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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (July 01, 2014)

July 1, 2014, Tuesday, 09:33 GMT | 05:33 EST | 14:03 IST | 16:33 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the overnight economic news out of China of in line manufacturing PMI from both the official data and final HSBC readings of 51.0 and 50.7 respectively. The economic diary now focuses on the release of domestic manufacturing PMI followed this afternoon in the US with its ISM manufacturing data. Commodity prices are flat and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges. However, the pound is holding just above 1.71, a level not seen for several years.

Company Announcements

Ocado Group

Half Year Results see revenue up 20.7% to GBP429.7m with PBT before exceptional items coming in at GBP7.5m as against a loss of GBP1m in the corresponding period a year ago. Active customers increased to 396,000 (H1 2013: 360,000), although the average basket in the period fell slightly to GBP114.43 (H1 2013: GBP114.90). It noted that the successful launch of was 'particularly encouraging' and paves the way to future agreements. It added that the online grocery market continued to outperform the traditional bricks and mortar supermarkets with the overall rate of growth currently impacted by subdued and cautious consumer spending, noting that it expects its retail business to continue growing broadly in line with, or slightly ahead of the online grocery market.

St Modwen Properties

Half Year Results see PBT up 32% to GBP51.3m with there being a net valuation gain of GBP35m (H 1 2013: GBP23m). The dividend is raised 10% to 1.463p per share and stated that its major projects are gathering momentum alongside growth in the commercial property sector. It noted its increasing commercial development pipeline across the UK reflecting the gradual, overall improvement in this market and a positive outlook for residential land activity and good sales rates being achieved both for St Modwen Homes and the Persimmon JV. It added that whilst still some way from a wholesale UK recovery, confidence is starting to return to the regions.