The Dow Jones was down almost 105 points as a stronger dollar, up 0.2%, made for some nervousness.
We make a mid-week start with United Utilities. It expects revenues this year to be slightly higher reflecting the regulated price allowance for 2014/15. It also expects a modest increase in underlying operating profit for 2014/15.
Underlying net finance expenses for 2014/15 is anticipated to be markedly lower than 2013/14, mainly as a result of the impact of lower RPI inflation on index-linked debt says the company.
"As the company continues to invest in its asset base," says United Utilities, "we expect a modest increase in group net debt at 31 March 2015 compared with the position at 30 September 2014."
Tour operator TUI Group next. Its Winter 2014/15 season is closing with 95% sold and strong pricing across most markets. Mainstream bookings are up 1% versus prior year, with increased volumes in the UK and Germany.
"The online channel," it says, "continues to drive growth in sales, with online bookings up 7% on prior year, accounting for 42% of total bookings, up three percentage points."
Finally, half-year numbers for housebuilder Bellway. Revenues are up almost 19% to £831.2m while operating profit soars 52% to £165.7m. Earnings per share leaps 56% to 103.5p while the dividend per share rises to 25p from 16p.
Completions climb 15.7% to 3,754 (2014 - 3,245). £355m has been spent on land opportunities "at attractive margins" says Bellway, up 47.9% (2014 - £240m).
"Reinvestment in attractive land opportunities," says the company, "in order to achieve this capital growth is balanced with our track record of maintaining a strong dividend return to shareholders."
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