Updates from Bovis Homes and Rotork

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The FTSE 100 slipped 46 points to 6,375 on Friday. The biggest overall gainer was Travis Perkins, climbing +2.03% to 1556p. But slipping substantially in the other direction was Glencore Xstrata, down -6.52% to 256p. Antofagasta was also down -6.05%.

Overnight, the Hang Seng was down -2.12% to 20,413.

First, a trading update from housing player, Bovis. Trading in the first half of 2013 is described as "strong" with a 40% increase in private reservations and 2,767 new consented plots for Bovis' land bank.

Average sales price on completions increased +15% to £188,500 (H1 2012: £164,400). Net private sales rate per site per week improved +26% to 0.59 (H1 2012: 0.47), benefiting from stronger home buyer sentiment, says Bovis, supported by the Help to Buy scheme.

"The effect," it says, "of greater volume, increasing average sales price and improving housing profit margin provides good visibility that, based on stable market conditions continuing, return on capital employed can be further improved in 2013 to circa 10%."

Next, actuator manufacturer and flow control company Rotork says it has snapped up the issued capital of Flowco Ltd, a valve and actuator service company based near Bath.

"Flowco," says Rotork chief exec Peter France, "will further enhance our service offering in the southern part of the UK market. Flowco has excellent relationships with its water utility customer base who value the responsiveness of its service offering."

Rotork shares have ranged from 2027p to 2097p in the last year. At the time of press they were trading at 2797p. Espirito Santo Investment Bank Research recently issued a Buy rating on the stock, with a 3050p target price.

Lastly, Hikma Pharmaceuticals has issued a market update since its lasted its interim in mid May. Its generics business has continued to benefit from strong doxycycline sales it says.

"Given the excellent performance of doxycycline, we are raising our full year guidance for this business to revenue of around $200 million with a reported operating margin of above 30%."

Its branded business is on track, Hikma says, to meet current full year guidance of around 9% revenue growth (11% in constant currency), with adjusted operating margin in line with 2012.