After finishing Monday at 6,755.6, a level not seen since September 2000, the FTSE 100 pushed ahead by a further 7.6 points to trade at 6,763.2 by Tuesday lunchtime. Firmly in fashion were shares in British luxury brand Burberry (BRBY), which strutted 35p higher to £14.98 on record full-year results to March which highlighted a strong performance in Asia.


One of the UK's most established heritage brands, the £6.4 billion cap reported taxable profits up 14% to £428 million, 2% ahead of the £418 million consensus call, on sales up 8% to £2 billion. Investors were also treated to a 16% hike in the full year dividend to 29p.


Under the guidance of chief executive officer (CEO) Angela Ahrendts, the brand retailer famed for its Equestrian Knight logo and check design continues to successfully access international markets.


Growing its presence in China, where sales surged 20% last year to confound slowdown fears, as well as Brazil, Burberry is also increasing its digital presence and is the most followed luxury brand on Facebook.


Fellow FTSE 100 retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS), subject of periodic bid speculation in recent times, was marked up 6.2% to 467.9p on relief its finals had broadly met consensus.


Taxable profits for the year to 30 March slid 6% year-on-year to £665 million despite a 1.3% rise in group sales to £10 billion, although Marks & Spencer maintained the full-year dividend at 17p.


While UK food like-for-like sales improved 1.7%, chief executive officer Marc Bolland still has work to do to get the High Street bellwether's General Merchandise business back on track.


This unit, which includes the struggling clothing division, saw sales fall by 4.1%. Last week (14 May), Marks & Spencer launched a new autumn/winter clothing collection which it hopes will win back disaffected customers. Late last year, the group drafted in former Debenhams (DEB) executive Belinda Earl as head of style.


Elsewhere among the large caps, outsourcing group Capita (CPI) rose 6.7% to £10.13 on news of its selection by communications company Telefonica UK (O2) as preferred bidder to form a 10-year strategic partnership for customer management services. Investors' enthusiasm was fired by a decade-long deal which should be worth a cool £1.2 billion.


Annual figures from mobile network giant Vodafone (VOD) were overshadowed by speculation surrounding its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, the US mobile business part owned by America group Verizon Communications (VZ:NYSE).


The £2.1 billion dividend paid out to the UK group spells out how vital the North American market is for Vodafone, especially when drawn against still struggling European operations, which continue to drag back the group as a whole.


At least free cashflow of £7 billion is anticipated this year and hopes Vodafone could be taken over helped to offset the eurozone bumps. The shares rose a fraction to 198.4p.


After rising early on, security giant G4S (GFS) slipped 2p lower to 249p after it announced the resignation of chief executive officer Nick Buckles. He will be replaced from 1 June by Ashley Almanza, who has only been working as the group's finance director for three weeks.


Elsewhere, convenience food producer Greencore (GNC) gained 3% at 121.5p on resilient half-year results to March. The Dublin-based cakes-to-Yorkshire puddings producer's interim numbers exceeded expectations, with taxable profits up 10% to £26.5 million despite slower growth in the UK grocery market and the impact of the horsemeat scandal on ready meal consumption.


Greencore's revenues more than doubled in the United States, reflecting the impact of the acquisitions of MarketFare and Schau, while the food producer also nourished investors with an 8.6% hike in the half-time payout to 1.9p.


Marginally disappointing full-year revenues from Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) were sufficient to send the £82 million cap into a spin, off 4.6% in early trade at 110p.


Better-than-expected performances from the academic and information divisions helped to offset weakness in the adult and children’s arm. Revenues came in at £98.5 million versus a consensus call for £103 million.


Downtrodden Intandem Films (IFM:AIM) got a fillip this morning on news of a positive reception at the Cannes Film Festival to its pipeline of new movies.


The company, whose shares rose 6.3% in early trade at 0.85p, reported it had received a positive response to 11 pictures showcased at the international film event.


Knock-out full year results from multi-utility supplier Telecom Plus (TEP) were broadly-cheered by analysts, yet the shares eased off 3.4% to £12.41 on a modest margins squeeze.


With 55% of new customers taking Gold membership (at least four of its gas, electricity, home phone, broadband and mobile services), annual revenue per user (ARPU) shot up 14.5% to £1,363 last year. Click here to read our story.


Half-year figures from rugged touch screens expert Zytronic (ZYT:AIM) lived down to the low expectations set by a profit warning earlier this month.


The interims showed sales down 20% and pre-tax profits 64% below last year thanks to orders delays and a mix shift toward lower-margin product sales.


Zytronic's shares lost another 5% to take their total loss to 39% slump in just 10 days.


Over in the resources sector, minnow oil explorer Solo Oil (SOLO:AIM) was in demand with investors, up 5.7% at 0.35p after it announced progress towards a farm-out deal on its Tanzanian assets.


Chinese coal bed methane specialist Green Dragon Gas (GDG:AIM) was unchanged at 195p after it unveiled plans to sell its gas distribution business as part of a strategic review.


Insurance and consultancy group Abbey Protection (ABB:AIM) improved 1.31% to 116p after management announced a special dividend. The cash-generative, debt-free company is set to return an additional £5 million to shareholders through a special payout of 5p per share.


Inhaled therapy specialist Vectura (VEC) shed 0.8% to 89.2p after confirming that Anne Hyland is stepping down as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) after 11 years. The news accompanied final results to March which showed a 21% reduction in losses to £10.4 million on stronger-than-expected revenues of £30.5 million.

Issue Date: 21 May 2013