Pick of the early market news

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Updates this morning from a clutch of names including investment house Ashmore, spread-betting firm IG, event services group Avesco and IT recruitment outfit InterQuest. Yesterday's losses on the FTSE 100 were slowing at close of play, but worries over Greek debt persist.
Investment management giant Ashmore's total net revenue rose 17% to £333.8m according to annual results posted this morning. That brought in a pre-tax profit of £245.9m. The final dividend will be 10.34p, taking the full-year dividend to 14.5p.

Spread-betting firm IG reports first quarter revenue of £100m, up 26% on the same period last year. That growth was driven by a 20% increase in active clients and an 8% increase in revenue per client. The company also said its pre-tax profit margin was up on last year.

Avesco's third quarter interims show revenue rose 10% to £97.4m in the nine months to 30 June. That took profit after tax for the period to £1.5m, significantly up on the £300,000 the company posted in the corresponding period last year.

Chief executive Ian Martin said: "Looking towards 2012, we expect to benefit significantly from the "even year effect", notably with the inclusion of business generated from the European Football Championships and the London Olympics."

IT recruitment specialist InterQuest says revenues rose 10% to £61.57m in the six months to 30 June. Net fee income was up 11% to £7.81m but the company sill posted a loss before tax of £1.67m. An interim dividend of 0.5p will be paid on 28 October.

National Express has announced the purchase of Petermann Partners, the fifth largest student transport provider in the US, for $200m. The move adds 3,000 vehicles to the National Express fleet in America and chief executive Dean Finch said it was "an important step in delivering our strategy of growth".

The FTSE 100 closed down 85 at 5,130 yesterday, that close coming as the index battled back after some heavy losses earlier on. At lunchtime it was down 122 as concerns over the Eurozone crisis grew. Bank stocks also drifted as investors weighed up the implications of the Vickers report.

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