Updates from Poundland, Regus and Polymetal International

Chinese markets continue to plunge meanwhile Poundland's takeover of 99p Stores is given provisional clearance

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100Another awful day for shares: the FTSE 100 took a massive 4.6% punch falling almost 290 points to 5,898.8. That means the index is down a crushing 17% since its 7,103.9 peak on 27 April. Miner Glencore, by some margin, suffered the biggest blow, down 13% to 137.90p. AngloAmerican was down almost 10% to 660p (BHPBilliton was close behind, down 9%). BP shares tanked more than 7.3% to 331p. The only climber from the carnage was RSAInsuranceGroup, up 0.75% to 495p.

The Dow was down 3.5% taking a 588-point fall to 15,871.3 with JP MorganChase and UnitedhealthGroup seeing 5% hits. This morning in Asia Chinese stocks have continued to fall with the Shanghai Composite down 4% at midday following an 8.5% slump yesterday.

We start with half-year numbers from office player Regus. Revenues climb 16.4% to £937m with gross profits up 17% to £209m. Underlying earnings per share soar 88% to 4.9p claims Regus. There's also a 12% increase in interim dividend to 1.4p (H1 2014 : 1.25p).

Current trading remains in line with management expectations; the flexible work market continues to experience robust growth Regus claims.

"We continued," it says, "to grow our network and remain encouraged by the pipeline for the remainder of the year, with visibility of net investments for the whole of 2015 of approximately £230m, the equivalent of 600 new locations globally."

Next, Jersey-registered Polymetal. Revenues for the first half of 2015 slump 11% to US$ 648m compared to 1H 2014 driven by gold and silver prices decreasing 7% and 18% respectively year-on-year says the company. Adjusted earnings were US$ 297m, a cut of 4% compared to 1H 2014.

Underlying net earnings came in at US$118m (1H 2014: US$124m), down 5% year-on-year. The volume of both gold and silver sold was largely unchanged from 1H 2014.

"With strong operational delivery and financial strength in the current environment," says chief exec Vitaly Nesis, "we remain focused on free cash flow generation and providing dividends while progressing steadily on the development of the next generation of assets."

Lastly, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has just published its preliminary findings for the proposed buy-up of 99p Stores Ltd by Poundland. The CMA says the merger "may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition".

That means a provisional clearance of the acquisition of 99p Stores by Poundland. The high street retailer says it will work further with the CMA ahead of a full review in October.

"We welcome the CMA's provisional clearance," saus Jim McCarthy, Poundland boss, "of our acquisition of 99p Stores and we look forward to a satisfactory conclusion to its Phase 2 review. We continue to believe that the acquisition of 99p will be great for customers and for shareholders alike."

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