New contracts worth £1.2 billion help embattled security group G4S (GFS) stage a comeback in the first half to June. But despite growth in underlying profits the company admits that there is 'much to be done' to reverse its fortunes. G4S has faced strong criticism for failing to provide enough security guards at the 2012 Olympics and allegations of overcharging on a UK government prisoner tagging contract. The shares edge 1.4% higher to 263.4p.
Water group Pennon (PNN) warns of a profit hit from a household bill freeze. But the shares remain flat at 794.5p as investors digest the group's continued strong financial performance and reassurance that it will hit regulatory targets for the 2010 to 2015 period.
Car insurer Admiral (ADM) falls 2.1% to £14.18 as pre-tax profits in the first half rise just 2%, despite customer numbers increasing 9%. Flat premiums continue to dog the company, putting margins under pressure.
Motor retail and aftersales service star turn Lookers (LOOK) accelerates 2.6% to 137.5p as superb interims and a bullish outlook statement stoke further forecast upgrades. Profits powered ahead 36% to £40.2 million in the half to June, driven by strong performances across new and used cars as well as aftersales. Buoyed by another set of record figures and with the September order book ahead of plan, CEO Andy Bruce says full-year results 'should exceed current market expectations.'
Running Shares Play of the Week Enquest (ENQ) falls 4.6% to 118.9p as interims reveal further delays to its Alma/Galia development. That news overshadows a 17.9% year-on-year increase in first half production to 25,292 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). The flagship project is now expected on stream in the middle of next year against hopes of a second half commencement.
Latin American explorer President Energy (PPC:AIM) collapses 25% to 24p as its maiden well in Paraguay delivers a 'proof of concept' success but not the big oil discovery the market was hoping for. The company says the results which reveal the presence of some elements of a working petroleum system support its Lapacho and Tapir prospects and due to today's results Lapacho will be drilled next.
Geophysical data specialist Getech (GTC:AIM) gains 13% to 52p as its pre-close update for the year to 31 July indicates pre-tax profits of £1 million. That's a significant recovery given the first half's contribution of just £233,000. This reflects the company's operationally geared business model.
European property developer and manager CLS (CLI) improves 3.6% to £13.33 as net assets rise 11.3% in value to £14.12 in the six months to July. Pre-tax profits increased 173.1% to £62 million on lower vacancies and higher rents.
Drug developer Hutchison China Meditech (HCM:AIM) plummets 7% to 985p as a data safety and monitoring committee advises ending tests on its ulcerative colitis treatment HMPL-004. The advice has been made on studies of data to date.