New York: 22:16 || London: 03:16 || Mumbai: 06:46 || Singapore: 09:16

Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (August 13, 2014)

August 13, 2014, Wednesday, 07:41 GMT | 02:41 EST | 11:11 IST | 13:41 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open lower this morning with investors in cautious mood against the backdrop of the geo-political situations being played out in the Ukraine and Middle East. The economic diary today sees the release of domestic unemployment data and the quarterly Bank of England Inflation Report which may provide some further clues as to the direction of interest rates. These will be followed at lunchtime in the US with retail sales figures. Commodity prices are flat to lower and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these data releases.

Company Announcements


Half Year Results see underlying revenue ahead 4.1% at GBP3.37bn with underlying PBITA up 6.3% at GBP185m and underlying earnings 13.2% higher at GBP185m. The interim dividend is maintained at 3.42p a share and it secured new contract sales with a value of GBP1.2bn in the period. It noted that it had achieved a 'satisfactory' financial performance and was making good strategic progress. Demand for its services continues to be strong in emerging markets and it is restructuring and rebuilding its UK & Ireland and European businesses whilst seeing growth return to its North American markets. It added that whilst it was making 'encouraging progress', much remains to be done to capture the full potential of its strategy and to strengthen its performance.

Michael Page

Half Year Results see revenue up 1.8% and by 8.3% at constant exchange rates to GBP512.2m with gross profit ahead 0.7% and 7.9% respectively at GBP263.7m. PBT increased by 11.1% to GBP35.6m and the interim dividend is raised 5.2% to 3.42p. The recruitment company saw a 'solid' performance across its regions including strong growth in the likes of China, the UK and US, and whilst noting that adverse FX was impacting the reported results, it stated that the underlying business environment is gradually improving in a number of its key markets. It went on that although markets are expected to remain challenging in Brazil and France and Australia to stabilise, the more positive backdrop in many of its other countries is expected to continue. It added that for the full year, if the current trend of improving growth rates is maintained and foreign exchange rates remain constant, it expects to perform in line with market expectations.