Updates from Balfour Beatty and Carlsberg

Adrian Holliday
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 recovery put on a mite more weight again on Tuesday, up 38 points to 6,779.3. Biggest beneficiaries were Kingfisher, up 3.74% to 310.60p and Sports Direct, up 3.34% to 726.50p. 3i Group also rose strongly, up 3% to 392p. However miners came off worse for wear with BHP Billiton and Fresnillo enduring steep falls, down 4.93% and 2.99% respectively.

Elsewhere the Dow Jones appears close to returning across the 17,000 threshold again, up 80 points yesterday at 16,919.5 helped by retailers reporting robust earnings.

Firstly, the Balfour Beatty-Carillion drama continues to run. The building player has formally rejected the latest takeover offer from Carillion. Earlier this week Carillion upped its offer, valuing Balfour Beatty at more than £2bn.

However Balfour says the offer would cut the scale of its UK construction business when it is poised to benefit from a recovery in the market, it claims - plus the continued intention to terminate the sale of engineering organisation Parsons Brinckerhoff.

"Accordingly," says Balfour, "the Board has unanimously concluded that the proposal is not in the best interests of its shareholders and has decided to reject the proposal."

Next brewer Carlsberg says profits are under pressure because of the fractious relationship with Russia. Reported operating profit for 2014 is expected to decline to low-to mid-single digit percentages says the beer maker.

Reported adjusted net profit looks set to dip by mid-to-high single-digit percentages (previously low-single-digit growth).

"In Eastern Europe, our teams are doing an excellent job mitigating the impact of the current market challenges. Unfortunately, we believe the Eastern European beer markets will be impacted further."

Lastly, pharma player Hikma. It claims group revenue increased 16% to $738 million, driven by the strong performance from its Injectables business in the first half. Group adjusted operating margin rose to 33.2%, up from 29.6%.

Profit attributable to shareholders increased 132% to $169 million it claims. On an adjusted basis, profit climbs 44% to $176 million. Basic EPS is upped 130% to 85.4 cents per share.

"Our injectables business delivered an excellent performance, as we captured a number of attractive market opportunities," says boss Said Darwazah. "I am delighted we have acquired the Bedford [Bedford Laboratories] assets, which will add products, R&D capabilities and capacity to support future growth."

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