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UK stock market morning note (July 30, 2014)

July 30, 2014, Wednesday, 07:25 GMT | 02:25 EST | 11:55 IST | 14:25 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly lower this morning with investors likely to be in cautious mood following the news of further sanctions against Russia by both the EU and US. The economic diary today will also be a key focus for investors as it concentrates on the US with the release of the ADP jobs figures, advance GDP data and this evening 7.00pm UK time the FOMC statement. The latter is likely to signal another reduction in the bond buying programme and may provide some clues on the direction of US interest rates. Commodity prices are flat to lower and on the foreign exchanges, the major currencies are virtually unchanged ahead of these data announcements.


Company Announcements

ITV

Half Year Results see total external revenue ahead 7% at GBP1.22bn with ITV Family NAR up 7% ahead of the market, as expected, Online, Pay & Interactive up 20% to GBP67m and Total ITV Studios revenue up 2% to GBP402m. Adjusted PBT rose 16% to GBP312m and noted total cost savings of around GBP15m for the full year, GBP5m ahead of the original target. ITV Family NAR is expected to be up 4%-5% in Q3 and up around 6% in the 9 months to end September. There is an interim dividend of 1.4p, roughly a third of the full year dividend and has committed to at least 20% annual growth in the ordinary dividend over the next 3 years - starting this year.

British American Tobacco

Half Year Results see group revenue up 3% at constant rates of exchange, although reported revenue was 10% lower because of adverse exchange rate movements at GBP6.79bn. Adjusted profit from operations rose 4% at constant rates and was 9% lower at current rates at GBP2.66bn. Group cigarette volume declined 0.4% to 331bn with total tobacco volume down 0.5%. However, the company's cigarette market share continued to rise in its key markets. The interim dividend is raised 6% to 47.5p. It added that it remains confident of high single digit earnings growth at constant rates of exchange, which it will recognise with an increase in the dividend.

Travis Perkins

Interim Results see revenue up 11.5% at GBP2.73bn with lfl revenue ahead 10.2% following growth in all divisions. Adjusted PBT increased by 19.4% to GBP162.5m with the interim dividend raised 22.5% to 12.25p. It added that trading is consistent with its expectations and with lead indicators in its different markets encouraging, it is expected to show continued solid growth for the remainder of the year.

Barclays

Half Year Results see adjusted PBT down 7% to GBP3.34bn largely due to currency movements and a reduction in its Investment Bank profitability. Adjusted income fell 12% to GBP13.3bn, whilst impairments declined by 33% to GBP1.08bn resulting in a 9% decrease in net operating income to GBP12.2bn. The core return on equity declined to 11% (15.1%).