Updates from Greene King, LondonMetric Property and Sage
Rises from Barclays and TUI - up 4.6% and 3.3% - helped push the FTSE 100 close to the 6,400-mark yesterday, resting by close of day at 6,395.6, a 39.5 point rise. RBS also saw a 3.2% climb despite the stress test and capital concern from the Bank of England earlier in the day. Going south was Glencore, sinking 2.3% to 94.4p while there were dips also for Sage Group and Aberdeen Asset Management, down 1.7% and 1.4%.
Things were rather more positive in the US with the Dow picking up 168 points to 17,888 thanks to improved economic sentiment from Europe as well as Japan; Unitedhealth Group was up 3.1%.
We begin Wednesday with full-year new numbers from accountancy software giant Sage. It claims organic revenue growth of 6% (FY14: 5%) and organic operating profit of £383m, up 8.3%. There's also a 12.6% climb in earnings per share to 25p.
In the last year Sage claims it has simplified its product categories to Growth and Heritage, with 87% of Research and Development investment focussed on the Growth category.
"Transformation," says boss Stephen Kelly, "is rarely linear and it is clear we have much to do as we manage the operational risks." He adds: "The strong underlying characteristics of the business give me confidence in the delivery of long term, sustainable, high quality growth."
We nip into Greene King next. For the 24 weeks to 18 October total revenues surge 49.2% to £614.9m with operating profit up 46.1% to £123.3m, all helped by the Spirit Pub integration.
Greene King's dividend per share is up 6.3% to 8.45p. In addition to Spirit the brewer has added ten managed sites plus there has been some strategic disposals of properties from its Pub Partners business.
"Like-for-like sales growth in Greene King Retail," says chief exec Rooney Anand, "improved during the half and both Pub Partners and Brewing & Brands delivered profit growth and margin expansion."
Lastly, LondonMetric says it has sold its PC World property in Hove to clients of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC for £13.6m, reflecting a net investment yield of 5.4%. LondonMetric says it acquired the asset for £8.1m.
LondonMetric recently signed a new 15 year lease (with a break at 10 years) with PC World at a new rent of £0.8 million pa on an extended 28,000 sq ft store it says. Work on the 9,000 sq ft extension begins shortly.
The sale is expected to complete in January 2016 says boss Andrew Jones. "This asset has generated attractive returns and the sale reflects the continuing strong institutional demand for well-let property."