The Morning news update with AstraZeneca, John Wood Group and H&T Group

2 mins. to read

FTSE 100

AstraZeneca (AZN) – has received confirmation from the United States Department of Justice that it is closing its investigation into PLATO, a clinical trial with Brilinta plus aspirin. The government is not planning any further action. Also announces positive top-line results from Phase III studies investigating the potential of the antibiotic ceftazidime-avibactam (CAZ-AVI) as a treatment for hospitalised adult patients with complicated intra-abdominal infections.

BHP Billiton (BLT) – announces underlying attributable profit increased by 10% to $13.4 billion in the year to June. Also plans to demerge certain aluminium, coal, manganese, nickel and silver operation assets to create a new company. This is expected to be completed in the first half of the 2015 calendar year, with the new firm listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Imperial Tobacco (IMT) – tobacco net revenue up by 2% on an underlying basis to £4.752 billion in the 9 months to June. Guidance for the full year continues to be modest adjusted earnings per share growth at constant currency with dividend growth of at least 10%

FTSE 250

FirstGroup (FGP) – has been shortlisted for the TransPennine Express franchise competition by the Department for Transport.

Stagecoach (SGC) – its prequalification submission for the TransPennine Express rail franchise has been shortlisted to receive an Invitation to Tender by the Department for Transport.

John Wood Group (WG.) – Profit from continuing operations on an equity accounting basis before tax and exceptional items up 15% at $182.4 million in the six months to June. Divided up by 25% at 8.9 cents per share.

Big Yellow Group (BYG) – has completed the refinancing of its existing bank facilities and will benefit from both a lower average cost of debt and an increased average unexpired term of its debt facilities to 7.8 years.

Small caps

H&T Group (HAT) – pre-tax profits down from £4.6 million to £2 million in the six months to June. Dividend flat at 2.1p per share.

AfriAg (AFRI) – A total of approximately 650,000 kg of perishable produce was air freighted by AfriAg SA for the first six month period of 2014, in what is typically the quietest half of the year for perishable airfreight. The second six month period has commenced well with approximately 151,000 kg of perishables airfreighted for the month of July, being 247% over July 2013 numbers.

CloudBuy (CBUY) – has been appointed to the Local Authority Software Applications framework. The four-year framework will replace the current Local Government Software Application Solutions framework, which came to an end in July 2014.

Vectura (VEC) – financial performance from 1st April 2014 to date has been in line with expectations.

Densitron Technologies (DSN) – posts a loss before tax of £170,000 for the six months to June.


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