Updates from BT, RSA Insurance Group and IMI

Sainsbury's shares punished on new results but software player Sage surges more than 7%

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100The FTSE 100 flatlined yesterday, rising just six points to 6,933.7. Its lack of energy didn't stop accounting software player Sage Group surging almost 8% to 536p following strong six-month numbers. Elsewhere, Aberdeen Asset Management dipped almost 4.5% to 431p and Sainsbury's shares saw pressure - down 3.1% to 266.30p - after the grocer giant admitted its first loss loss in a decade.

Elsewhere the Dow Jones lost more than 86 points, to 17,841.9 as economic growth worries rankled not to mention some tech anxiety: Microsoft shares sank 2.7%.

The main event this morning is Q4 and full-year numbers from BT. While revenues are down 2% to £4,639m reported profits before tax climb 13% to £842m in the last quarter. Reported earnings per share are 17% up to 8.4p.

Full-year pre-tax profits climb 12% to £2.6bn. BT claims its Sport TV channels are now in more than 5.2 million homes, with the customer base growing again in the quarter. Openreach customer numbers are also up sharply (31%). But public sector trading remains "tough".

"Our performance during the year is reflected in our full year dividend, which is up 14%," says chief exec Gavin Patterson. "Our results and the investments we are making position us well for the future."

We shift to a Q1 interim from RSA Insurance. Core Group premium income is up 1% with profits boosted by disposals says RSA, with underlying trends improved.

However UK growth was kept under pressure by lower reinsurance costs plus changes to its reinsurance programme (set out in February), together with a number of one-off items.

"Premium income returned to modest growth," says chief exec Stephen Hester. "Costs are falling as planned. Disposals were completed in Asia and others were contracted in India and for UK Engineering Inspection."

Finally, we bow out with specialist engineering player IMI. Revenues for the three months to the end of March were 1% lower on an organic basis. On a reported basis, revenues are 4% down.

Based on performance year to date Group revenues and margins in the first half will be lower in the first half of 2014 says IMI, though it expects an improved performance in the second half.

"Our strategic plan," IMI said in an update, "to drive sustainable long-term growth is on track and the various initiatives are progressing well."

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