Updates from the Co-op and Telecom Plus


The FTSE 100 lost 25 points yesterday, dipping to 6,698. easyJet though climbed more than 7% to 1345p helped by a 51% profits surge while Aberdeen Asset Management, going in the other direction, was down -2.96% at 475p.

The Dow Jones finished a smidge lower, nine points down, ending Tuesday at 15,967.
We start with the furore over the Co-op Bank and its former business boss, Paul Flowers. Ex City minister Lord Myners has warned that the scandal could put the Co-op's £1.5bn recapitalisation at risk. Specifically, that the hedge funds controlling its future may push for new terms.

There is some pressure for a deal. Currently bondholders are committed to putting more than £1bn behind the Co-op Bank by the end of 2013, handing them a 70% stake. But if Myners is right, those terms may shift further.

The Co-op has announced that Len Wardle, its group chairman, is to quit. "The recent revelations about the behaviour of Paul Flowers, the former chair of The Co-operative Bank, have raised a number of serious questions for both the Bank and the Group," said Wardle in a statement.

Next, Telecom Plus, owner of Utility Warehouse. First-half pretax profits climb 10.1% to £13.7m while revenues are up to £245.8m, a 17% climb. Telecom Plus says the better numbers are the result of organic growth. The interim dividend is upped 23% to 16.0p per share (2012: 13.0p).

Telecom Plus also said it had agreed to buy the entire issued share capital of Electricity Plus Supply Limited and Gas Plus Supply Limited from Npower, a subsidiary of RWE AG, for £218m.

This is a "strategic opportunity," says Telecom Plus, "for the Group to extend the duration and improve the commercial terms of the energy supply arrangements currently in place with Npower, to increase the competitiveness of its retail energy tariffs and to enhance the Group's overall profitability."

Finally, Kentz Corporation claims a $190m deal with Qatar Petroleum. The deal is claimed to build on previous relationship with QP and will be executed by the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Business Unit, running for three years.

"Kentz was awarded its first project with QP in 1997," says chief operating officer Tush Doshi, "and since then has continued to execute numerous EPC projects, engineering and enhancing QP's assets. We take great pride in this significant award."

The company recently reiterated guidance for double-digit earnings growth in 2013 on a rash of new contracts and orders.