Updates from Tesco and Premier Oil

The FTSE 100 dipped almost 28 points on Tuesday, ending at 6,836.3. Anglo American shares came under pressure, down 2.25% to 1458p while Morrisons share slid further south, down 2.11% to 194.40p. William Hill also came in for 2.10% decline.

Across the water, the Dow Jones lifted just five points to 16,722 while European shares drifted. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The big corporate news this morning is a 3.7% slump in like-for-like Tesco sales for the three months to 24 May. The third successive quarter of worsening sales.

"The first quarter," said the company, "has also seen a continuation of the challenging consumer trends in the UK, reflecting still subdued levels of spending in addition to the more structural changes taking place across the retail industry."

In that last clause Tesco means the nibbling away of its market share by Aldi and Lidl, a structural change, as Tesco admits, likely to be long term. Including international sales group sales growth dipped 0.9%.

At time of writing Tesco's share price was 297.45p - a 23% fall from its 386.40p year high.

Next Synergy Health, a specialist outsourced support services, reveals preliminary numbers for the year up to 30 March. Adjusted operating profit climbs 5.3% to £380.5m while there's reported revenue growth of 5.3%.

Return on average capital employed increases 12.0% (2013: 11.6%) while the total dividend is up 10%. Contracts totalled £48 million per annum, adding £0.5 billion to the forward order book, now at £1.5 billion.

"The continued internationalisation of our services," says boss Richard Steeves, "is broadening the available market, whilst our new structure, new talent and new service range will contribute towards a faster rate of growth."

Finally, a drilling update from Premier Oil. Premier says its Singa Laut-1 well in Tuna PSC offshore Indonesia has penetrated 177 feet of net gas-bearing reservoir quality sands. Gas gradients have been measured and gas samples recovered.

Premier has also signed a rig contract and rig sharing agreement for its Falkland Islands exploration and appraisal campaign which is expected to commence in Q2 2015. The campaign will comprise of at least four wells.

"The Singa Laut discovery has increased our gross resource estimate on the Tuna Block to a potential 100 mmboe," says exploration director Andrew Lodge, "that Ratu Gajah has provided further valuable information about the Lama play and that we have secured our high impact exploration programme for 2015 in the Falklands."

Synergy Health
Premier Oil
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