Updates from 3i Infrastructure, Wolseley and ITE

The FTSE 100 lost ground again yesterday, dipping 50 points to 6,462.2. GKN was the biggest dip, down -2.87% to 342p with Fresnillo behind, down -2.70% to 973p. Persimmon was the day's biggest climber, up +2.36% to 1086p.

Meanwhile US shares were down sharply; the Dow Jones gave away 128 points, down -0.84% to 15,129 on continued bickering over the Budget for next year.

We commence with full year numbers from plumbing player Wolseley. There's trading profit of the ongoing businesses of £725 million, +10.7% ahead of last year with headline earnings per share of 181.8 pence, +8.0% ahead on last year.

The proposed final dividend of 44p brings the total for year to 66p, +10.0% up. Trading margin for the ongoing businesses is 5.6%, +0.3% higher than last year. Wolseley reports "good growth" in the US, with early signs of recovery in UK but continued weakness in Europe.

"Our markets in the US," says chief exec Ian Meakins, "continue to grow steadily and the UK market growth is encouraging. However, economic conditions in Continental Europe are very challenging and we expect them to remain so for the foreseeable future."

Next, a pre-close update from 3i Infrastructure for the six months up to 30 September. 3i claims net investment of £64.0 million, including £61.8 million investment in Cross London Trains; European portfolio assets continue to "perform well", generating portfolio income of £30.9 million in the period.

However the performance of 3i India Infrastructure Fund has been impacted by currency and other issues. The acquisition of Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management business, when completed, is likely to result in incremental deal flow it claims.

"The completion of the investment in Cross London Trains," says Cressida Hogg, managing partner for Infrastructure, "3i Investments plc was an important milestone for the Company and the investment is already delivering income."

Finally, exhibitions group ITE issues a quarterly update up to 30 September. Revenues it says for the fourth quarter reflect "positive trading conditions" in most of its overseas markets. Revenue for the full year is expected to be circa £191m (2012: £172m), in line with market expectations.

The Group ran 28 events in the fourth quarter producing revenue of circa £26m (2012: £27m). On a like-for-like basis revenues are +4% higher than last year. The Group continues to generate strong cash flow and had net cash of circa £23.0m as at 25 September 2013 (2012: £12.0m).

"Bookings for the financial year," it says, "ending 30 September 2014 are progressing in line with management expectations and reflect continued good trading conditions in most of our markets. The Group continues to generate good organic growth from its portfolio of events, it claims."