Updates from Smiths Group and Greggs

The FTSE 100 gave away -0.26% yesterday, slipping 16 points to 6,441. BAE Systems was Tuesday's biggest gainer, up +2.47% while Rio Tinto took the biggest investor shock, down -5.19%, on more Eurozone concern.

Overnight, Asian stocks came back - particularly Chinese - with the Hang Seng up 0.83% while the Toyko market is closed for a holiday.

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Updates from Smiths Group and Greggs

Earnings between June 2012 - June 2013: $80 million

One of the most popular talkshow hosts on US TV, DeGeneres' show just won an Emmy and her success secured her the final spot in the top ten.

The incredibly long career of the queen of pop seems to have kept Madonna in the top half of the list this year, banking her $125 million in 2013, making her the biggest earner.

Earnings between June 2012 - June 2013: $55 million

Tennis superstar Federer has ten sponsors that altogether pay him more than $40 million per year, making him eighth in this year's list.

Earnings between June 2012 - June 2013: $58 million

Beyonce, or Mrs Carter as she was known on her phenomenally successful world tour, earned million last year with her endorsements from Pepsi and H&M.

Oprah may have ended the 25 year run of her daytime talk show on the ABC network, but hasn't stopped her topping this year's list of most powerful celebrities, despite not having the highest earnings on the list. Oprah earnt $77 million (£50 million) from June 2012 to 2013 according to Forbes.

It seems Bon Jovi can't be held back as he slips into seventh place with his latest stadium tour managing to rake in $3 million per night.

Spielberg, with earnings of $100 million in the last year thanks to blockbuster success Lincoln, was the top man on the list.


We commence with interim numbers for the last six months from Smiths Group. Underlying headline revenue is up +6% to £1,475m with growth across all divisions; headline operating profit is +5% higher but margin affected by increased growth investment says the company.

The dividend is up +6% to 12.50p reflecting stronger cash conversion while basic earnings per share climbs just +1.0% to 40.9p. Emerging market revenues are up +9%, representing 15% of all Group revenues claims Smiths.

"Looking to the second half," says boss Philip Bowman, "we see tough trading conditions as a result of the US medical device tax, slower demand in some parts of John Crane, and the impact of further government budget cuts."

Next, annual prelim numbers from baker Greggs. Total sales says Greggs are up +4.8% to £735m with 100 net new shops opened but like-for-like sales slump -2.7% while pre-tax profit down -2.2% to £51.9m.

Dividend per share rises +1.0% to 19.5p. Greggs, under new leadership from new boss Roger Whiteside, ex Punch Taverns, claims Greggs has reshaped its plans for 2013 by increasing investment in new formats in 'food on the go' and 'local bakery'.

"At the same time," the company said in a statement this morning, "we will continue to develop sales through new shop openings, and make further progress in new markets through our wholesale and franchise agreements."

Lastly FTSE 100 heavyweight Eurasian Natural Resources has released preliminary 2012 numbers. Revenues are down -18% to US$6,320 million with underlying EBITDA slumping by 45% to US$1,887 million. The cost of sales is up +6% to US$3,723 million, a result of higher depreciation.

No final dividend is proposed. On the plus side, the company anticipates an easing of unit cost pressures and advantage from low-cost position in Kazakhstan, it claims. Yesterday Societe Generale researchers slashed their target price from 385p to 325p (currently 316p) on the stock.

"It is disappointing to have to announce write-downs and provisions across a number of the Group's assets," says chief exec Felix Vulis. "Approximately 60% of this charge relates to the Group's alumina business and our onerous contract with RUSAL, which is primarily a reflection of the current state of the aluminium market."

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