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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (May 14, 2014)

May 14, 2014, Wednesday, 08:59 GMT | 04:59 EST | 13:29 IST | 15:59 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly lower this morning given the lack of clear direction overnight from Wall Street and in Asia. The economic diary today focuses on the release of domestic unemployment figures and the Bank of England Inflation Report. These will be followed in the US at lunchtime with producer prices data. Commodity prices are flat and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is weaker against the pound, euro and yen but all are within range ahead of these data releases.

Company Announcements


Half Year Results see underlying operating profit and PBT up 5.5% and 5.7% to GBP647m and GBP608m respectively on revenue ahead 4.2% at GBP8.7bn. The operating margin grew 10 bps to 7.4% and it noted  'excellent performances' in North America and Fast Growing & Emerging with economic conditions and new business growth in Europe and Japan starting to improve. The interim dividend is raised 10% to 8.8p and it is proposing a capital return of GBP1bn via a special dividend and ongoing GBP500m share buyback. It added that looking forward, the outsourcing proposition remains compelling and was positive about the opportunities for further revenue and margin progression.


IMS reports that total external revenue rose 2% to GBP585m with broadcast and online revenues ahead 3% at GBP480m driven by 2% growth in NAR, as expected, and 14% increase in online, pay and interactive. It noted that ITV Studios are set to deliver good revenue growth over the full year, but the phasing of programme delivery in 2014 means Q1 is down 4%. It is continuing to build its international content business with the completion of 80% of Leftfield in the US and is on track to deliver GBP10m of cost savings for the full year. It added that looking ahead its Q2 advertising revenue is forecast to be up 12%-13% and it expects to outperform the TV ad market in H1 and over the full year.     

Galliford Try

IMS reports that it has made strong progress since the start of the year particularly in housebuilding where market conditions have continued to improve. It now expects to report PBT for the full year to end June above the analyst consensus of GBP89.7m and not less than GBP92m. In construction it has grown the order book and is seeing increased levels of opportunities across the business. It is winning work with appropriate margin and inflation protection. It added that in all its businesses, in common with the industry, it is seeing challenging production conditions with supply of labour and materials constrained by strong demand. However, these conditions are stabilising and it is continuing to manage them proactively.