The FTSE 100 stayed steady on Friday, up just 14.73 points to 6,557.17. InterContinental Hotels Group saw the largest lift, up +3.80% to 1937p. Legal & General though saw more pressure, slipping -3.33% to 206p while Aberdeen Asset Management and Hargreaves Lansdown both tumbled 2.86% respectively. Retailer M&S was also down significantly (-2.44%).
Across the pond, the Dow Jones lost 28 points, dipping to 16,302, not helped by a warning from Nike on the effects of a stronger dollar.
We start with new group numbers from engineering and construction player Kentz. Revenues are up 6% to US$1.66bn (2012: US$1.56bn) while profit before tax climbs 12.6% to US$118.0m (2012: US$104.8m). Profit before tax margin climbs 7.1% (2012: 6.7%).
Kentz claims its operational backlog is upped to US$4.1bn at the end of Feb '14, a 58% increase since Dec 2012 (US$2.6bn). It also claims a pipeline of new business opportunities, up 18% to US$15.6bn.
"Our pipeline," says boss Christian Brown, "of prospects continues to grow...highlighting opportunities that exist for our services in our core markets of the Middle East, Africa and Australasia. We forecast 2014 performance will be ahead of previous expectations."
The two transactions involve around 510 homes with a total revenue of approximately £80 million, of which 250 homes are expected to legally complete in 2014, with the remainder in 2015. These homes will be delivered over and above the Group's prevailing private sales.
"Assuming current market conditions continue," says Bovis, "the strong private sales position of the Group combined with the additional volume arising from the PRS transactions should enable the Group to deliver a strong increase in total reservations during 2014."
Finally, beverage player Rexam says it has received a binding offer from Berry Plastics Group of $135m in cash to snap up its remaining Containers & Closures division of Rexam's Healthcare business. The transaction requires consultation with French works council and is conditional on the necessary regulatory approvals.
It's expected to complete around the middle of this year. This announcement follows early February's proposed sale of the other two divisions within Rexam's Healthcare business.
"This transaction," says Rexam, "is progressing according to plan and is expected to complete in the second quarter of this year, following which Rexam plans to return around £450m to shareholders."