The FTSE 100 yesterday edged towards the 7,000 threshold; the index climbed almost 22 points, finishing at 6,973. 3i Group lifted more than 3% to 527p while Mondi climbed 2.7% to 1453p. There was a 2.4% lift for Shire, to 5295p. B&Q owner Kingfisher however lost 2.3% to 352.60p while Sainsbury's shares were knocked back 2.3% to 269.20p after going ex-dividend.
Stateside, the Dow Jones surged more than 1%, up 191.7 points on better employment data from the Department of Labor to 18,252.2, about 35 points off the Dow's all-time high.
We take a squint at a full-year Intertek trading update first. Performance is in line with Group expectations, experiencing good growth in most businesses but "continued challenging conditions" from its oil and gas capex and minerals businesses.
Total reported revenue for the supply chain specialist grew 3.3% in the period: there was constant currency organic growth of 0.3%, 0.6% from acquisitions made in 2014 and 2015 and an increase of 2.4% from foreign exchange.
"Across the medium term," the company says, "the Company continues to expect to deliver mid-single digit organic revenue growth, as oil and gas capex headwinds ease."
Weekly sales rates to date have been robust at 0.65 net private reservations per site against a strong comparative of 0.69 last year says Bovis. Housing production is currently 9% ahead of last year.
"The increase in revenue planned in 2015," says Bovis, "is expected to enable the Group for the first time to deliver a capital turn in excess of one times, further enhancing the Group's return on capital employed."
Lastly, SABMiller says is buying London-based modern craft brewer Meantime Brewing Company, a British modern craft beer pioneer, giving SABMiller an entry into this segment of the UK beer market.
Volumes of beer sales at Meantime grew 58% in 2014, outpacing the UK beer market's 1% growth during the same period and making it one of the top-performing modern craft breweries in the UK.
No financial details from the Grolsch and Peroni owner - the acquisition is expected to complete in early June 2015. Meantime's beer labels include London Lager and London Pale Ale.
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