Updates from Apple, De La Rue and Airea

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

Most stock markets fell yesterday with the FTSE 100 down 0.99%, or 66.5 points, to 6,639.7. Financial services operator Hargreaves Lansdown took the biggest hit, down 4.20% to 923.50p. Anglo American shares also fell heavily, down 3.70% to 1407p. There was also a 3.68% fall for Hammerson, slipping to 563p. The only notable riser was easyJet, up 2.66% to 1350p.

US stocks tumbled with the Dow Jones falling almost 265 points - a 1.54% drop - to 16,945 on a mixture of interest rate anxiety and Middle East worry. Apple shares were hit hard, down 3.8%.

We start, then, with the sharp bite on Apple shares. A 3.8% fall yesterday was lead by anxiety on a pulled software update; reports of new iPhones bending in some owners pockets didn't help investor sentiment.

Apple did apologise to customers after the iOS 8 update left some iPhone users unable to use their devices. Yesterday's declines could "be more of a dip that offers a buying opportunity rather than the start of a bigger slump," Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG, told the BBC.

However other tech players like Intel and Microsoft also saw heavy falls yesterday. The tech-dominated NASDAQ finished close to 2% down yesterday at 4,466.75.

Carl Icahn, Who Can't Stop Buying Apple Shares, Just Bought $500 Million More
Carl Icahn, Who Can't Stop Buying Apple Shares, Just Bought $500 Million More

Next, commercial printer De La Rue. It expects underlying operating profit and underlying profit before tax will be approximately £20m lower than for 2013/14 (2013/14 underlying operating profit £89.3m, underlying profit before tax £77.3m).

Based on orders and current trends from Currency and Solutions divisions it expects the current difficult market conditions to continue in the 2015/16 financial year. That may mean a dividend cut; an interim dividend of 8.3p per share is forecast for now.

"The market leading banknote printer remains a strong, profitable and cash generative business," said chairman Philip Rogerson. "We will continue to pursue efficiency gains, invest in the business and in R&D for the future."

Lastly, new numbers from flooring company Airea for the year up to 30 June. Revenue for the period was £23.3m (2013: £25.0m) reflecting "difficult" trading performance in the first half of the year it says. Operating profit before exceptional items was £721,000 (2013: £709,000).

Operating profit after exceptional items was £606,000 (2013: £709,000). The global nature of the group's business means it is exposed to forex volability - the most significant being the euro says Airea.

"In order to protect itself against currency fluctuations the group has taken advantage of the opportunity to naturally hedge euro revenue with euro payments by switching European suppliers from sterling to euro prices."

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