Updates from Vodafone and TUI Travel


The FTSE 100 's losing streak was halted - just - yesterday. The index managed a 0.13% climb, up 8.62 points to 6,457. Tullow Oil was yesterday's biggest Board winner, spurting a +7.06% rise to 849.50p. Hargreaves Lansdown took the biggest knock by some margin, giving away 10.15% to 1345p.

The Dow Jones barely moved, slipping 5 points to 15,440.2.

Several big names (and numbers) today. We start with Vodafone's quarterly update to 31 December. Group revenues dip 3.6% to just under £11bn, better than anticipated. Its full year guidance is confirmed with adjusted operating profit around £5.0 bn.

Conditions in Europe remain "challenging" says Vodafone with organic service revenue down -5.1% in the UK, -7.9% in German, Spain -14.1% and Italy -16.6%. But better emerging market service revenue growth: India 13.2% and Turkey 3.9%.

Vodafone says Europe's worries are mitigated by "improvements to our operating model and cost efficiency. In addition, the shift to 4G is gaining momentum and we have seen improving mobile customer net addition trends."

Next, TUI Travel. Q1 underlying operating losses are cut by £8m to £108m. TUI claims "robust" current trading with a strong performance in the key January booking period. It says its confident of full year underlying operating profit growth of between 7% to 10%.

Demand for unique holidays grows. The winter 2013/14 is closing in line within TUI expectations - 85% of its programme is sold, with higher average selling prices in most source markets, it claims.

"Our strategy," says boss Peter Long, "is delivering sustainable growth, with a robust business model focused on growing unique holidays and online distribution."

Finally, AstraZeneca. The pharma giant says sales in the fourth quarter slipped 6% to $6.84bn with core earnings per share down 25% (at CER) to $1.23. Profits slump 26% to $1.98bn.

The drug maker says expects a low-to-mid single digit percentage dip in revenue at constant exchange rates (CER) for 2014 with core earnings per share expected to slip in the teens.

"In the near term," says boss Pascal Soriot, "these headwinds will remain challenging, however I am confident that we can return to growth faster than anticipated and expect our 2017 revenues will be broadly in line with 2013."

Breaking news: Bombardier wins a £1bn contract for Crossrail trains. All 60 trains will be built in Derby, supplying 760 manufacturing jobs and 80 apprenticeships. The win beats rival bids from Hitachi and CAF.