Pick of the early market news
With Greece on the cusp of a €130bn debt deal, the German Dax and French Cac 40 were also big gainers (1.42% and 1.37%).
We commence with wireless tech specialist CSR. Reported revenues are up to $244m for the last quarter (compared to $184.8m in previous quarter) but profits have been snipped, as have margins (down to 48.7% from 51%).
Crucially for the year, unerlying operating profits have been hit hard, down to $49.2m compared to almost $80m the previous year. However CSR claims they 2011 ended with a strong balance sheet and $278m in treasury deposits, cash and cash equivalents.
"Given the strength of our financial position, our confidence in our future prospects and our focus on delivering returns to shareholders, the Board is recommending an increased final dividend," said the company in a statement.
Next, full year results for Belgian insurance operator Ageas. The company has posted a €578m loss for 2011 as a whole as sizeable impairments on its Greek sovereign bond exposure mounted. In Life, inflows in Europe declined following "challenging market circumstances" however in Asia "the outstanding inflow levels of 2010 have been repeated."
"2011 has been marked by a tough financial environment," said CEO Bart De Smet. "Our results were severely impacted by impairment charges on Greek sovereigns, equities and on goodwill related to the Hong Kong activity. In Non-Life, our UK activities reported impressive growth."
De Smet added: "However, our operational results showed good improvement, in particular in the UK. Combined ratios improved across all segments, underscoring the importance of our strategic choice for a balanced portfolio of activities."
Lastly, a trading update from JJB Sports. Though margins are better, the all-important like-for-like sales are under pressure. Group like-for-like sales for the 5 weeks ending 29 January 2012 decreased 5.7% though like-for-like cash gross margin increased by 32.1% in the same period. Boss Keith Jones describes the consumer environment as "extremely challenging".
"Cumulative like-for-like sales," said the company, "in the second half of our financial year for the 26 weeks ended 29 January 2012 have decreased by 7.6% compared to a decrease of 17.9% in the first half (the 26 weeks ended 31 July 2011)." It added: "Cumulative like for like sales for the 52 weeks ended 29 January 2012 have decreased by 13.1% and like for like cash gross margin has decreased by 22.0%. At 29 January 2012 net debt was £11.3million."