Updates from Lloyds, Rentokil Initial and Virgin Money
The FTSE 100 part-clawed Wednesday's losses back though the 14.3 point rise was diminutive. The FTSE 100 ended Thursday at 6,960.6 with Royal Mail seeing a 5.2% surge to 467p. However Centrica and ITV shares took pressure, down 4.5% and 2.7% (to 255.40p and 253.6p respectively). RBS was also down heavily following its new quarterly numbers, slipping 3.1% to 338.50p.
Things were rather uglier Stateside with an almost 200-point plunge for the Dow Jones - its biggest dip in two weeks - to 17,840.5 following a rash of dismal corporate earnings including some biotech disappointment.
We start the morning with news from Lloyds; there's underlying profits of £2,178m, a one-fifth hike on the first quarter of 2014. Total income is up 3% to £4,644m. The loss relating to the TSB sale came in at £660m.
Better news on the PPI front - no extra provision put aside in the first quarter. Lloyds also claims that over the last 12 months it has lent an additional net £6.3bn, including £1.1bn to SMEs.
Total loans and advances to customers were £455bn at 31 March 2015, 5 per cent lower than at 31 December 2014, principally reflecting the sale of TSB.
Let's move on to rat-catcher Rentokil Initial. Revenue from ongoing operations increased by 6.2% in Q1 of which 2.5% was organic growth and 3.7% from acquisitions. In total, first quarter revenues were worth £417.8m.
Rentokil claims the year has started well, driven by the UK, North America, Asia, Pacific and Latin America. While conditions remain tough in France and the Netherlands, ongoing revenue in the Europe region was in line with last year it says.
"With this encouraging start to the year," says chief exec Andy Ransom, "we are on track to achieve our 2015 revenue, profit and cash expectations."
Lastly, Virgin Moneyand an apparent strong trading performance for the first quarter. Gross mortgage lending is up nearly 34% on Q1 2014 to £1.6bn. Net mortgage lending climbs 82% on the same period to £664mn.
Chief exec Jayne-Anne Gadhia says Virgin now has the capability to support its own line of credit cards, marking "the critical next step" in the development of a major business line.
"We are confident we can continue to build on the strong foundations we have laid for the business, and remain focused on delivering growth, quality and returns for the benefit of all of our stakeholders."
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