9 December 2013 | General News

London Stock Market weekly report 09/12/2013

Flotation highlights

Residential lettings agency Martin & Co has confirmed its intention to join AIM, and becomes the latest real estate firm to float. The company, which manages 30,000 properties across over 100 franchise offices, plans to raise £4m from a flotation on Aim on 18 December. The flotation enables the company’s founders to partially exit their stakes in the company. Martin & Co is set to round off a strong year for property floats that has seen Countrywide, Crest Nicholson and Foxtons join the market

Key results

AstraZeneca European Commission Approval. The European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for Fluenz Tetra, the first and only intra-nasal four-strain influenza vaccine available in Europe according to the company. It is aimed at preventing influenza in children and adolescents.

Berkeley Group Half Year Results see PBT up over 19% to GBP169.5m on revenue ahead 19.7% at GBP821m. It has achieved its target of increasing its land holdings to over GBP3bn earlier than anticipated and this performance reinforces the company’s view that it is on course to meet the first milestone payment of GBP568m by September 2015 and to return GBP1.7bn in cash to shareholders no later than September 2021. It has declared a further interim dividend of 90p per share payable in January 2014, leaving a balance of 270p to be paid in order to meet the first milestone. The company noted that this places it firmly ahead of its original timetable and on target to reach the first milestone. The Government’s Help to Buy scheme is expected to be used in less than 5% of Berkeley’s overall transactions. It added that the company has been positioned to deliver long term sustainable success and is confident of achieving this, whilst mindful of the risks of operating in a cyclical market sensitive to the uncertainty of political decision-making and the rhetoric of regulatory change.

Vodafone VZW Transaction Update. The company has announced that it has received the necessary approval from the US Federal Communications Commission in relation to its disposal of its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless to Verizon. It added that the transactions and return of value remain subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of both Vodafone’s and Verizon’s shareholders. These are expected to complete in Q1 2014.

DS Smith Half Year Results from the recycled packaging company see adjusted operating profit up 31% at GBP160.2m and PBT growth of 52% to GBP85m on revenue ahead 25% at GBP2.08bn. The figures include a 6 month contribution following the acquisition of SCA Packaging on 1 July 2012. The dividend is raised 28% to 3.2p with it noting that it was pleased with trading in the year to date. It added that it continues to expect good progress over the remainder of the year, despite ongoing challenging market conditions.

AG Barr IMS from the soft drinks company reports that revenue in the 18 weeks to 1 December rose by 8% with volumes ahead 6.4% compared to the same period a year ago. Year to date revenue has grown 6.7% and volumes by 5.1%. It added that the soft drinks market remains highly competitive as it enters the important Christmas trading period and remains confident of delivering its full year performance expectations despite tough year on year trading comparatives.

Greene King Interim Results see PBT ahead 5.7% at GBP85.6m on revenue up 5.2% at GBP595.4m. The dividend is raised 6.3% to 7.6p. It added that whilst trading through H1 and since the period end has been strong, and the economic outlook appears to be improving, customers remain careful with their money particularly outside London and the South East.


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