Updates from Tate & Lyle and QinetiQ


Most markets were down yesterday. The FTSE 100 saw a -0.18% dip to 6,387. TUI Travel posted the biggest lift, up +3.99% while Prudential took the biggest hit, down -4.28%. Elsewhere the German Dax saw a -1.15% tumble.

Overnight in Asia, sentiment was broadly down with the the Nikkei 225 falling -1.26% and the Hang Seng down -0.88%.

We commence with steady dividend payer Tate & Lyle. Since its interim management statement in February, the Group claims it continues to perform "solidly" in line with expectations and expects modest progress for the full financial year.

"In Speciality Food Ingredients," it said in a statement, "we will achieve solid sales growth for the full year with the rate of volume growth in the second half slightly ahead of that achieved during the first half." Sucralose volumes for the full year will be slightly lower.

Specialty Food Ingredients takes around 60% of the company's operating profits. The strengthening of the US dollar will see the company's net debt being higher; net debt at 31 March 2013 is also expected to climb slightly.

Next, a trading statement from QinetiQ. The defence player, it claims, remains on course to deliver on expectations for the financial year (ending 31 March); UK Services continues to perform well it says, benefiting from a more competitive cost base and project execution.

But in the US, market conditions remains tough with order flow and visibility "much lower than usual as customers defer decisions due to continued budget uncertainty. As highlighted in the Group's IMS, the business is proactively managing its cost base ahead of the implementation of sequestration in order to maintain competitive rates."

The stock has risen from 179p in January to 206p. QinetiQ says it continues to focus on property and infrastructure costs, as well as slashing management layers; this will result in an exceptional charge this financial year of approximately $25m.

Lastly, FTSE 250 player Electrocomponents. In a trading statement Group underlying sales growth is expected to be around 1% for the last quarter. Group eCommerce sales growth will be around 8%, giving Group eCommerce sales share in the quarter of around 57%, the company claims.

During the second half, Group operating margin has responded positively to actions to improve gross margin and control operating costs the company claims. However North American sales growth is down -3.0% for the full year and flat in the last quarter; UK sales growth for the full year is up +4.0%.

"I am pleased with the progress we have made implementing the new global organisation structure," says chief exec Ian Mason. "This structure will enable the development of a truly global product offer and the formation of a single global marketing approach. Over time this should drive faster customer acquisition and allow us to accelerate the implementation of strategic initiatives."