Updates from Sage Group, Capita and Brewin Dolphin

Tesco shares slump sharply


Most markets turned positive on Tuesday with the FTSE 100 pushing 66.9 points ahead to 6,795.3, up almost a whole 1%. ARM Holdings leapt 5.7% to 881p while Persimmon jumped 4.49% to 1302p. Barratt Developments also pushed higher, up 4% to 368.50p.

Tesco shares though sank 3.91% to 277.35p on new dividend anxiety despite earlier hope on new incoming boss Dave Lewis. The Dow Jones ended the day up 61 points at 17,113.5, helped by positive earnings news.

First, Sage with an interim this morning. For the first nine months of the year, Group organic revenue increased 4.7% with a 4.3% uptick in the third quarter. Performance in the fourth quarter is expected to be stronger than the third.

However growth in recurring revenue was achieved despite weaker performance in payments, particularly in North America, where market-wide pricing pressure contributed to revenue contraction during the quarter, Sage warns.

"Recurring revenue growth of 7%," says chief exec Guy Berruyer, "driven by a strong subscription performance, demonstrates our business has momentum, and we remain confident of achieving our target of 6% organic revenue growth in 2015."

Next, Capita. Six month numbers means revenues climb 13.9% to £2,071m while operating profit is 14.7% ahead at £260.2m . The interim dividend rises 10.3% to 9.6p; the underlying operating margin climbs slightly to 12.6%.

Capita claims the highest ever level of prospects with the bid pipeline, currently replenished to a record £5.7bn (Feb 2014: £5.5bn).

"We have had an excellent sales period," says chief Andy Parker, "securing £1.3bn of contracts and we are continuing to see a high level of activity across our markets, particularly in the private sector, providing a strong future platform for growth."

Finally,wealth management player Brewin Dolphin claims net outflows from advisory services of £0.4 billion for the quarter.

Net new managed funds growth plus positive investment performance in the quarter resulted in an overall increase of 2% in total managed/advised funds to £29.3 billion.

"Solid performance," says Brewin, "in the quarter, underpinned by a robust balance sheet, gives us confidence that continued delivery against this strategy will create long term value for both clients and shareholders."

Sage Group
Brewin Dolphin

Former Wickes CEO: Tesco Boss Exit