Updates from Inchcape, Fenner and Foxtons


A 0.35% slip for the FTSE 100 on Monday. The Big Board ended the day 23 points down at 6,689 with Persimmon seeing the biggest fall, down 4.59% to 1329p. Vodafone also saw a shock 3.58% tumble as investors fretted about Vodafone hiking its bid for Spanish cable player Ono.

The Dow Jones echoed the negative London sentiment, finishing 0.21% down at 16,418.6.

We have a brace of FTSE 250 players this morning. We start with lux auto player Inchcape. Reported sales climb 7.7% to £6.5bn (2012: £6.1bn) and like for like sales are up 3.0% at constant currency. Pre-exceptional profits before tax are up 11.2% to £274.6m (2012: £247.0m).

Operating margin climbs 4.4%. Reported profits before tax comes in at £266.1m (2012: £247.7m), up 7.4% while there's adjusted EPS growth of 11.3% to 43.5p (2012: 39.1p).

"The Group," says Group boss André Lacroix, "has a track record of delivering sustainable earnings growth with a high return on capital employed. We expect to deliver a robust constant currency performance in 2014 from broad-based growth across markets and categories."

Next, polymer technology company Fenner. In a six month trading update Fenner says results for the period ended 28 February 2014 will be below those for the first half of its previous financial year; in constant currency terms, the outcome for the year should show modest growth.

Engineered Conveyor Solutions - trading under Fenner's Dunlop and Fenner brand names - results for the first half of the year were in line with expectations albeit below the first half of last year on a constant currency basis, reflecting strong trading in Australia.

The Group expects to report net borrowings at 28 February 2014 of circa £135 million (£172 million as at 28 February 2013, equivalent to £154 million using exchange rates prevailing on 28 February 2014), the company says.

Finally, prelim numbers from London property player Foxtons. Group revenue is up 16.0% to £139.2m (2012: £120.0m) while group adjusted EBITDA is up 29.6% to £49.6m (2012: £38.3m). Profit before tax climbs 56.6% to £38.9m (2012: £24.9m).

Sales volumes for the full year are up 22.5% while lettings volumes climb 6.7%; seven new branches opened during 2013 bringing the total at year end to 44 branches. There's a total dividend proposed of 5.44p per share (comprising 1.70p final and 3.74p special) equivalent to £15.4m.

"Our new branches," says Foxtons, "are maturing well and we are on track to open a further seven branches by the end of this year, with 5 of them scheduled to open in the first half of 2014."