Updates from Telecom Plus, Jupiter and Unite Students

Shares fall heavily on both sides of the Atlantic as volatility returns with a vengeance

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100More drift for the FTSE 100, down 50 points to 6,431.8 on Thursday. A -0.78% fall in total. B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher, going ex-dividend, took a 5% hit with shares tumbling to 296p. Persimmon shares also fell heavily, down 3.48% to 1276p. Another substantial loser yesterday was Vodafone, down 3.40% to 197.35p. Several miners though saw strong gains.

The shares misery was echoed across the water with the Dow Jones slumping almost 335 points to 16,659 - growth anxiety was rife - more than wiping out the previous day's resurgent gains.

We start with a half-year update from Telecom Plus, though trading as Utility Warehouse. Performance remains in line with market expectations for the full year with customer numbers up by 34,733 to 565,372; service numbers rise by 126,537 to 2,033,697.

Underlying churn has continued to fall, reflecting steady and continuing improvement in the quality of ithe customer base, claims Telecom Plus.

"We anticipate," says the company, "that our half yearly report will show adjusted pre-tax profit and earnings per share that are significantly ahead of the figures for the comparable period last year."

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Next, an interim - to 30 September - from Jupiter Fund Management. Assets under management arrive at £31.7 billion following the sale of its private client operations. There was net mutual fund inflows of £231 million in the three months to 30 September 2014.

There's cumulative net mutual fund inflows of £1.1 billion in the nine months to 30 September. Top selling funds included Dynamic Bond, Strategic Bond and Income Trust.

"This," says Maarten Slendebroek, chief exec, "has been a busy period for Jupiter with the completion of the sale of its private client operations, an important strategic step which allows us to increase our focus on our mutual fund franchise."

Lastly, students property player Unite Students has picked up two new development sites. One in Aberdeen and the other in Liverpool. Together, the projects add around 1,250 new beds, scheduled to be open in time for the 2017/18 academic year.

The two schemes are expected to achieve returns in line with Unite's targets for regional development of 9.5 to 10% yield on cost and have a combined total development cost of £80 million - about 60% of the Group's planned development activity for 2017 delivery.

"The acquisition of these sites," says MD of Property Richard Simpson, "means that we have now secured approximately 60% of our target 2017 pipeline, providing greater visibility of our future earnings growth."

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