Updates from Sports Direct and 3i

Updated: 
The FTSE 100 finished +0.24% higher yesterday at 6,571, up 15 points. M&S was the biggest gainer, up +2.84% to 473p while Land Securities fell hardest, down -2.53% to 945p. Imperial Tobacco wasn't far behind, down -2.49% to 2197p.

Overnight, the Nikkei 225 climbs +1.20% higher to 14,789 while the Hang Seng is down -0.17% to 21,336.
We commence with an interim from the London Stock Exchange Group. Group performance sees revenue climb +39% on Q1 last year at £249.7 million, reflecting growth across all business divisions. Revenue is up +8% on an organic, constant currency basis.

As far as Information Services goes, revenue climbs +11% with continued good growth from FTSE (up 8% on organic and constant currency basis). Revenue climbs +28% for Technology Services, reflecting a strong performance from MillenniumIT (up +18% on organic and constant currency basis).

"We are also pleased," says group chief exec Xavier Rolet, "to report the first revenue contribution from LCH.Clearnet, which showed year on year top line growth, including strong performance from the SwapClear IRS service as it continues to gain good traction."

Next, prelim numbers for the full year up to 28 April from Sports Direct International, and a record-breaking year is claimed. Group Revenue is up +20.9% to £2,186m with "significant growth" across all divisions. UK Sports Retail like-for-like stores gross contribution increased +11.2%.

Underlying Group EBITDA is up +22.1% to £287.9m (52 weeks FY12: £235.7m) while reported profit before tax up +40.0% to £207.2m (52 weeks FY12: £148.0m).

"Trading since the period end," says boss Dave Forsey, "has remained strong and is ahead of management's expectations for the first quarter. Whilst 2013 is a non-tournament year, there is no doubt that our compelling offer of exceptional quality and unbeatable value continues to resonate well with our customers."

Lastly, an interim from 3i Group. The venture capital player claims a busy run of divestment with £443 million of realisations completed or announced in the first quarter of FY 2014 which should distribute 15%-20% of gross realisation proceeds.

The total amount in its distribution calculation for full year 2014 is £665 million, including the £222 million for Mold-Masters received last year. The returns and associated growth in NAV are also positive, 3i says, and reflect "continued underlying growth in the earnings of the Private Equity portfolio, despite uncertain macro conditions".

3i says it has started to see a pick-up in interesting investment opportunities across its Private Equity platform, particularly in the US and more recently in Northern Europe."

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