Updates from QinetiQ and ITE Group


The FTSE 100 saw a 17-point dip on Thursday to 6,588.3. Babcock International took the biggest investor hit yesterday tumbling 6.66% to 1275p after a rights issue to pay for helicopter services player Avincis failed to impress. Fresnillo also tumbled 4% to 837.50p.

The biggest climber was Aberdeen Asset Management which rose 2.48% to 396.90p. The Dow Jones slipped just under 5 points to 16,264.2.

Let's commence with a trading update from defence operator QinetiQ. The Group should deliver on expectations for the financial year up to 31 March it says. EMEA Services continues to perform well it claims.

US Services are performing in line with expectations but Global Products continue "to be impacted by the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan which is causing slippages in order flow and delivery schedules for conflict-related products."

The Group's balance sheet and cash generation remain strong. However the on-going US situation remains a worry for defence companies in general, with the Pentagon obliged to make £45bn of cuts by 2016.

ITE Group next with a pre-close statement. Revenue for the six month period to 31 March 2014 for the exhibitions company is estimated to be circa £72m, (six months to 31 March 2013: £69m). Like-for-like revenues over the first six months are 10% ahead of last year on constant currency but 2% behind on an actual basis.

"These factors," says the company, "together with a first-time profit contribution from the recently acquired Chinacoat event which took place in November last year will help the Group produce record profits for the period."

However sales for the Ukrainian business (ITE is a major player in Russia) have been affected by the recent crisis, and ITE estimates there will be a negative effect on the Group's profits of circa £2m this financial year.

Lastly, an interim from regeneration company St.Modwen Properties. The company says it has secured a steady stream of sales across all of the St. Modwen Homes and Persimmon joint venture sites.

"We have completed on the sale of 180 units in the financial year to date which compares to 35 units during the same period last year. Coupled with the schemes' location and the quality of product, this reflects a sustained increase in consumer confidence."

The company says it's seeing ongoing improvement in the commercial market; major projects continue to gather momentum, with an increase in enquiries across sites "and occupancy levels remaining high".