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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (June 05, 2014)

June 5, 2014, Thursday, 08:59 GMT | 03:59 EST | 12:29 IST | 14:59 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat this morning with investors looking ahead to the outcome of the ECB meeting at lunchtime where the central bank is expected to confirm a cut in interest rates in order to prevent deflation. Overnight we had economic news out of China with the HSBC services PMI reading coming in at 50.7. The economic diary today also sees the outcome of the Bank of England MPC meeting, the latest US weekly jobless claims and day 2 of the G7 meetings. Commodity prices are range bound and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly weaker against the pound, euro and yen but all are within very narrow trading ranges ahead of these news announcements.


Company Announcements

Johnson Matthey

Final Results see underlying PBT up 12% at GBP427.3m on revenue ahead 4% at GBP11.15bn with sales excluding precious metals up 11% at GBP3bn. The full year dividend is raised 10% to 62.5p a share with cashflow conversion of 82%. It noted that in 2014/15, continued growth will be offset by the adverse impact of the loss of commission revenue from Anglo Platinum and by the effect of foreign currency translation, if today's exchange rates prevail. It added that consequently it currently expects that performance will be broadly in line with 2013/14.

Bellway

IMS reports that in respect of the period from 1 February to 31 May 2014, it has seen a strong sales performance with the weekly reservation rate increasing 11% to 177 per week with the value of the forward order book due for completion beyond 31 July 2014 significantly ahead at GBP670m (31 May 2013: GBP380m). It now expects the number of legal completions to increase by around 20% for the year to end July 2014, an operating margin of about 17% and an average selling price slightly in excess of GBP210,000 for the current financial year. It added that this positive position should ensure it is well placed to deliver further volume growth, subject to market conditions remaining unchanged and challenging construction targets being met.

Zoopla

The property company has announced the price range for its planned IPO at 200p-250p, with the mid-point implying a market value of GBP940m. Final pricing is expected to be announced on or around 19 June with conditional dealings in the shares beginning that day with unconditional dealings expected to commence on or around 24 June 2014. It added that its strong operating momentum has continued since 31 March with all key performance metrics continuing to be significantly ahead of last year.