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Reports UK

UK stock market morning note (September 03, 2014)

September 3, 2014, Wednesday, 10:23 GMT | 05:23 EST | 14:53 IST | 17:23 SGT
Contributed by SVS Securities

The FTSE 100 is called to open higher this morning with trading likely to remain range bound as investors wait on central bank pronouncements and in particular the ECB on whether it will look to unveil additional stimulus measures to prevent deflation. Overnight we had economic news out of China with the official non-manufacturing PMI reading coming in at 54.4 and the HSBC services PMI at 54.1. The economic diary today also sees the release of domestic services PMI data and in the US at 7.00pm UK time the Beige Book. Commodity prices are range bound and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is slightly weaker against both the dollar and euro but all are also trading in narrow ranges.


Company Announcements

Ashtead

Q1 Results see rental revenue up 22% to GBP417.7m with EBITDA ahead 30% at GBP209.9m and the EBITDA margin improving to 46% (43%). There was a record Q1 PBT of GBP120.4m, up 33% at constant exchange rates and it invested GBP284m in capex and a further GBP32m on bolt-on acquisitions in the period. It noted that given the momentum in the business it was increasing its full year guidance for capex to a range of GBP825m-GBP875m and now anticipates a full year result ahead of its previous expectations.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Final Results sees revenue, profits, assets under administration and active client numbers at new record levels. Net revenue grew 8% to GBP291.9m with PBT ahead 7% at GBP209.8m. Assets under administration rose 29% to GBP46.9bn with total client numbers increasing by 144,000 to 652,000. The total dividend is raised 8% to 32p a share. It added that its core strategic priorities remain delivery of growth in assets and client numbers and it will seek to enhance its complementary revenue generating services over the coming year which will include expanding its range of multi-manager funds, enhancing its cash strategy and considering other growth opportunities.

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