Updates from JD Sports and Smiths Group
The FTSE 100 slipped almost 12 points to 6,792.2 on Tuesday. The heaviest faller was Sports Direct Int, giving away 3.77% to 664p while SABMiller - under huge buy-out interest - lost 2.11% though after recent big climbs. The biggest riser was Babcock Int, up 1.92% to 1060p.
On the other hand, the Dow Jones spurted more than 100 points ahead, hitting 17,131.9 despite some concern about potential Fed interest rate hikes. The Russian rouble falls however to a new low - 38.7 per dollar.
We start with new numbers from Smiths Group. For the full year, revenues dipped 5% to £2,952m while operating profits sink 10% to £504m. Basic earnings per share slips 12% to 81.8p.
Smiths haven't been helped by currency gusts: there's an FX impact of £43m on operating profit (translation of £27m and transaction of £16m); Smiths Detection's performance was "disappointing" hit by a one-off charge of £30m.
"We remain cautious," says chief exec Phillip Bowman, "about sectors such as healthcare, homeland security and defence, which are subject to government funding constraints, although there are signs that the defence market is beginning to stabilise."
Next, Blacks and Milletts owner, JD Sports. The high street retailer says half-year revenues climb 27% to £721.4m with operating profit soaring more than 100% to £20.9m. Like-for-like store sales growth across the combined European stores climb 13%.
The interim dividend is upped 3.4% from 1.1125p to 1.1500p. Fashion continues to disappoint though, albeit trading more positively in the second quarter says JD Sports (the second half of the year is traditionally stronger).
"I am...pleased with the positive progress in our Outdoor business," says exec chairman Peter Cowgill, "particularly since the move to our central facilities was only completed in July last year."
Lastly, IG Group. The online trader says revenues in the first quarter came in at £85.6 million, 9% behind the same period last year The first three months of the company's year were particularly quiet in the financial markets, with volumes and volatility close to historic lows.
In the UK the 8% drop in active client numbers was partially offset by an increase in average revenue per client. Elsewhere weak forex markets hit Japan and Singapore with revenue down by around 30%, partially offset by strong year-on-year growth in South Africa.
IG Group says they're applying "significant effort to enhancing and maximising its mobile offering across the globe and to developing and refining its web presence."
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