Updates from Tesco, Sage and AMEC

More pressure on the FTSE 100, down almost 63 points on Tuesday to 6,532. CRH saw the biggest slide, down -4.42% to 1471p, a 68 point dip. Melrose Industries slumped -3.58% to 280.30p, down seven points.

The Dow Jones ended the day down 94 points at 15,914, or -0.59% lower, the third day in a row US stocks have fallen. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The big news this morning is a further third quarter sales dip for Tesco. Underlying like-for-like sales slipped -1.5% for the grocery giant. The numbers will disappoint some investors given the £1bn turnaround initiated by boss Philip Clark last year.

"Continuing pressures on UK household finances," says Clark, "have made the grocery market more challenging for everyone since the summer and our third quarter performance reflects this."

The average spending power of a typical UK household is around 10% below its 2007 peak in real terms says Tesco. Like-for-like sales in Asia also were hit, down 5.1%. Sales at Tesco Bank though increased 0.9%.

Next, Sage. The software giant says full year numbers up to 30 September sees underlying operating profits climb 2% to £375.8m from while basic earnings per share climb 12% to 22.27p. Revenues climb +3% to £1,340.2m.

There's a proposed final ordinary dividend per share of 7.44p per share (2012: 7.02p per share), resulting in a total ordinary dividend of 11.32p per share (2012: 10.68p per share), an increase of 6%.

"We remain confident," says chief exec Guy Berruyer, "of achieving our target of 6% organic revenue growth in 2015, and anticipate further progress during the year ahead."

Finally, engineering player Amec says it has landed a $124m five-year contract by Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company for their Umm Lulu Phase-2 full field development projects offshore United Arab Emirates (UAE), creating 100 extra jobs.

The complex will comprise six bridge-linked platforms including gathering, separation, gas treatment and water disposal facilities, utilities and accommodation modules. The work is being delivered from the UAE.

"Further expansion in the Middle East is a key part of AMEC's growth strategy," said Ross Gibson, Amec's operations director, Gulf and North Africa. "It is good to see we are winning repeat business based on our previous performance and strength of our local capabilities."

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