More slippage for the FTSE 100 on Wednesday, down almost 11 points to 6,818.1. New full-year numbers saw Tullow Oil fall more than 7% to 384p, reversing some recent modest gains. Hargreaves Lansdown shares also came under pressure, down 2.7% to 968p, likewise Morrisons, sinking more than 2.3% to 179.8p. In contrast, BT Group was up 3.6% to 460p after the Premier League TV rights deal and Persimmon up 3.6% at 1671p.
Across the water, the Dow Jones flatlined, down 6.6 points to 17,862.1 with energy stocks coming under more oil price pressure.
We start with new quarterly numbers from Imperial Tobacco. Total tobacco net revenue on an underlying basis is down 1% to £1,486m. However, better performance from Growth Brands with volumes up 11 per cent.
Net Growth Brand revenue climbed 15 per cent, Imperial claims. Growth and Specialist Brands are now up to 60 per cent of reported tobacco net revenue, it says.
"We continue to focus on our priorities for success in our Growth and Returns Markets," says boss Alison Cooper, "and are well advanced with our US integration plans. The US deal received overwhelming support from our shareholders."
Mobile devices now take 60% of monthly visits, up 42% compared with 2013. However the number of agency members has been impacted by the launch of Agents' Mutual it says.
"Whilst we expect some limited further UK agency churn, this is likely to be partly offset by the return of some members who have found the Agents' Mutual restrictive 'one-other portal rule' damaging to their business."
We finish with a full-year update from business intelligence player Informa. Group revenue increased to £1,137m (2013: £1,130m) with adjusted operating profit at £334.1m (2013: £334.7m).
Total dividend per share is up 2% to 19.3p with a final dividend of 12.9p (2013: 18.9p). Informa's free cash flow is also up at £232.5m (2013: £207.8m).
"These results," says boss Stephen Carter, "achieved against significant currency headwinds, deliver on our promise of improved earnings, increased dividends and stronger cash flow in 2014."
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