Updates from IAG, William Hill and Interserve


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 climbed just a smidge on Thursday, up 0.16% or 11 points, to 6,810. RBS took the biggest investor swipe, tumbling 7.74% to 326p following the announcement of a £8.2bn deficit. The news wiped at least £1.5bn off its value. However better news for Capita, surging 6.73% to £11.58 on news its bid pipeline had hit £5.5bn - better than expected.

Across the pond, the Dow Jones saw a 0.46% rise to 16,272.6 following stronger earnings news.

We start with British Airways and Iberia owner IAG. Fourth quarter operating profit climbs to €113m (2012: operating loss of €40m) before exceptional items while operating profit for the year surges to €770m (2012: operating loss of €23m).

Revenue for the year climbs 3.1% to €18,675m while passenger unit revenue for the year are up 0.6 per cent. Fuel costs - hugely important - for the year are down 2.5% to €5,951m (2012: €6,101m) or 5% down at constant currency.

"Iberia has made huge progress on cost control," says IAG boss Willie Walsh, "as its restructuring takes shape and great credit should be given to all those involved. It has reduced its losses in the year, reporting an operating loss of €166 million."

Next, William Hill. Net revenues climb 18% to £1,486.5m while operating profit climbs 3% to £335m. Profit after tax is cut 1% to £226m. Basic earnings per share climbs 2% to 25.2p.

Strong over-the-counter gross win margin drives growth in underlying retail revenue. But operating profit sinks £15m following the £10m indirect tax charge to the Group following the change to Machine Games Duty in February 2013.

"Our online and Australia activities accounted," says chief exec Ralph Topping, "for around half our operating profit and international markets contributed 15% of net revenue in 2013."

We end with Interserve full year 2013 numbers. Revenues climb 12% to £2,192.6m while pre-tax profits climb 10.6% to £86.7m. Headlines earnings per share are up 5.3% to 47.7p while the full-year dividend is up 4.9% to 21.5p.

Interserve claims £2.5 billion of new business won, including work with the BBC, University of Sussex, HMRC and Jaguar Land Rover. The company recently won a contract with the Foreign Office to provide support services to British diplomats in France.

"We have confidence in the continued growth potential of the business," says chief exec Adrian Ringrose, "which is reflected by our proposed acquisition of Initial Facilities. The acquisition of such a complementary business allows us to deliver further against our growth strategy."