Updates from Cranswick, Petrofac and LondonMetric

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

The FTSE 100 re-crossed the 6,700 threshold on Friday, ending at 6,727, up almost 50 points on Thursday. AngloAmerican and RioTinto took the biggest climbs, up 6.7% and 6.1% (to 1380p and 3042p respectively), with TullowOil up 5.8% to 505p. The biggest loser was ImperialTobacco, down 1.3% to 2885p.

Stateside, the Dow Jones pushed 33.2 points higher to 17,719 helped by a 4.2% surge from Caterpillar plus positive noises from China on lower interest rates.

We start the new week with the UK's largest sausage maker, Cranswick. It reports six-month revenues of £481.5mn (2013: £483.5mn) with adjusted Group operating margin of 5.4 per cent (2013: 4.9 per cent). Adjusted profit before tax climbs 11.4 per cent to £25.8mn (2013: £23.2mn).

Cranswick's dividend per share climbs 6% per cent higher at 10.6 pence (2013: 10.0 pence). "With...a continually evolving range of products along with a robust financial position," says the company, "the Board remains confident in the continued long term success and development of the business".

Oriel Securities recently restated their Add rating on Britain's largest pork processor. The company recently took on premium poultry player Benson Park.

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Iran to Push for Saudi Oil Output Cut at OPEC: Mehr News Agency
Iran to Push for Saudi Oil Output Cut at OPEC: Mehr News Agency

Next, Petrofac. The oil and gas player says it expects full year 2014 net profit towards the lower end of the US$580mn to US$600mn range. There remains order intake of US$10bn year to date and a backlog of approximately US$21bn.

The lower oil price environment and expectations of delivery on certain integrated energy services projects, coupled with anticipated outcome on its Laggan-Tormore fields is likely to result in net profit in 2015 of around US$500 million.

"Our project portfolio," says boss Ayman Asfari, "is in good shape, but it is clear that on a small number of projects our execution has fallen short of the high standards we set for ourselves."

Lastly, LondonMetricProperty says it has exchanged contracts on the sale of Bishop Auckland Shopping Park to Standard Life Investments for £23.6 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.27%.

The former Focus unit and adjacent land was acquired for £2.3 million and developed by Metric Property Investments between 2012 and 2013 at a total cost of £15.8 million.

"We will look to monetise our investments," says Andrew Jones, Chief Executive of LondonMetric, "where we have completed asset management and development initiatives, with deep confidence of deploying the capital into other opportunities."

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