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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (March 06, 2014)

March 6, 2014, Thursday, 09:21 GMT | 05:21 EST | 14:51 IST | 17:21 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the gains overnight in Asia with markets focusing on the statements due out from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank in addition to further developments on the Ukraine situation. Today's economic diary also sees the release of the latest weekly US jobless claims at lunchtime. Commodity prices are flat to slightly lower and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is up marginally against both the dollar and the euro but all the key currencies are range bound.

Company Announcements


Final Results see trading profit and reported PBT both 8% lower at GBP357m and GBP338m respectively on underlying revenue up 4% at GBP1.57bn. The full year dividend is raised 10% to 26.3p and it is to return GBP200m to shareholders in June, equivalent to 75p a share. It added that since its last update in December, the business has performed in line with its expectations, and for the full year it expects trading profit to be similar to 2013 on a constant currency basis, with growth in the Local business offsetting weaker trading in Power Projects. However, it noted that the latest spot rates for some of its major trading currencies have moved against average 2013 exchange rates and if these continue for the rest of the year, there would be a marked translational impact on the 2014 reported results.


Results see PBT up 8% at GBP297.7m on revenue ahead 3% at GBP1.74bn. The full year dividend is raised 9% to 35.3p a share. It added that based on current market conditions and excluding the adverse impact of exchange rates, it expects to deliver modest organic revenue growth in H1 with margins slightly lower than in H1 2013 and an improved overall performance for the year.


Full Year Results see operating profit up 6% at GBP2.04bn with the value of new business ahead 13% at GBP835m. The full year dividend is 15p a share and the combined operating ratio rose slightly to 97.3%. It noted that flood losses in January and February of GBP60m in the UK were in line with the long term average and it has already achieved GBP360m of cost savings. It added that whilst it had made progress in 2013 it had not yet unlocked the full potential within the company.