Updates from the Co-op, Computacenter and United Drug

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Better news for stock markets yesterday with the FTSE 100 climbing 53 points to 6,483. Vodafone saw the biggest surge, up +8.16% to 204.75p with Melrose Industries climbing +6.12% to 301.80p. Drama though for Serco, with the stock plummeting -11.21% as investors ejected from the scandal-hit operator.

Overnight, the Nikkei 225 is down -0.38% to 13,408.
We start with more negative news from the Co-op Bank which has signalled there is no 'Plan B' to overhaul its finances in efforts to raise £1.5bn to recapitalize its banking operations. Losses have now hit £709m following a £559m banking arm loss from bad debt expenses.

"We are standing firmly behind the bank," says Co-op chief exec Euan Sutherland. "Having looked at all the options, the plan we have come up with is the one which is in the best interests of the greatest number of stakeholders."

Much of the Co-op losses are from the bank buying the Britannia Building Society. Meanwhile Sutherland has warned bondholders it could take the best part of five years for the mutual to turn things around.

Next, Computacenter with unaudited numbers for the six months ended 30 June 2013. Computercenter claims a small climb in group revenue of £1.43 billion (H1 2012: £1.42 billion) with adjusted profit before tax of £26.2 million, an increase of +1.9%. Group Services revenue increased +3%.

The interim dividend rises slightly to 5.2p from 5.0p. However 2012 results are re-stated to reclassify trading losses on three onerous contracts in Germany within exceptional items, it says. Meanwhile there's "excellent momentum" in the UK, with an encouraging Managed Services pipeline.

"The performance of the Group," says boss Mike Norris, "during the first half of 2013, excluding the three onerous contracts in Germany and the issues we have faced in our French business, has been one of our best ever. We are confident we can maintain the momentum of our general success and solve our isolated issues."

Lastly, United Drug says it has come to an agreement to buy Canadian healthcare multi-channel marketing, call centre and sample management businesses from Medical Communications Group for €11.2m in an effort to expand its Canadian interests.

MCG is a multi-channel healthcare marketing business headquartered in Montreal, providing outsourced services to 60 pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in Canada. MCG will become part of the Sales, Marketing and Medical division of United Drug.

"The acquisition of MCG," says United Drug chief exec Liam Fitzgerald, "is another example of United Drug bolting on complementary businesses to build scale, where we already have an existing market presence."