Updates from Smiths Group, Redrow and LondonMetric

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The FTSE 100 lost more than 50 points yesterday, ending the day at 6,570. Aggreko was the biggest loser, down -4.18% to 1580p while Lloyds Banking Group followed, giving away -3.50% to 74.65p.

The Dow Jones though pushed 35 points higher to 15,529 despite a widespread expectation that stimulus efforts look set to taper off.
We start with final numbers for Smiths Group. Operating profit climb climbs +1% to £560m with headline revenue +2% higher. The dividend is up +4% to 39.5p and there's also a special dividend of 30p, reflecting balance sheet strength Smiths says.

Underlying revenue growth in Smiths Detection, John Crane and Flex-Tek helped offset declines in Smiths Medical and Smiths Interconnect, the company claims. Headline margins were affected by the increased investment across the Group however.

"Our priority," says the company, "is to continue to raise our investment in sales, marketing and new product development to generate medium to long-term value for our shareholders through sustainable growth."

Next, final numbers too from house builder Redrow. Taking advantage of the current positive momentum for house builders, group revenue increased 26% to £604.8m driven by a 15% rise in legal completions and an 11.8% increase in Average Selling Price to £212,300.

Gross margins rose +18.8% from 17.3% at June 2012; pre-tax profit is up +63% to £70m and adjusted earnings per share up 45% to 15.7p; the value of private reservations, claims the house builder, is up +42% from £472m to £668m.

"Our strategy," says the company, "of focusing on high quality differentiated family housing product continues to pay off with The Heritage Collection firmly established as our primary brand accounting for 85% of our private turnover during the year."

Finally, LondonMetric says Metric Income Plus Limited Partnership, its £150 million joint venture with Universities Superannuation Scheme, has exchanged contracts to acquire five standalone Wickes retail warehouse units from clients of Aberdeen Asset Management.

The purchase price is £28.0 million net of acquisition costs and reflects an average net initial yield of 7.2%, with an average unexpired lease term of just over ten years. The units include locations in Oxford (28,200 sq ft), Chatham (24,900 sq ft) and Maldon (27,000 sq ft).

"We are," says chief exec Andrew Jones, "already in detailed discussions with Wickes to materially extend the unexpired lease terms and progress various development initiatives, in partnership with them."