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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (July 29, 2014)

July 29, 2014, Tuesday, 09:34 GMT | 04:34 EST | 13:04 IST | 15:34 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly higher this morning with investors awaiting further developments on the sanctions against Russia following the air crash in Ukraine. The main economic event today sees the release of CB consumer confidence data in the US this afternoon. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges.

Company Announcements


Trading Statement reports that NEXT brands sales in H1 rose 10.7%, of which 2.4% came from new space with NEXT Retail sales ahead 7.5% and NEXT Directory up 16.2%. It noted that growth is ahead of its full year guidance range so is raising and narrowing the sales guidance for the year to between 7%-10%. Consequently, it is also raising its PBT guidance by GBP25m with the new range between GBP775m and GBP815m, growth of between 11%-17% with EPS growth to now come in +12% to +18%. It added that it does not anticipate paying any further special dividends in the current year.

St. James's Place

Half Year Results see total single investments of GBP3.92bn, up 21%  with funds under management rising 19% over the 12 months and ahead 7% since the start of 2014 to GBP47.6bn. Operating profit grew 12% to GBP260.7m with profit before shareholder tax up 1% to GBP82.4m. NAV rose 15% over the 12 months and by 5% since the start of the year to 604.9p. The interim dividend is raised 40% to 8.93p and added that it anticipates a similar increase in the full year dividend.


Half Year Results see sales up 6% organically but down 1% after a GBP247m currency translation impact to GBP3.8bn. PBT increased by 6% to GBP296m and the interim dividend is raised 8% to 2.8p a share. It noted this was a good performance, particularly from Driveline which delivered 11% organic sales growth and had continued to outperform its key markets in spite of sterling's strength and some end market weakness. It added that it expects these trends to be maintained in H2 with GKN continuing to make good progress against strategy.


Q2 and H1 Results see underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter rise 34% on the same period a year ago to USD3.6bn although the H1 outcome of USD6.86bn was lower than last year's USD6.92bn. There is a quarterly dividend of 9.75 cents, up 8.3% on the prior year.