The FTSE 100 gave away 16.4 points on Monday, ending at 6,857.0. There were more gains for Tullow Oil, up 3.7% to 420p while Antofagasta and SABMiller also climbed (2.6% and 1.9%). However miner Fresnillo shares sank more than 4.3% to 840.50p, faltering on a fresh broker downgrade from Morgan Stanley. Centrica shares also fell hard, down almost 3% to 278.8p.
Following the on-going Greek talks, Asian markets saw the Nikkei 225 slightly down at 17,987, still close to its highest mark since midsummer 2007.
We commence with a brief hotel stay: Intercontinental Hotels says it saw a 2% dip in revenues for 2014 to $1858m, with operating profits down 3% to £651m. But underlying fee revenue climbs 7% and operating profit is up 10%.
On the digital strategic level, InterCo claims 50% growth in mobile bookings, to more than $900m. China growth was good it says; the total dividend per share climbs 10% to 77.0 cents.
Chief exec Richard Solomons claims a strong RevPAR performance of 6.1%, "our best net system size growth since 2009 of 3.4%, increasing our operating profit on an underlying basis by 10%".
Profits from continuing operations are up 10.9% at $414.5m (2013: $373.7m) it says and the dividend is well protected, up 25%. The Aberdeen-based company says it expects to cut costs by up to $30m due to the dip in oil prices.
"The Group," says chairman Ian Marchant, "performed well in 2014, delivering in line with expectations against a backdrop of a steep decline in oil price towards the end of the year."
We end with an update from HICL Inrastructureand a new French investment - an 85% interest in the Ecole Centrale Supelec PPP Project.
This consists of the design, construction, finance and maintenance of a new facility for the Ecole Centrale Supelec on plateau de Saclay, near Paris, plus shared teaching and research facility, an underground carpark and a hotel facility.
The project will take approximately two years to complete, "with an operational period of 26 years from construction completion" says HICL.
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