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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (March 11, 2014)

March 11, 2014, Tuesday, 08:56 GMT | 05:56 EST | 14:26 IST | 16:56 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning although sentiment is likely to remain cautious given the Ukraine backdrop. Overnight we had domestic economic news out showing that consumer spending fell last month with the BRC reporting same-store sales down 1% due to the weather and the record figures for January. Today's economic diary is confined to the UK with the Governor of the Bank of England due to give evidence this morning on the inflation report with manufacturing and production data also due for release. Commodity prices are generally firmer and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is up very slightly against both the dollar and the euro but all the major currencies are range bound.

Company Announcements


Preliminary Results see adjusted EBITDA up 29.6% to GBP49.6m with PBT increasing 56.6% to GBP38.9m on revenue ahead 16% at GBP139.2m. There is a proposed total dividend of 5.44p a share. It noted that 47.7% of revenues was generated from lettings with sales volumes up 22.5%. It added that it had seen a good start to 2014 with a strong short term sales pipeline and expects the availability of housing stock for sale to be a key determinant of the level of growth in property sales transactions during the remainder of the year.

Close Brothers

Half Year Results see adjusted operating profits up 21% to GBP97.2m and the interim dividend raised 10% to 16.5p a share. It saw continued growth in the Banking division and in Asset Management, assets under management rose 2% to GBP9.3bn. In Securities, Winterflood's adjusted operating profit grew 81% to GBP13.4m, reflecting stronger trading relative to H1 2013. It added that it remained confident in its strategy and continues to see good opportunities for growth in its niche markets.