Updates from ABF and Galliford Try

The FTSE ended 135 points higher on the week overall at 6,547. Tullow Oil was Friday's biggest individual riser, up +3.58% to 1070p while Sage Group fell the hardest, down -1.79% to 345.80p.

The Dow Jones though fell slightly, down -0.10% to 14,922. Overnight, the Nikkei 225 climbs +2.40% to 14,193. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We commence with a trading update from Associated British Foods (ABF), owner of brands stretching from Allinson bread to Twinings Tea not to mention retailer Primark. The group's adjusted operating profit for the second half, it says, will be ahead of expectations thanks to a strong finish to the year from Primark.

Sales at Primark for the full year are expected to be 22% ahead of last year at actual exchange rates, benefiting from the recent strengthening of the euro, and will be 21% ahead at constant currency.

"This excellent result," says ABF, "was driven by an increase in retail selling space, like-for-like sales growth which we expect to be close to 5% for the full year, and the superior sales densities in the larger new stores."

Next up, a £35m contract for housebuilding and construction group Galliford Try, whose shares are up around +50% on last year. Galliford will build the second phase of the HM Prison & Young Offenders' Institution Parc in Bridgend.

The £35 million contract creates a new house block containing 216 cells accommodating 387 prisoners. A new two storey industrial workshop and education building will be built plus visitor centre and gatehouse. A 350 space car park, extended perimeter walls and security fencing will also be created.

"We are delighted to have been selected again by G4S and the MoJ following the successful completion of phase one at HMP Parc," says chief exec Greg Fitzgerald. "This contract demonstrates the difference our proactive approach to partnering with our clients and delivering their requirements in a competitive market place."

Lastly, commercial property player LondonMetric says it has exchanged on two distribution warehouses in Northamptonshire and Leicester for £23.1 million (net of acquisition costs) reflecting a combined net initial yield of 7.5%.

Following these acquisitions, the LondonMetric distribution portfolio now makes up eight distribution centres with a combined portfolio value of £195.5 million it claims, representing 18% of the Group's portfolio.

"We have now acquired," says chief exec Andrew Jones, "£88 million of distribution property since July this year, which is in line with our on-going strategy to rebalance the portfolio towards distribution opportunities as we continue to grow our rental income and increase our exposure to capital growth opportunities."

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