A 10% rise in half-year revenues would suggest Moneysupermarket (MONY) is progressing nicely, so too would a 20% rise in the dividend. Yet the shares fall 16.6% to 177p as analysts downgrade forecasts because of a poor start to the second half. One reason behind a flat performance in July was launching a new TV advertising campaign in August versus July last year. There's also bad news that chief financial officer Paul Doughty has resigned, although he'll stay with the business until 1 June 2014 at the latest.
Despite reporting a 13.1% dip in interim taxable profits to £17.3 million, Devro (DVO) sizzles up 5.1p to 311.7p as investors digest signs of a better second half. Read our news analysis on the results here.
A strengthening UK house market bodes well for property website Rightmove (RMV), up 4.2% to £24.07 on the prospect of more interest in housing transactions. Half-year results show £44.6 million pre-tax profit versus £38.9 million a year ago. Of particular note is a rise in average revenue per advertiser, an increase in the volume of advertisers and a confident outlook statement.
British Gas-owner Centrica (CNA) nudges up 1.5% to 391.5p on largely benign half-year results. While overall operating profits rose 9.4%, British Gas profits are roughly flat at £569 million, with the group's exploration and drilling arm far more important. Operating profits jump 15.7% to £802 million, or over 50% of the group's £1.58 billion total.
A star turn from Brewin Dolphin (BRW) takes the stockbroker up 6% to 259p. Revenue for the third quarter increases by 14% and a fund raising earlier this year has improved the group's capital position to over 200% of regulatory requirements. Canaccord Genuity reckons Brewin will report £47.8 million pre-tax profit in 2013 versus £42.9 million in 2012. This rises to £61 million in 2014 and £74.6 million in 2015, quite an impressive outlook.
Wealth manager St James’s Place (STJ) improves 4% to 617.5p after increasing its interim dividend by 50% to 6.3p. This is funded by a 21% rise in new business to £426.5 million in the six months to July, while net inflows of funds under-management improve 32% to £1.9 billion. Its cash is 84% better at £82.6 million.
Industrial and office investor Segro (SGRO) rises 1.8% to 305.4p after turning its £81.8 million loss into a £20.3 million pre-tax profit in the six months to July, year-on-year. The company also signed 122 new lettings during the period, adding £16.7 million to its annual rent roll – 30% up year-on-year. A further £2.6 million of rental income is expected to be signed soon.
Insurance broker Brightside (BRT: AIM) slips 2.7% to 27p as management warn online sales growth will be restricted by underwriting constraints. The share price remains cushioned by a possible 27p per share takeover approach from Markerstudy.
Irish national flag-carrier Aer Lingus (AERL) slips 2.8% to €1.65 after reporting financial results. Second quarter profit before tax drops 8.2% to €29.1 million while retail revenue increases by 7.9% overall and by 5.8% on a per passenger basis.
Flooring specialist James Halstead (JHD) rises 1.6% to 241.75p as the group's pre-close statement reveals total UK turnover for the year to 30 June is likely to be 4% lower year-on-year. The Manchester-based £492.9 million cap expects operating profit will still be within the range of market expectations.
Franchised off-licence chain Conviviality Retail (CVR:AIM), the owner of Bargain Booze stores, froths up 28% to 128p on its Aim debut after raising £64 million in an oversubscribed funding priced at 100p a share. The company will use the funds to expand the business from its North West heartland into the South of England as well as eliminate debt and buy out private equity firm ECI Partners. Click here for our recent pre-IPO primer.
Convenience food producer Greencore (GNC) gives up 7p or 4.6% at 145p despite issuing a resilient third quarter trading statement. For the 13 weeks to 28 June, group sales grew 2.6% to £305.8 million, although UK like-for-like sales were 1.3% down in the convenience foods business reflecting weak recovery in Italian Ready Meals following the horsemeat scandal. Encouragingly, sales were more than 50% higher in the US thanks to acquisitions and a new contract to supply Starbucks (SBUX:NASDAQ). Read our recent take on Greencore's US growth opportunity here.
Funeral services provider Dignity (DTY) declines 2.1% to £15.05 despite delivering strong half-year numbers showing taxable profits 20.4% ahead at £33.1 million and improving cash generations. After a storming run from Dignity, set to return £62 million to shareholders next month, some investors may be booking profits.
Premium alcoholic drinks giant Diageo (DGE) froths up 1.8% to £20.25 on robust annual numbers. Unveiling his first set of results since taking over from the revered Paul Walsh, new boss Ivan Menezes highlights 5% sales growth, reflecting a strong turn from the Johnnie Walker-to-Smirnoff maker's US spirits business and ongoing double digit growth in emerging markets.