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UK stock market morning note (May 16, 2014)

May 16, 2014, Friday, 07:42 GMT | 02:42 EST | 12:12 IST | 14:42 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat this morning following the weaker overnight performances on Wall Street and in Asia with sentiment remaining cautious as we close out the week. The economic diary today is concentrated on the US with the release of building permits data and the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. Commodity prices are flat to lower and on the foreign exchanges, the dollar is slightly weaker against the pound, euro and yen but all are within narrow trading ranges.


Company Announcements

Bovis Homes

IMS reports strong trading since the start of the year which combined with the positive market backdrop has enabled it to balance the delivery of strong sales rates with positive pricing improvements. It noted that given the current sales position, improved sales prices and profit margins, it is confident of achieving its targets in 2014. It added that it aims to deliver between 3,650 and 3,850 legal completions in 2014 and a focus on controlling the capital employed, means that the return on capital employed is now expected to increase strongly to at least 15% in 2014 (2013:10.4%) and the outlook continues to be 'very positive'.

Intertek

IMS notes that the variable market conditions seen in H2 of 2013 have continued into the first 4 months of 2014, resulting in 'good growth' in its key product-related business lines but 'weaker than anticipated activity' in the energy infrastructure market. It added that it continues to anticipate an improvement in growth and profitability in H2 of 2014 as market conditions are expected to improve and comparatives become easier.

Lamprell

IMS reports that 2014 has started well and good progress made in delivering upon its strategy with performance for 2014 remaining in line with its expectations. It separately announced a 5 for 16 rights issue to raise GBP71.6m gross at 88p and in conjunction with a debt refinancing also confirmed today, the rights issue proceeds are intended to provide it with a stronger platform to execute its growth strategy.