Updates from Royal Mail and Petrofac

The FTSE 100 ended almost 40 points higher overall on the week by Friday's end, helped by fresh optimism on a Syrian crisis US-Russian deal. The FTSE 100 finished the day at 6,583. Calgon and Clearasil maker Reckitt Benckiser was the day's biggest climber, up +2.29% to 4554p.

Overnight, the Nikkei 225 climbs +0.12% to 14,404. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We start with preliminary numbers from Petra Diamonds for the year up to 30 June. Revenue climbs +27% to US$402.7 million (FY 2012: US$316.9 million) with profit from mining activity up +34% to US$138.6 million (FY 2012: US$103.3 million).

Adjusted net profit after tax climbs +22% to US$48.3 million (FY 2012: US$39.6 million). Petra says production is also up +21% to 2,668,305 carats (FY 2012: 2,208,862 carats). There's also capex invested of US$198.3 million (FY 2012: US$138.0 million).

"We have kept our costs," says boss Johan Dippenaar, "and capital expenditure well controlled, maintaining our robust financial position. We continue to deliver on our strategy to build a world-class diamond group, with production of circa 3 million carats expected for FY 2014, rising to 5 million carats by FY 2019."

Next, gas and oil services operator Petrofac has signed a US$120m agreement with Petronas, the Malaysian National Oil Company, for the operation and management of two high-spec training facilities.

Under the phase of the agreement, Petrofac will undertake ongoing management and operation of the two upstream facilities, capable of training 500 delegates a year, for the next five years with an option to extend for a further two years.

Petrofac claims the operations and management components of the agreement, to be delivered by Petrofac Training Services (PTS), marks the largest contract win in the history of PTS.

Finally, it increasingly looks like a strike ballot of Royal Mail workers will see industrial action while the Government readies the operation to float on the stock market. The full outcome of the ballot will be known on 3 October. Strikes may follow.

The boss of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Billy Hayes has told the BBC he is highly confident of a Yes vote to strike on pay and conditions. Around 125,000 members of staff are being balloted.

The Government hope to float the Royal Mail on the London Stock Exchange by the end of October latest. Meanwhile it looks likely that a Royal Mail dividend of around £133m would be issued to investors by the middle of next summer."

Read Full Story