Updates from BP, Next and PZ Cussons

BP profits surge 34% to $2.7bn. Meanwhile PZ Cussons sees revenues under attack from currency pressure

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A 3.48 point drop for the FTSE 100 on Monday, ending at 6,788. Aberdeen Asset Management took the biggest bruising, down 5.31% to 435p on news that almost £9bn was pulled from the asset manager in the last quarter. RBS dipped sharply, down 3.35% to 352p. However BSkyB surged 3.43% ahead to 904.50p; Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser climbed 2.66% to 5205p on news of its pharma spin-off.

The Dow Jones also trod water, up 22 points to 16,982.

We kick off with second quarter results from FTSE heavyweight BP. Underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter of 2014 was $3.6 billion, 34% higher than the $2.7 billion reported for the same period in 2013, and 13% higher than the $3.2 billion result for the first quarter of 2014.

There's a quarterly dividend of 9.75 cents per ordinary share, the same level as the previous quarter but 8.3% higher than the year before.

"We are continuing to ramp up," says boss Bob Dudley, "the major new projects that drive delivery of cash flow and are also now seeing benefits from our focus on operating with greater reliability and efficiency."

We move onto to high street NEXT sales - up 10.7% - for the first half of the financial year of which 2.4% came from the opening of new space. NEXT Retail sales were up 7.5% and NEXT Directory was up 16.2%.

Sales are currently ahead of the 5.5% - 9.5% full year growth guidance the brand gave in April. Next is hiking and narrowing sales guidance range for the year to 7% - 10%.

"It might appear overly cautious," says NEXT, "to forecast a full year sales range which is below our current rate of growth. However, last year's first two quarters were hampered by a particularly cold Spring and Easter."

Finally, new annual numbers from Original Source maker PZ Cussons. Currency squalls sees revenues dip 2.5% to £861.4m while operating profit climbs 7.4% to £116.4m. Profit before tax climbs 7% to £115m.

Excluding the impact of exchange rates, operating profit would have been 18% higher than the last year says the company. Despite Nigerian unease, operating profit growth in the country is upped. In Europe, there was "strong" performance from its Washing and Bathing division.

"The Group remains focused on...fast brand renovation and innovation programme," says chairman Richard Harvey, "and successful delivery of new areas of growth such as Rafferty's Garden and the Wilmar joint venture."

BP
NEXT
PZ Cussons

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