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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (September 02, 2014)

September 2, 2014, Tuesday, 10:09 GMT | 05:09 EST | 13:39 IST | 16:09 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open flat to slightly higher this morning with investors keeping an eye on the situation in the Ukraine whilst looking ahead to more economic data releases and central bank announcements later into the week. The economic diary today sees the publication of domestic construction data followed in the US this afternoon with its ISM manufacturing figures. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is weaker against both the dollar and the euro as the dollar rallied against the key currencies including the yen. It is a quieter day again for major corporate news.

Company Announcements


Final Results see revenue up 43% to a record GBP864.5m helped by a 27% rise in legal completions and a 13% increase in average selling prices to GBP239,500. Gross margins grew to 21.7% (18.8%) and PBT rose 91% to a record GBP132.6m. The final dividend is raised 100% to 2p a share with the value of private reservations up 53% to GBP1.02bn and Help to Buy representing 35% of private completions. In relation to current trading, it noted that the introduction of the mortgage market review (MMR) rules has 'undoubtedly moderated the market, which has returned to a more seasonal pattern of activity'. Many of its sites entered the summer period almost fully sold up for the 2014 calendar year with this lack of availability affecting its summer sales rate. Since the end of June, the sales rate has been 0.64, compared to the average of 0.70 for the last financial year. In total, private legal completions to date, together with its current order book are running some 40% ahead of last year. It added that having substantially increased its land bank, it should see good growth in the number of outlets during the year which together with its strong order book leaves it confident of another year of significant progress.