London’s FTSE 100 opened higher on Wednesday, up 0.96% to 6,279.16 early on, after positive Chinese services data stoked hopes of an economic rebound as lockdowns are eased.
Travel food outlet operator SSP (SSPG) softened 1.6% to 300.4p after booking a first half loss caused by coronavirus-led store closures and travel restrictions. SSP also launched a shares for dividend deal aimed at having shareholders reinvest this year’s 6p final dividend back into the company.
Defence contractor Chemring (CHG) climbed 18.7% to 253.5p after it reaffirmed its annual targets, raised the dividend and posted a jump in first half profit after it won new orders from the United States despite the coronavirus crisis.
Chemring also said its order book was strong and about 95% of the expected revenue for the second half has been delivered to date.
However, chief executive Jozsef Varadi said it was too early to provide a detailed outlook for the current financial year, which has seen revenue plummet due to pandemic-driven flight groundings.
Rival low-cost carrier Ryanair (RYA) improved 0.8% to €12.13 despite reporting a 99.5% plunge in passenger volumes for May compared to the same period a year earlier amid COVID-19 travel bans. Due to multiple government flight restrictions and bans, Ryanair expects to see ‘minimal’ traffic in June too.
Cider, beer and spirits business C&C (CCR) frothed up 6% to 210p after prudently pulling its final dividend to conserve cash after annual profit plunged owing to COVID-19 impairments and the write down of its Vermont brands.
The Magners, Bulmers and Tennent’s maker also assured investors that it ‘entered this crisis with a robust balance sheet and have further strengthened that position with additional liquidity enhancing actions’.
Fishing tackle retailer Angling Direct (ANG:AIM) advanced 4% to 64.5p, despite reporting a loss for the year to January due to exceptional winter flooding. Investors focused on the news online sales have surged ahead since the onset of COVID-19 and Angling Direct is now in the process of preparing to open stores safely.
Industrial cleaning group React (REAT:AIM) jumped 6.6% to 1.63p after it launched a £1.25m placing at 1.5p to fund sales and marketing activities and support its contract pipeline. React has been experiencing high demand amid the pandemic as clients seek decontamination and infection control services.