Updates from easyJet, Ericsson and Greka Drilling

Adrian Holliday
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Shire, easyJet, Greka Drilling
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Shire, easyJet, Greka Drilling

The FTSE 100 soared to 7,090 points on Friday, an all-time high. Shire and Aberdeen Asset Management took significant climbs, up 4.8% and 4.6% (to 5680p and 507.50p respectively). ITV shares climbed 3.5% to 270.60p and there was a 3.1% lift too for Barratt, up 3.1% to 558p.

Stateside, there was strong support for General Electric shares, up more than 10%, after it confirmed it was selling its lending arm. Overall, the Dow Jones was up almost 300 points on the week.

A quiet day for big-name corporate news. easyJet says it has appointed Andrew Findlay, currently chief financial officer (CFO) of Halfords, as their own CFO. Findlay will join the easyJet as a director and CFO by the end of October 2015.

Before the (new) Halfords role Findlay was Director of Finance, Tax and Treasury at Marks & Spencer; he also held senior finance roles at the London Stock Exchange and Cable & Wireless, both in the UK and US.

He is, says easyJet boss Carolyn McCall, "part of the leadership team at Halfords which has created a much more customer centric and profitable business. Andrew is a great fit for easyJet and I am sure he will add a lot of value to the airline."

Next, Ericsson says it has been selected to provide the online video platform to a live TV subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service being developed by Bonnier Broadcasting.

The Nordic next-generation online TV services launches later this year. From launch Bonnier Group content - including a mix of sports, local and international drama series, sitcoms and Swedish and international feature films - will be available on-demand and live.

The multi-year deal will see Ericsson provide a number of managed services including content management and preparation, digital rights management, subscriber management for multiple devices and platforms.

Lastly,Greka Drilling. Independent oil and gas driller in China says annual revenues were worth $24.4m (2013: US$30.5m) with second half revenues significantly above H1 2014 revenues.

Losses before tax widened to US$5.3m (2013: profit US$1.1m) due to investment in Indian operations and contracted drilling moved by client into 2015 says Greka; year-end cash and bank deposits of US$8.0m (including restricted cash) compared to US$16.1m in 2013.

"During the year management," says Greka, "focused its attention on personnel and operational optimization which was well reflected in improved drilling accuracy and efficiency. In addition, we successfully started the operations in India which adds an important geography to our footprint."

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