Updates from ABF, Carpetright and ARM

The FTSE 100 slipped -0.10%, down six points, to 6,280 yesterday. Randgold Resources was the day's biggest gainer, up +4.42%, while Evraz, down -4.14%, went in the opposing direction.

Overnight there were subdued numbers from Asia with the Nikkei down -0.33% to 13,524 and the Hang sliding -1.09% to 22,085.

First off, maker of Allinson bread (not to mention owner of Kingsmill, Silver Spoon, Ryvita, Jordans and Sunblest), Associated British Foods (ABF). ABF says Group revenue for the 24 weeks up to 2 March is up +10% to £6,333m while adjusted operating profit climbs +20% to £496m.

"This is an excellent set of results," says chief exec George Weston, "with adjusted operating profit up +20%, a stronger cash flow and a year-on-year reduction in net debt. We are committed to the long-term development of our businesses through investment."

As previously indicated, the profit improvement in this financial year is expected to be weighted towards the first half says ABF. "Accordingly the board has decided to declare an interim dividend of 9.35p, an increase of 10% on last year."

Next, a quarterly trading update - no exact sales figures - from high street bellwether Carpetright. Like-for-like sales in the UK increased +5.6% with total sales in the UK up +4.4%. Excluding an expected contraction in sales from wholesale, core UK retail business would have reported like-for-like sales growth of +6.7%.

"Whilst the recent cold spring weather has been positive to our sales, we believe this performance reflects the continued success of our programme of self-help initiatives," said chief exec Darren Shapland (he's talking store refurbs and more laminate flooring).

But it's not so pretty in Europe for the company: in local currency terms, like-for-like sales in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland decreased -10.2%. Overall, Group results remain in line with expectations says Carpetright.

Lastly, chip maker ARM Holdings. For the quarter up to 31 March revenues are hiked +28% to £170.3m compared to £132.5m this time last year. Pre-tax profits come in at £89.4m, +44% up. Earnings per share rise to 5.31p compared to 3.36p.

Additionally, ARM's royalty revenues have outpaced the semiconductor industry says the company. "This outperformance has been driven by market share gains in key end markets including digital TVs and microcontrollers. In addition, the growth in smartphones and tablets continues to benefit ARM."

ARM claims 2.6 billion ARM-based chips were shipped, up +35% year-on-year with strong year-on-year shipment growth across all segments; mobile chips are up +25%, embedded up +50% year-on-year, it claims.