Updates from Centrica and Old Mutual


St. Paul's Cathedral is seen in the early morning sunlight among the skyline through the smog in central London on April 22, 2011. The British Government have warned of potentially dangerous levels of air pollution with a

The FTSE 100 was pushed down -0.96% yesterday, dropping 62 points to 6,445. Sports Direct International was crushed -12.5% to 674p after Chelsea replica kit worries. Miner Fresnillo also fell sharply, down -5.23% to 716p.

The Dow Jones ended Thursday more than 104 points lower at 15,739 on more Fed stimulus worry.

A subdued end to the week on the numbers front. British Gas looks set to snap up Ireland's biggest gas supplier, Bord Gáis, up for sale from the Irish government to pay debt down. It's thought Centrica could stump up more than £200m in cash for the £942m purchase.

Centrica's deal partners are Canada's Brookfield Renewable Power Inc and iCON Infrastructure. Centrica has also confirmed it is also getting out of the Race Bank offshore wind farm 27 kilometres off the Norfolk coast

Mark Hanafin, MD of Centrica Energy, says: "This transaction marks the next step in the development of the Race Bank wind farm and we are pleased that the project will continue to progress towards a Final Investment Decision."

Next, an update from Petra Diamonds. In November Petra reported it had recovered two exceptional white stones of 126.4 carats and 91.5 carats. Petra says the two stones were sold at Petra's December tender for US$8.52 million and US$3.78 million.

"These solid prices achieved," says Johan Dippenaar, chief exec, "for the two special Cullinan stones as well as for the balance of Petra's recent tender are very encouraging and reaffirm Petra's view that firmer market conditions will continue into H2 FY 2014."

The Company issues its trading update for the six months ending 31 December 2013 on 28 January 2014, which will provide detailed production and sales analysis.

Finally, Old Mutual says group finance director Philip Broadley, Group Finance Director will quit his job in 2014. It's anticipated this will be after the Company's Annual General Meeting in May 2014.

Old Mututal says it has put in place a process to identify Philip's successor and will consider internal and external candidates. It's expected the process could take several months to complete.

"When Philip joined the Group in 2008, our financial position was seriously challenged," says chief exec Julian Roberts. "The Group is in a very different position today with improved levels of cashflow, reduced gearing, strong capital and a reduction in overall Group risks."