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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (February 26, 2014)

February 26, 2014, Wednesday, 10:36 GMT | 05:36 EST | 15:06 IST | 17:36 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat this morning given the lack of direction from Wall Street and Asia overnight. Today's economic diary sees the second estimate of UK GDP for Q4 2013 with no change anticipated and this will be followed in the US this afternoon with new home sales data. Commodity prices are flat to slightly firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is up against both the dollar and the euro but all the major currencies are trading within narrow bands.
 
Company Announcements

ITV Preliminary Results see adjusted profit up 27% at GBP581m on total external revenue ahead 9% at GBP2.38bn. Non-NAR revenues rose GBP175m to GBP1.21bn with ITV Studio revenues growing 20%. The focus on cash and costs continues with it now having net cash of GBP164m. The full year dividend is raised 35% to 3.5p and it is proposing a special dividend of 4p in line with last year. It added that in 2014 it expects all parts of the business to see further growth and the TV advertising market continues to show signs of improvement, with ITV Family NAR expected to be up 5%-6% over the 4 months to the end of April.

Petrofac Final Results see net profit up 3% to USD650m on revenue ahead 1% at USD6.3bn. The full year dividend is raised 3% to 65.8 cents a share and its backlog is up 27% to a record USD15bn as at the end of December 2013. It noted that USD3bn of new awards in the year to date plus its opening backlog provide it with good revenue visibility for 2014 and beyond. It added that in line with previous guidance, it expects flat to modest growth in net profit in 2014 and remains confident of a return to strong earnings growth in 2015.

Travis Perkins Preliminary Results see adjusted PBT up 12.4% to GBP321m on revenue now over GBP5bn with annual growth of 6.3% and 5% on a lfl basis. The total dividend is raised 24% to 31p and net debt has fallen to GBP348m. It added that although it was still early days for the recovery, the outlook for the building materials market continues to improve and it is well placed to benefit from the upturn in UK building activity and in particular the strength of housing transactions.