Updates from Next, Standard Life and Stagecoach

Sunnier temperatures supply Next with a profits chill while Stagecoach revenues rise

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100
A 38.7 point rise for the FTSE 100 ending Tuesday at 6,402.1. Miner Anglo American and DixonsCarphone were the main winners, up +3.70% and +3.43% respectively (to 1344.50p and 392.10p). However Standard Chartered shares tumbled almost 9% to 998.40p on a second profits warning, meaning its shares have crashed to a five-year low.

The Dow Jones though re-entered the 17,000 barrier - just - to 17,005.7 helped by rises from Caterpillar and Chevron.

This morning commences with a saunter into Next. Third quarter sales see a total group 8.8% climb. Next had previously advised it would cut sales and profit expectations if colder weather did not materialise during October.

In the event October remained unseasonably warm - and sales for the third quarter were up 5.4%, which compares to Next's original expectation of 10%.

That means Next is slashing its central profit guidance by 3% to £770m (previously £795m). The new profit range is £750m to £790m "which would represent an increase over last year of between +8% and +14%" it says.

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We follow with an interim from insurer Standard Life. Assets under administration from operations climb £290bn driven by net inflows of £4.3bn and the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management it says.

In the UK Standard Life has added 290,000 new customers through auto enrolment year to date and over 500,000 since auto enrolment began it claims.

"We are strongly placed," it says, "to deal with the far-reaching reforms to the savings and retirement income rules, announced earlier this year by the UK Government, and to support customers through these changes."

Finally a trading statement from travel player Stagecoach. Like-for-like revenue growth for the Perth-based company sees UK Bus (regional operations) for the twenty four weeks up to 12 October 2014 sees a 3.2% lift.

But UK Bus London operations - despite roadwork challenges - sees a much better 14.5% revenue climb while UK Rail sees a +7.4% jump. Virgin Rail Group revenues climb 5.8%.

"Although there are a number of challenges to growing profit in the year ending 30 April 2015," says the company, "overall current trading is satisfactory and we are on course to meet our expectations for the year."

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