Updates from Aberdeen Asset Management, Kentz
The FTSE 100 climbed just four points on Friday, ending the day at 6,392. BT Group was the day's biggest riser, up +3.91% while Burberry Group saw the biggest confidence dip, down -4.11%.
Overnight in Asia, stocks pushed higher on news of a Cyprus bailout deal with the Nikkei 225 climbing +1.69% to 12,546 and the Hang Seng up +0.60%, to 22,247.
First off, a pre-close trading update from Aberdeen Asset Management for the six months up to 31 March. Assets under management as of 28 February 2013 lift to £212.3bn (31 December 2012: £193.4bn) with net new business inflows of £3.5bn in the two month period under review.
"Despite the strong start to the year for markets generally," says chief exec Martin Gilbert, "economic problems remain and the investment environment is likely to be challenging for some time to come. However, we believe our fundamental approach to investing will continue to serve our clients well."
Aberdeen Asset Management saw its Buy rating reiterated by Shore Capital Stockbrokers in a report issued last week; UBS AG also re-stated their Buy Rating.
Next, full year numbers from Irish oil and gas player Kentz Corporation. Revenue, including from joint ventures, are up +6% to US$1.56bn (2011:US$1.47bn) with EBITDA up +22% to US$118.5m (2011: US$97.5m). Pre-tax profit climbs +32% to US$104.8m (2011: US$79.4m).
The holding company of the Kentz engineering and construction group says there's a proposed final dividend of nine US cents per share; the total 2012 dividend payment of 14.5 cents per share is up +18% on 2011. The stock rose sharply recently following an Imperial Oil contract - thought to be worth as much as $200m - for a Canadian tar sands project.
"The past twelve months has been another successful period for Kentz where we have continued to expand our operations," says chief exec Christian Brown, "develop new client relationships and provide services for some of the world's largest and most prestigious projects."
Lastly, a trading update from technical products and services player Diploma. Group revenues are expected to be 10% ahead of the same period last year it claims, helped by a decent contribution from businesses acquired in the past 12 months.
Operating margins have been cut in line with expectations from record levels last year it warns though. Diploma recently had had its Buy rating restated by Panmure Gordon though Canaccord analysts, last month, reiterated their Hold judgement.
"On an underlying basis, after adjusting for currency effects and acquisitions, revenues are expected to increase by 3% against strong prior year comparatives," said the company.