Updates from Royal Bank of Scotland, WPP and IAG

IAG third quarter profits surge while RBS puts £400m aside for currency probe

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Just a 9.6-point gain for the Big Board on Thursday. The FTSE 100 ended the day at 6,463.5 with rises notched up by Smith & Nephew, up 3.5% to 1054p and St James's Palace, also up 3.5% to 712.50p. Randgold Resources saw the greatest sell-off, by a big margin, down more than 6% to 3779p -Randgold has slumped by more than 25% in the last quarter.

Elsewhere the Dow Jones rallied more than 221 points to 17,195.4, helped by better Commerce Department news. This one-day rally represents a 1.30% gain overall with Visa seeing a 10% gain. Mastercard also climbed strongly.

We commence with a third quarter bulletin from RBS. Royal Bank of Scotland says pre-tax profits are worth £1.27bn, more than £250m up on the last quarter. However RBS is putting aside £400m for the ongoing forex probe (Barclays is putting aside £500m).

The quarter includes net impairment provision of £801m, principally in Ulster Bank and RBS Capital Resolution, plus overall litigation and 'bad behaviour' conduct costs of up to £780m says RBS, still 80% owned by the taxpayer.

"UK and Ireland," says chief exec Ross McEwan, "are showing signs of growth, and impairment trends are significantly better than we had anticipated at the start of the year. We have confirmed today that Ulster Bank remains a core part of our bank."

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Next, marketeer WPP. Third quarter reported revenues climb 3.1% to £2.763bn, up 10.8% at $4.609bn in dollars and up 10.9% at €3.482bn in euros says WPP. Third quarter constant currency revenues climb 10.6%, up on a like-for-like basis by 7.6%.

On a nine months basis reported revenues climb 2.8% to £8.232bn, up 11.1% at $13.744bn and up 8.0% at €10.145bn. Like-for-like net sales growth in the third quarter slows to 3.0%, compared to 4.1%.

"In the first nine months," says WPP, "constant currency profits and operating margins were ahead of target and last year, despite severance costs in the first nine months rising significantly compared to the same period in 2013."

Lastly, we take to the air with British Airways owner IAG. Third quarter operating profits come in at €900m (2013: €690m) before exceptional items, €210m better than last year. It's also pumping up its forecast for the year.

At constant currency, third quarter passenger unit revenue are down 0.9% and non-fuel unit costs down 4.5%. Revenue for the quarter is up 8.5% to €5,866m, up 6.9% at constant currency.

"We continued to grow capacity efficiently," says boss Willie Walsh, "and both our non-fuel and fuel unit cost performances were strong with the latter boosted by the introduction of new, more efficient aircraft into our fleet."

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