Updates from easyJet, A.G.Barr and DS Smith

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The FTSE 100 dipped -0.34% on Wednesday to 6,509, down 22 points. Standard Chartered was the Board's biggest loser, down -6.46% to 1338.50p while Aberdeen Asset Management slipped -4.61% to 461.40p.

The Dow Jones also fell further, slipping -0.16% to 15,889, almost 25 points lower than Tuesday.

We start with a trading update from soft drinks maker A.G.Barr. Revenue for the 18 weeks to 1 December 2013 increased 8.0% with volumes increasing 6.4% compared to the same period last year.

Year to date revenue for the Irn Bru and Rubicon fruit drinks maker is up 6.7%, with volume up 5.1%. Over a comparable period, claims Barr, the market, as measured by Nielsen, increased in value by 4.1% and volume by 3.1%.

"We are now executing," says the company, "our strong seasonal trading plans and remain confident of delivering our full year performance expectations despite tough year on year trading comparatives."

Next, new half-year numbers from recycler DS Smith. Revenues climb 25% to £2,081m while adjusted operating profit soars 31% to £160m. Pre-tax profits surge 52% to £85m. There's a return on sales progression of 40bps to 7.7% despite input cost pressures.

In the UK sales slip 1.9% to £480.8m (H1 2012/13: £490.3m) whilst operating profit improves 9.5% to £27.7m (H1 2012/13: £25.3m). The fall in revenues reflects the disposal of two sites required as part of the SCA Packaging acquisition as well as the tough trading environment, says DS Smith.

Overall good volume growth, says the company, "reflects market share gains from a strengthened customer proposition, driven by innovation and removing complexity and cost from our customers' supply chain."

Finally, easyJet passenger stats are out for November. The load factor is down by -0.6pp says the company, from 89.6% in November 2012 to 89.0% to November 2013.

On a 12 months rolling basis, overall passenger numbers rise 3.7% to 61,182,101 compared to 59,000,358 for the same period last year.

Recent profits for the airliner saw pre-tax profits climb to £478m for the year up to September, a climb of 51% on the previous year. Plans remain to return £175m for shareholders in a special dividend.