Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) slips 1.6% to 396.5p on reporting a £3.5 billion pre-tax loss in 2014, albeit improvement on 2013 when it was £9 billion in the red. A writedown in its US business has been blamed for the bank’s seventh successive annual loss, while CEO Ross McEwan confirms more jobs cuts are planned as its restructuring continues.
Heavy equipment rental outfit firm Lavendon (LVD) gains 7.4% to 181p on strong demand for its power access lifts in the UK and the Middle East. Chief executive Don Kenny says earnings for the year to December 2015 look set to come in ahead of expectations and sees no slowdown in its Middle East business, despite a low oil price.
Domino's Pizza (DOM) surges 8% to 748p after it reports a record profit before tax of £54.4 million for the year ending 28 December 2014, up 15.1% from the previous year. Like-for-like sales growth in its core UK market accelerates to 11.3% but the German business had a difficult year with sales down 4.9%. The group served 75 million pizzas in 2014.
Government outsourcer and construction outfit Interserve (IRV) adds 2.9% to 573p as underlying profit surges for the year to end-December. Headline underlying earnings per share increases 23% to 58.8p and its order book swells by 26%.
Redde (REDD:AIM), which provides courtesy cars for insurance customers, reports growth in credit hire, hire days and repairs in the six months to end December driving shares 5.7% higher to 99p. Earnings per share gain 21.5% to 4.1p and the dividend is hiked 19% to 4p. We recently examined Redde in detail as part of a feature on the stocks being bought by famous fund manager Neil Woodford. Read that article here.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes (LAD) gains 4% to 118.9p despite profit before tax almost halving to £37.7 million in 2014 driven by 'regulatory headwinds' and a disappointing Boxing Day. Over-the-counter stakes are declining at a rate of 7% and the 22.9% growth in digital is below forecasts, leading analysts at Davy to warn they could revise down their earnings forecasts yet again. The group expects to close 60 UK shops this year.
Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments (MERL) falls 1.2% to 415p after management warns like-for-like growth in 2015 will be tempered by the tough comparatives created by its strong performance in 2014. Profit before tax rose by 34% to £249 million in 2014 with revenue up 7.1% to £1.2 billion.
Mid cap oil company Premier Oil (PMO) cans its dividend but counter-intuitively sees its shares rise 0.9% to 175.5p. Investors obviously welcome the company's willingness to adapt to the new reality of lower oil prices with the move, announced alongside today's prelims, expected to save the company $40 million.
Non-life insurer RSA (RSA) falls 2.4% to 439.2p despite the return of its dividend. The FTSE 100 insurer reported a £275 million pre-tax profit for 2014, which fell short of the £362.5 million consensus.
Better-than-expected full-year results fail to move copper miner Kaz Minerals (KAZ), flat at 253.3p. Costs were well below guidance and former Anglo American (AAL) zinc and copper divisions boss John MacKenzie is joining as non-executive director. Read our thoughts on the copper market in this article from January which includes commentary on Kaz Minerals.
Photobooth and laundrette operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) gains 3.3% to 149.8p on a 12% increase in profit before tax in the third quarter (1 Nov 2014 to 31 Jan 2015). The group says it is confident of delivering full-year results at least in line with expectations and reiterates its commitment to a 30% increase in the total dividend for the current financial year.
Gaming software development company Playtech (PTEC) rises 3.4% to 763p as revenue rises 24% to a record €457 million in the year to 31 December 2014 driven by its flagship casino product. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is up 30% to €207.1 million.
Public transport specialist National Express (NEX) slips 2.1% to 276.3p on profit-taking after the £1.4 billion cap's full-year results showed revenue rising 2% to £1.87 billion while normalised profit before tax rose 7% to £145.4 million.