Updates from WPP, Antofagasta and Hansteen Holdings

Adrian Holliday
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Antofagasta, Hansteen WPP
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Antofagasta, Hansteen WPP

A 50-point drop for the FTSE 100 on Friday, cutting the index down to 6,911.8. Miners RandgoldResources and Fresnillo both suffered 5% falls but there were gains for Weir Group, up 4.2% to 1813p and ITV, up 2.3% to 246.50p. HargreavesLandsdown and Sports DirectInternational saw modest gains.

The Dow Jones in comparison saw a 1.5% drop to 17,856.7 as Fed interest rate worries came to the fore, enough to see strong dips for Johnson & Johnson and P&G, both down 2.3%.

Let's begin this morning in ad-land with WPP, claiming a "record year". Reported revenues climb 4.6% to £11.529bn while profits after tax come in at £1.152bn, up 13.8%. The return on equity climbs 15.0%, up 0.6 percentage points on 2013.

Dividends per share are worth 38.2p, up 11.7% with a pay-out ratio of 45% versus 42% last year. WPP claims a decent start to 2015 with January like-for-like revenues up 6.7%; net sales are up 3.9%.

"In Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe, revenue growth in the fourth quarter was fastest overall," says WPP, "as it was in quarter three, up 16.0% in constant currency and up 6.5% like-for-like."

Next, commercial property investor HansteenHoldings says profit before tax increased 100.9% to £131.2mn (FY 2013: £65.3mn). Total profit increased 41.0% to £65.3mn (FY 2013: £46.3mn).

The full year dividend climbs 4.2% to 5.0p per share (2013: 4.8p per share) while there's also a special dividend of 3p per share. Hansteen says its sold a significant amount of property, releasing capital for more acquisitions.

"These acquisitions, fit our business model perfectly having a high initial yield and a material vacant element," the company claims. Year to date, Hansteen's share price has climbed 8.3% to £116.6p.

Lastly, FTSE 100 miner Antofagasta says disruption to operations from protests in Chile's Choapa valley means that copper production has been reduced by an estimated 5,000 tonnes to date from its Los Pelambres mine.

"Looking forward," says the company, "the impact will depend on when access is fully restored. In the meantime Pelambres is working on plans to mitigate this impact on production over the full year."

Normal access to the mine has not been fully restored and, on 7 March, negotiations stalled, Antofagasta claim. Government authorities are now making efforts to resume talks as soon as possible says the company.

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