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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (July 03, 2014)

July 3, 2014, Thursday, 09:20 GMT | 04:20 EST | 12:50 IST | 15:20 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open slightly higher this morning although gains are likely to be limited as investors look ahead to a raft of economic and central bank announcements. Overnight we had economic data out of China with the HSBC services PMI data coming in at 53.1 and the official non-manufacturing PMI registering 55.0. The economic diary today also sees the release of domestic services PMI data, US trade balance figures, the latest US weekly jobless claims, US non-farm payrolls data and US ISM non-manufacturing PMI figures in addition to the European Central Bank rate announcement and press conference. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is again slightly higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges ahead of these data and central bank releases.


Company Announcements

Balfour Beatty

Trading Statement notes that it has seen a worsening in the performance of its mechanical and electrical engineering part of its UK construction business since its Q1 IMS. This deterioration amounts to a GBP35m profit shortfall but will be broadly offset by further targeted PPP disposal gains in H2 2014. It added that elsewhere there had been no material change in its operations and overall PBT expectations for 2014 remain unchanged in the range GBP145-GBP160m with average net debt in H1 2014 slightly higher than expected at GBP420m.

Poundland

Final Results see underlying PBT up 23.5% to GBP36.8m on total sales up 13.3% at GBP997.8m with lfl sales +1.9%. It also separately announced a Q1 IMS for the period to 2 July 2014 with sales in the period increasing by 18% to GBP262.6m. The latter being driven by a combination of its value proposition, the late Easter, improving product offer, stronger lfl sales growth and a strong new store opening programme. In the UK it opened a net new 9 stores in the period and officially launched its Spanish trial yesterday with the launch of its first store in Torremolinos. It added that after a 'pleasing start' to 2014/15, it was confident of further progress through the year although recognised its critical Q3 lay ahead.

Greene King

Preliminary Results see PBT up 9.4% (7.4% on a 52 week basis) to GBP173.1m on total revenue ahead 8.9% (52 weeks: 6.9%) to GBP1.3bn. The dividend is raised 6.8% to 28.4p with retail lfl sales up 4.1%; food lfl sales ahead 5% and brewing and brands core own-brewed volume up 4.6% and profits ahead 1.3%. It added that there are now clear signs that both the UK economic outlook and consumer confidence are improving, although consumers continue to spend cautiously, noting continued progress across all businesses in the first 8 weeks of the new financial year.

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