 months ended 31st March following a £1.1 million loss in the comparative period last year. Revenues grew 1% despite the company restructuring and fewer major events than in the prior year. FinnCap upped its profit forecasts for the 2015 and 2016 financial years after the results were released.
First Property (FPO) scored profits of £8 million during the year ended 31st March, a 22.4% improvement over the prior period despite the declining value of the Euro against the Pound. The firm has expanded its holdings in Romania and Poland and believes that these will underpin future earnings. The shares climbed by 9.32% to 44p.
Safety equipment outfit Halma (HLMA) hit record revenues in the year ended 28th March as it booked sales worth £726.1 million. However, profits before tax dropped by 4% to £133.6 million due to costs associated with three acquisitions. Shares in the company dropped by 3p to 760p.
Bookmaker and online gaming platform operator Nektan (NKTN) saw its shares tick up 11.5p to 175p after it confirmed that it had received a UK gaming licence. Since the introduction of new legislation in November last year, the firm has been using a Gibraltar continuation licence to provide services in Britain.
Manufacturing services provider Redhall (RHL) reduced its operating loss for the 6 months to 31st March to £0.9 million, despite revenues dropping to £41.4 million as the company backed out of framework contracts and faced customer delays. Redhall sold its Engineering Solutions arm for £6 million and has ended a number of site-based nuclear deals in order to reduce its risk profile. Shares in the firm closed at 10.5p, a 2.3% decline.
Tomorrow’s news today
Bonmarche Holdings (BON) is due to report full-year results tomorrow.
Quote of the day
“We owe a lot to Thomas Edison – if it wasn’t for him, we’d be watching television by candlelight.”
– Milton Berle