Updates from Stagecoach, Betfair and WPP

Trading is turbulent on Asian stock markets with the FTSE 100 poised to fall further meanwhile WPP revenues surge 6.8%

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Stagecoach, Betfair, WPPThe FTSE 100 managed to claw back 3% of its value on Tuesday after a shocking Monday, ending at 6,081.3. A 182.4 point-rise in total. Antofagasta saw an almost 9% climb to 579.50p while London Stock Exchange Group surged 7% to 2536p; Barratt was also up sharply by 5.7% to 624p. RandgoldResources though slipped 3.5% to 4001p.

Some of those gains will be under pressure this morning as the US Dow ended Tuesday more than 200 points down at 15,666.4, a 1.3% fall. Early this morning the Shanghai Composite Index was up around 1.5%, after an earlier 4% fall.

We start Wednesday with an interim from ad giant WPP. Revenues climb 6.8% to £5,839m while billings climb 5% to £23,156m. Headline earnings are up 6.7% to £782m. The dividend per share is up 36.9% to 15.91p.

The dividend is significantly higher than the traditionally lower first-half pay-out ratio, in line with achieving a 50% pay-out ratio in two years claims WPP. United Kingdom like-for-like revenue was up 4.6%, slower than the first quarter growth of 8.1%.

"2015," says WPP, "looks to be another demanding year, although a weaker UK pound against a stronger US dollar may continue to provide some modest currency tailwind, which may be now more than offset by a stronger pound against the euro and the fast growth market currencies."

We move next to Betfair and Q1 update. Revenues rise 15% to £135.4m despite the comparative period containing the World Cup; revenue from sustainable markets is up 24% to £116.3m it claims. Mobile revenues up 57%, with three quarters of UK customers now using mobile devices.

Earnings surge 19% to £41.0m while there is an agreement in principle on the terms of a merger of Betfair Group plc and Paddy Power - the combined business could see revenues totalling more than £1bn. Both are agreed on a deal in principle.

"The combination," said both companies, "has compelling strategic logic and represents an attractive opportunity for both companies to enhance their position in online betting and gaming and to deliver synergies, customer benefits and shareholder value."

Finally, Stagecoach. Recent trading has been consistent with expectations and there is no change to adjusted earnings per share the travel operator says though North American revenue including Megabus.com was 5.3% down in the quarter to 31 July.

Estimated passenger bus journey numbers were 0.7% below last year, driven by a reduction in the number of concessionary passenger journeys that "we believe reflects the poorer summer weather in various parts of the UK".

In addition to like-for-like revenue growth of 5.5%, overall rail reported revenue "increased substantially year-on-year in the 12 weeks due to the inclusion of the new Virgin Trains East Coast franchise, which commenced 1 March 2015."

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