– The FTSE 100 rose 9.20 points to 6,834.87.
– The FTSE 250 climbed 91.33 points to 17,997.62.
– The FTSE All Share increased by 7.30 points to 3,725.48.
– The FTSE AIM All Share finished 0.59 points higher at 770.32.
The Office for National Statistics has reported that the volume of property sales in May was around 3% lower than in the same month of 2014. This decline has been caused by a shortage of property coming on to the market and this lack of supply is helping to keep prices rising. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said that gross borrowing rose by 2% during the month relative to April, a leading indicator suggesting that the sector will pick up in the near future.
Bunzl (BNZL) has announced four new acquisitions today in the US, Canada, France and Columbia as well as the completion of its takeover of Instanbul Ticaret following approval by the Turkish Authorities. Management said that overall performance was in line with expectations, with revenues for the first half of the year up by 6% despite slower organic growth caused by lost business in the United States. Bunzl shares dropped by 39p to 1,852p.
Barclays had a busy day on the pub shares as it upgraded Greene King (GNK) to “overweight” from “equal weight” and knocked rival Mitchell & Butlers (MAB) down to “equal weight” on a valuation basis. The note commented that Greene King was attractive due to its improving returns on capital and relatively strong earnings growth. Shares in Greene King rose by 21.5p to 856.5p while Mitchell & Butlers dropped by 9.6p to 465.7p.
Ladbrokes (LAD) shares surged by 14.6% to 140p after it confirmed that it is participating in merger discussions with Gala Coral which would include the Coral and Eurobet retail chains. Shore Capital continued to rate the shares as a “hold” and commented that “the combined entity we would expect would make around £380m of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation pro-forma highlighting significant cost savings”.
Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDH) saw its revenues drop by 13.2% to £45.2 million during the year ended 31st March, due to foreign exchange movements and falling demand for its Vitamin D products. New product take up was lower than had been hoped and the company is working to streamline and cut its costs. N+1 Singer reiterated a “sell” rating on the stock, which closed today at 282.5p, down by 5p.
Shares in Chemring (CHG) rose by 7.5p to 213p today, despite the company reporting that it had dropped to a pre-tax loss of £15.1 million for the six months ended 30th April from a profit of £5.1 million in the same period of the prior year. Management blamed this on delayed orders from major clients in the Middle East, which they hoped would now fall in the second half of the financial year.
Tomorrow’s news today
Stagecoach (SGC), James Latham (LTHM) and Market Tech (MKT) are among the firms announcing final results tomorrow morning.
There will also be final estimates of US GDP in the first quarter of 2015.
Quote of the day
“Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.”
– Jean Paul Getty