Updates from Keller, Senior and Intertek

Updated: 

City workers pass the London Stock Exchange building on September 19 2008 in London, England.

The FTSE 100 saw a tiny -0.57% drop on Friday, ending the day down just -0.01% at 6,809.7. William Hill was a decent bet on Friday, up more than 6% on improved mobile revenues. Packaging operator Mondi also climbed sharply, up 5.89%. Publisher Pearson saw shares drop almost 6% on 2014 earnings pessimism.

The Dow Jones finished Friday up almost 50 points at 16,321.7.
First, engineering specialist Keller. There's record revenue of £1,438.2m (2012: £1,317.5m), up 9% while operating margin climbs 5.4% (2012: 3.7%), with increases in all four divisions, Keller claims. Profit before tax increases to £74.1m (2012: £43.5m).

Earnings per share rises to 73.0p (2012: 45.9p); the total dividend per share climbs to 24.0p (2012: 22.8p), an increase of 5%. Much of the improved good news comes from a more robust US construction market.

"All four divisions improved their operating margin," claims Justin Atkinson, chief exec. "This reflects a sharp focus on continuous improvement in many aspects of the business, as well as an excellent performance on several major projects and improving conditions in certain of our markets."

Next, numbers for the year up to 31 December for aerospace player Senior. Revenues climb 6% to £775.1m while operating profit dips 1% to £93.3m. But adjusted operating profit is up 6% to £107.6m. Adjusted earnings per share climb 6% to 19p.

A healthy number of new aerospace programmes going into production, together with further economic recovery and expected market share gains in both the Aerospace and Flexonics Divisions, means the outlook remains encouraging, Senior claims.

"Continued healthy operating cash flows resulted," says chief exec Mark Rollins, "in net debt of £59.2m at the year-end, leaving the Group well placed to fund future organic and acquisitive growth. The year has started satisfactorily with 2014 underlying performance anticipated to be in line with the Board's expectations."

Lastly, Intertek has bought International Inspection Services Ltd (INSPEC), a UAE-based provider of non-destructive testing (NDT) and associated services to the oil and gas industry. Intertek is paying US $66 million (GBP 40 million) from Lamprell Energy.

Lamprell will remain a significant customer of INSPEC and as part of the acquisition, Intertek has also entered into a multi-year supplier agreement with Lamprell for the provision of NDT and associated services, Intertek claims.

The acquisition "represents an exciting extension to our non-destructive testing inspection business, bringing expertise and regional market access to Intertek, as well as supporting our strategy, started with the 2011 acquisition of Moody International," claims boss Wolfhart Hauser.
Finally, Russia's rouble has slumped to a new all-time low following more Ukraine-Crimea anxiety.