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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (March 26, 2014)

March 26, 2014, Wednesday, 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EST | 14:00 IST | 16:30 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning following the overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia on continuing hopes of possible stimulus initiatives from both China and Europe going forward although the Ukraine situation remains in the background. Today's economic diary is confined to the US with the release of the core durable goods orders at lunchtime. Commodity prices are mixed with oil and base metals slightly firmer but copper is marginally lower and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly higher against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges.


Company Announcements

SSE

Business Update reports that its financial results for the year to end March 2014 are forecast to be in line with the outlook provided in January. It has set out a programme of planned asset and business disposals that are estimated to total GBP1bn and has identified further operational efficiencies resulting in annual savings in overheads of around GBP100m by March 2016. There is to be a legal separation of the businesses within SSE's Retail and Wholesale segments which is planned to be completed by March 2016 and it is to freeze at current levels household energy prices until at least January 2016. Capital and investment expenditure is forecast at around GBP1.6bn in 2014/15 and then an average of up to GBP1.3bn across the 3 years to March 2018. It added that it expects adjusted EPS for 2014/15 to be around or slightly higher than in 2013/14 but to be subject to greater risks in the next 2 years, and is targeting an increase in the full year dividend for 2014/15 of at least RPI inflation with annual rises thereafter of the same being targeted.

TUI Travel

Trading Statement reports that trading was pleasing during the Winter 2013/14 season with most of its programmes now almost fully sold. Summer 2014 trading is in line with expectations noting that it is on track to deliver a H1 Result broadly in line with last year, excluding the timing of Easter and is confident of achieving a full year performance in line with its target of growing underlying operating profit by 7%-10%.

Bellway

Interim Results see PBT up over 73% at GBP103.8m on revenue ahead 39.5% at GBP701.1m. The dividend is raised nearly 78% to 16p a share with the number of homes sold up 25% to 3,245 and the average selling price increasing 13.1% to GBP212,071. It added that the order bok at 9 March is significantly ahead at GBP829.5m, up 63.5% and as a result of this strong start to the Spring selling season, it now expects that it will deliver volume growth of up to 20% in the current financial year.

Standard Life

It has confirmed the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management for GBP390m which will be paid in cash and is conditional upon approval from the Financial Conduct Authority.