The FTSE 100 was struggling for direction by midday, down a smidge at 7,128.53, amid the usual summer lull in trading volumes and with few big catalysts to shift sentiment in either direction.

Accommodation giant Intercontinental Hotels (IHG) fell 1.7% to £46.54, having swung to a modest first-half profit, citing an improvement in demand, most evident in China.

Intercontinental Hotels, however, still refrained from declaring an interim dividend.

Gambling company Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) rallied 8% to £139.78 after it reported a better-than-expected trebling of first-half profit amid a bounce back in sports betting activity.

Flutter didn't declare a dividend either and said its payout policy would be 'kept under review', with a medium-term leverage target of 1-2 times retained.

Wealth manager Abrdn (ABDN) fell 2.2% to 291p as it swung to a £113 million first-half profit, underpinned by higher fee revenue and lower impairments.

Abrdn left its interim dividend unchanged at 7.3p per share.

Rival wealth manager M&G slipped 2.9% to 231.1p, having swung to a first-half loss due to movements in the market value of its assets, though its underlying performance improved.

M&G's adjusted pre-tax operating profit rose 6% to £327 million after positive market movements and net institutional inflows offset net retail outflows. It declared an interim dividend of 6.1p per share.

Hedge-fund manager Man (EMG) firmed 2.6% to 214.8p on announcing that it would commence a $100 million buyback.

The programme would run from 10 August to 9 August 2022.

Luxury watches and jewellery retailer Watches of Switzerland (WOSG) ticked 5.2% higher to £10.77 on announcing that its first-quarter revenue had almost doubled, putting it on track to meet its annual guidance.

Watches of Switzerland's revenue for the three months through June had jumped 96% year-on-year to £297.5 million.

Companies investor Witan Investment Trust (WTAN) was flat at 247p after it posted a positive first-half performance that beat its benchmark and lifted its dividend.

Witan declared a second interim quarterly dividend of 1.36p per share, brining first-half dividends 2.72p, up from 2.68p year-on-year.

Safety products investor Marlowe (MRL:AIM) gained 9% to 820p on news that it had decided to no longer pursue an acquisition of document management group Restore.

Restore last month rejected a £743 million cash and share offer by Marlow worth 530p per share, including 71p cash, claiming it was too low. Restore reversed 1.5% to 496.5p.

Auto dealer Marshall Motor (MMH:AIM) revved 2.7% higher to 250.6p, having swung to a first-half profit and reinstated its dividend at 8.86p per share after demand bounced back as lockdowns eased.

Marshall Motor forecast a potentially tougher second half, however, citing vehicle supply problems.

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Issue Date: 10 Aug 2021