Updates from Rolls-Royce, Fidessa and Balfour Group

FTSE 100 shares recovered by +0.57% on Friday; the index finished at 6,263 with GKN the biggest riser, up +3.90% while Imperial Tobacco Group saw a -2.00% slip.

On Friday the Dow Jones moved almost 50 points higher to 13,992. While Asian markets have been closed for holidays, the Australian S&P/ASX 200 index saw a -0.2% overnight loss, down to 4,959.5.

A quiet day on the corporate news front. Rolls-Royce - it announces full-year numbers later this week - announced this morning it is has been awarded a $97.3 million contract from the US Air Force to support its C-130J transport fleet in 2013. The contract covers sustainment services for the Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engines.

The work includes logistics and program management support, engineering services, spares and technical data support. The US Air Force contract is in the sixth option year, providing a variety of support for the fleet of C-130J aircraft.

"We are proud," says Paul Craig, Rolls-Royce, President - Defence Customer Services, "that the US Air Force has again chosen Rolls-Royce to deliver our innovative and cost effective MissionCare™ support. Rolls-Royce has worked hard to develop service support that aligns our efforts with customer requirements for mission readiness."

Next, financial trading player Fidessa Group, and a difficult growth year. In 2012, Fidessa saw revenues of £278.6 million, compared to £278.3 million the previous year. The changes in foreign currency exchange rates provided a small benefit to revenue and at constant currency it would have reduced by 1%, says the company.

On a regional basis, Asia showed the strongest revenue growth with an increase of 12% and accounted for 17% of total revenue, whilst the Americas grew by 5% and accounted for 38% of total revenue; Europe decreased by 7% and accounted for 45% of total revenue.

"Conditions in 2012," said the company, "were more difficult than expected with the global value of equity trading falling by around 20% on top of the already depressed levels seen in 2011. This has meant further stress for our customers resulting in continued attrition and price pressure, therefore making it challenging for us to deliver the growth levels we have been used to."

Finally, Balfour Beatty claims it has been appointed preferred bidder for Aberystwyth University's £45 million student accommodation project. The 32-year concession contract involves the design, build and maintenance of student accommodation facilities for Aberystwyth University.

Balfour Beatty has some presence in the UK student accommodation market, with design and build contracts currently totalling over £120 million.

"We are delighted," says Balfour Beatty CEO Designate, Andrew McNaughton, "to have been selected as preferred bidder for this long-term contract in the student accommodation sector, our second success in this area in five months. We look forward to working with the local supply chain to deliver this project."