New York: 15:38 || London: 20:38 || Mumbai: 02:08 || Singapore: 04:38

Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (April 25, 2014)

April 25, 2014, Friday, 07:38 GMT | 02:38 EST | 12:08 IST | 14:38 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning with the Ukraine situation again taking centre stage following news reports that Russia had ordered military exercises on its borders with the country. The economic diary today sees the release of domestic retail sales data and the revised University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading. Both commodity prices and the major currencies are trading within narrow ranges as markets await these data releases and further news out of Ukraine.


Company Announcements

WPP

Quarterly Trading Update reports that the year started stronger than expected with constant currency revenues rising 9.6%, lfl up 7% driven by the US and UK although reported revenue was ahead 1.5% at GBP2.57bn due to the negative impact of exchange rates. It noted that profits, revenue margin and gross margin were above budget in the period. Its Q1 revised forecasts are in line with budget at the gross margin level and show that lfl revenue up strongly and gross margin or net sales growth of over 3%. Target gross margin improvement of 0.3 margin points with the main focus this year remaining on growing revenues and gross margin faster than the industry average.

Pearson

IMS reports that it is trading in line with expectations as set out in its Full Year Results in February 2014. In the first 3 months of the year, sales excluding Penguin and Mergermarket rose 2% at constant exchange rates and 1% underlying to GBP0.9bn. Headline sales declined 6% due to the strength of sterling against the dollar and key emerging currencies. It added that it still expects to report adjusted EPS of between 62p and 67p in 2014 with profits continuing to be H2 weighted.

William Hill

Q1 Results note strong underlying growth but football results impacting margins. Online Sportsbook turnover rose 39% with mobile up 78% but the gross win margin performance was hit by two 'substantial' loss making weeks due to the football. It added that whilst there was no guarantee it could make up the difference, it believes that it is well placed to take advantage of the World Cup opportunity.

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