Pick of the early market news
Overnight, Asian markets have sunk lower with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average giving away 1.1% and the Hang Seng losing 1%.
First off, a trading statement from broker ICAP. Expectations for full year performance remain in line with guidance - more 'normality' - provided at ICAP's Interim Management Statement on 1 February. However credit markets remain challenging, says the company.
Commodities, oil and gas have performed strongly while performance on ICAP's EBS, its electronic foreign exchange platform, has been affected by quieter market conditions and central bank policies in two of its main currencies, Yen and Swiss Franc.
"ICAP is on track for a robust performance for the year despite the demanding economic environment," says Group chief exec Michael Spencer. "We continue to focus on our operational efficiency. In the last three months we have seen an improvement in risk appetite in some markets. We expect to see a slow move towards more normalised markets as the year progresses."
Next, prelim unaudited 2011 results from steel and miner player Evraz. Price increases helped see consolidated revenues rise 22%, up at US$16,400 million, while consolidated adjusted EBITDA is 23% up to US$2,898 million (+23%). Net profits are down 4% to US$453 million.
Net profits, said chief financial officer Giacomo Baizini, were "negatively affected by a number of one-off items. In H1 it was negatively impacted by US$161 million relating to the incentivised conversion of our 2014 convertible bonds."
"In H2," he adds, "we incurred US$19 million of expenses for the move to the Premium Listing on the London Stock Exchange. Without these items our 2011 net profit would have been US$633 million."
Lastly, a quarterly interim from Domino's Pizza. Topline growth has slowed across the board: for the 13 weeks up to 25 March like-for-like sales in 660 mature stores increased 3.5% (2011: 4.2% in 607 mature stores).
Like-for-like sales increased in the UK by 3.6% (2011: 5.5%) and the Republic of Ireland by 1.7% (2011: -10.5%). Overall, system sales rose 9.0% to £144.2m in the quarter to 25th March (2011: £132.3m).
Overall total online sales for the period were up 44.5% to £59.3m (2011: £41.3m) "and, of this," said the company, "16.4% was taken through one of Domino's many mobile platforms."
In terms of food costs, 69% of the food basket for 2012 is fixed at the same prices as 2011 says Domino's, "so the Company faces fewer cost pressures, providing additional financial stability to franchisees."