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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (March 04, 2014)

March 4, 2014, Tuesday, 08:56 GMT | 03:56 EST | 14:26 IST | 16:56 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the performance overnight in Asia although gains may be limited as investors await further developments on the Ukraine situation. Today's economic diary is focused on the release of UK construction PMI data. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the pound and euro are higher against the dollar which is itself better against the yen as markets look for further news coming out of Ukraine.

Company Announcements

Ashtead Q3 Results see PBT and revenue up 54% and 22% at GBP80.4m and GBP400.1m respectively. This takes the 9 months figures to a record PBT of GBP297.7m, up 51% at constant exchange rates on revenue ahead 23% at GBP1.24bn. It noted that its markets remain strong, adding that it now anticipates full year profit ahead of its previous expectations and looks forward to the medium term with continued confidence.

Meggitt Full Year Results see underlying PBT up 2% at GBP377.8m on revenue also ahead 2% at GBP1.63bn despite what it described as some operational and end market-related challenges. The full year dividend is raised 8% to 12.75p a share. It added that it continues to expect organic revenue growth of 6%-7% on average over the medium term with mid-single digit organic revenue growth in 2014 consistent with the guidance set out in its November 2013 IMS.

Glencore Xstrata Preliminary Results see adjusted pro-forma EBITDA of USD13.07bn, consistent with 2012, reflecting strong marketing results. It noted 2013 was a strong year for production growth and its Balance Sheet remains strong. The full year distribution is raised 4.8% to USD16.5 cents. It added that as it looks ahead to 2014, it continues to see healthy demand growth in all its key commodities, underpinned by the long term trend of urbanisation in emerging markets and parts of the developed world returning to trend growth.