London shares began on a mildly negative note ahead of a raft of inflation data due out mid morning, while Europe is heavily lower after a series of terror attacks in Brussels this morning.
The FTSE 100 index nudge around 15 points, or roughly 0.3%, lower to 6,167.
Thomas Cook (TCG) falls 5% to 87.8p in the wake of this morning's deadly explosions in Brussels' airport and metro system. The travel agent has maintained its full year guidance and says underlying demand for its holidays remains strong, despite the volatile geopolitical backdrop. Bookings for Winter 2015/16 are down 3% on last year.
Newspaper publisher Johnston Press (JPR) is up 14.6% to 47p as shareholders overwhelmingly support the £24 million purchase of the 'i' as prelims reveal adjust pre-tax profit up 22.6% to £31.5 million as the group exerted control on costs in a tough trading environment.
Pub group Enterprise Inns (ETI) surges 6% to 66p on a 1.5% rise in like-for-like net income in its leased and tenanted estate in the 25 weeks to 19 March. The group has expanded its commercial property portfolio to 245 properties with an average annualised rental income of £58,000. It expects to generate £25 million of excess cash flow this year which it will use to fund a share buyback.
Online gambling group 888 (888) gains 2.6% to 186.3p on a 12% increase in like-for-like revenue to $507.7 million in 2015, driven by a 37% increase in Casino players and strong mobile growth. Pre-tax profit has more than halved to $32.5 million as a result of gaming duties and costs related to its aborted bid for Bwin.Party.
Luxury shoe designer Jimmy Choo (CHOO) slips 3.3p to 132.7p despite annual numbers showing 7.2% top-line growth to almost £318 million, investors focusing on modest 1.1% like-for-like sales growth and a rather cautious outlook, management flagging 'the challenging competitive environment'.
eSports events business Gfinity (GFIN:AIM) crashes 20% to 9.6p after its operating loss widens from £1.3 million to £1.8 million in the six months to 31 December due to higher administrative costs and investments made in the business. The group has yet to sign agreements with prospective sponsorship partners, which means full year revenue is likely to be below expectations.
DDoS cyber security firm Corero Network Security (CNS:AIM) rallies 6.5% to 24.75p as it wins a significant order for its SmartWall Threat Defense System from a US-based international hosting provider. The customer is one of the world's largest hosting companies, Corero tells the market.
Deal-hungry floor coverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP:AIM) weaves a 6.4% gain at £14.90 on a positive full-year trading update. Forecast upgrades ensue as charismatic chairman Geoff Wilding says pre-tax profits for the year ending 2 April will come in 'materially ahead' of market expectations. We'll look at today's developments in a bit more detail here later.
Endurance nutrition products purveyor Science in Sport (SIS:AIM) sprints 3.8% higher to 54.5p as finals show encouraging top-line growth, up 18% to £9.45 million with a boost from online and international sales as well as new products. Investors also like the confident tenor to CEO Stephen Moon's outlook statement, flagging a strong start to 2016.
Agri-supplies-to-specialist retailer Wynnstay (WYN:AIM) weakens 6.5p to 466p on news of subdued trading in the opening four months of the financial year, no surprise given the well-documented downturn across the agricultural sector. For more on Wynnstay's resilient broad-based model and strong dividend track record, click here.
Drug developer and discovery specialist E-Therapeutics (ETX:AIM) climbs 9% to 13.5p on producing several compounds that have exceeded management’s expectations. The company is working to develop cancer drug-resistance and anti-infection treatments from its research.
Plans to raise up to £120 million to fund development projects sends doctors’ surgery landlord Primary Health Properties (PHP:AIM) 6.5% lower to 103.2p. The real estate investment trust is to sell 120 million shares through a placing and open offer at 100p each, a 9.5% discount to Monday’s 110.5p closing price.
Respiratory-focused drug company Synairgen (SNG:AIM) rises 2.3% to 22.5p on positive results from tests on its treatment for lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Meanwhile, operating losses more than doubled to £2.6 million in 2015 thanks to licencing partner AstraZeneca (AZN) making a £4.2 million milestone payment in 2014.