Pick of the early market news

The FTSE 100 closed almost 200 points lower than the previous week on Friday, slipping to 5,164. The week also ended with an expensive Italian bond auction and Belgium receiving a credit downgrade. Today, the IMF denies it plans to prepare to rescue Italy and Spain from the credit flames. All eyes, shortly, will turn to George Osborne as he prepares to deliver his crucial Autumn Statement.
Let's commence with an interim from communications operator Redstone. Revenues are up sharply at 14%, to £36.5m and project revenues have accelerated 29.5% to £18m. Operating losses have been reduced by 51.1% to £0.5 million (H1 10/11 loss £0.9 million).

Chief exec Tony Weaver claims the company's revenue base is "resilient". "We have now successfully lit the Portsmouth MAN [Metropolian Area Network] as outlined at the time of our fundraising, and have our first customer connected, Portsmouth City Council."

He adds: "While the general economic outlook and consequently the marketplace for ICT spending remains uncertain the Board is encouraged by the growing market traction achieved in the period. Redstone is now successfully re-established as a leading ICT provider."

Next, full results from fashion retailer T.M. Lewin. Sales have broken the £100m mark for the first time, the company claims - a 20% rise on the previous year. Sales for the first half of the year are up 9%, with a 26% lift for international sales.

"We have finalised a three-pronged strategy," says chief exec Geoff Quinn, "for our medium-term development: maintain and build on our outstanding leading market position in the UK; build our international business over the next four years with sales equivalent to the UK's today; and, build out a fully integrated multi-channel sales platform to ensure we optimise the opportunities across all our markets."

Finally, interims for the first six months for Phoenix IT Group. Group revenues have slipped from £138.4m (in 2010) to £132.3m with group underlying profits falling to £16.3m, compared to £17.3m this time last year.

"The Group has delivered a satisfactory set of results," says company boss David Courtley, "in line with the Board's expectations, against a background of challenging economic conditions. This has been achieved through sustaining gross margins and tightly controlling costs."

"The challenging macroeconomic environment and longer sales cycle have impacted the rate of new business wins in the last few months. Consequently the Board's current expectation is for a second half result in line with the first half of the current financial year."

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