Pick of the early market news

It was a subdued start of the week for the markets. The FTSE 100 gave away -4.47 points to finish the day at 5,961 points. RBS rose 3.66% while Croda International sank almost 3%, with falls also from CRH and National Grid.

Overnight, Asian markets have slipped after a bout of profit-taking, with some resource-companies on the defensive.
We start Tuesday with final - and strong - numbers from office space player Regus. Group revenues are up 11.8% to £1,162.6m with operating profit soaring 112% to £50.6m. Net company cash stands at £188.3m and the company anticipates an increase of the final dividend, up 14%, to 2.0p, making a full year dividend of 2.9p.

"The continuing strength of our mature business is especially pleasing, with operating profit up 66% to £107.7m, and significant free cash flow generation of £117.1m, up 53%," said Mark Dixon, Regus chief exec. "I am also heartened with the positive EBIT contribution made by our 2010 openings in the second half of the year."

Dixon added: "The Group continues to see significant opportunities in the structural move toward flexible work and as such we remain committed to building a network of 2,000 locations by 2014, of which we anticipate 200 will open in 2012."

Next, prelim numbers from Cairn Energy. A challenging year saw exploration costs rise with an operating loss from operations of $1.1bn. Exploration expenses amounted to $942m while administration were down slightly at $33m.

However 2011 earnings per ordinary share leapt to 740.86 cents from 143.72 cents in 2010 with the Group turning a profit from discontinued operations of $5,755m. "Cairn is well positioned," said Simon Thomson, CEO, "to create significant value from transformational exploration, within a well balanced portfolio of exploration and production assets."

Lastly, final results from Guernsey-based UK Commercial Property Trust. Net asset value per share of slips to 75.5p as at 31 December 2011 (2010 - 77.0p) while the property portfolio has increased 1.0% on a like for like basis, offset predominantly by acquisition costs on new properties and movements in swap valuations.

Chris Hill, chairman of UKCPT, said they continued to make "solid progress across its operations, including making significant, accretive acquisitions. At a portfolio level, UKCPT continues to perform well, with low voids, a very high rental collection rate and a strong tenant base."

Read Full Story