Ukraine-Russian war tensions saw almost 1.5% written of the FTSE 100's value on Monday. The index ended yesterday at 6,708.3. The closer to the action, the worse it was: the German Dax plummeted 3.44%. Some resources players accelerated on the Crimean stress. Randgold Resources rose more than 4%. The biggest FTSE 100 loser overall was William Hill, sinking 4.80%.
The sabre-rattling sent the Dow Jones down more than 150 points, finishing yesterday at 16,168.
We begin with overall nine-month numbers from rental player Ashtead Group. Group revenue increases 23% with record nine month pre-tax profits of £293m, up 51% at constant exchange rates claims Ashtead. Group EBITDA margin improves to 43% (2013: 39%).
Third quarter revenues climb 22% to £400.1m while operating profits climb 48% to 92.5m for the industrial rental player. Ashtead anticipates full year profits ahead of previous expectations.
"Our markets," says chief exec Geoff Drabble, "remain strong and we anticipate growing the Group's fleet organically in the coming year in the low to mid teens percent range. We remain committed to our debt leverage target of below 2 times EBITDA."
MoneySavingExpert.com continues to trade well it claims, generating £13.3m EBITDA (2012: £2.8m). The final dividend increases 30% to 5.12p per share (2012: 3.94p per share).
"We'll build on our innovation in 2013 by doubling our capital investment for 2014," says chief exec Peter Plumb, "and bringing market leading services in Travel and Insurance to customers' mobiles and desktops."
Finally, preliminary numbers for the full year 2013 from broker Tullett Prebon. Underlying revenues dip to £803.7m (2012: £850.8m) while operating profit is cut to £115.4m (2012: £125.5m). The operating margin slips 14.4% (2012: 14.8%).
The Tullett Prebon board recommends an unchanged final dividend of 11.25p per share, making the total dividend for the year 16.85p per share, unchanged from 2012.
Chief exec Terry Smith said the markets it served has been subdued for the last eighteen months "reflecting persistently low volatility, the more onerous regulatory environment for our customers and the considerable uncertainty over the impact of new regulations covering the OTC derivatives markets."