UK stocks opened slightly lower today with the FTSE 100 off 0.17% at 7,600.4 while the FTSE 250 index was flat at 21,720.
Gambling stocks were on the back foot following the banning of credit cards which comes into effect on April 14. GVC (GVC) was trading off 0.24%, William Hill (WHM) was 2% lower while Flutter Entertainment (FLTR) shares were 0.8% softer.
Online fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO) bucked the weak retail environment after reporting revenues for the four months to 31 December up 44%, prompting an upgrade to expectations for the full year growth to 29 February to 40% to 42% against 33% to 38% previously. The shares traded 2.4% higher at 325p and are up more than 50% over the last six months.
Also firing on all cylinders were shares in fantasy miniatures retailer Games Workshop (GAW), up 5.7% to £67.4 after reporting strong first half growth in pre-tax profit of 44% to £58.6m. The company declared a dividend up 54% to 100p per share.
Recruitment company Page Group (PAGE) said fourth quarter weakness in Asia and the UK led to a 2.6% fall in gross profits. However, full-year gross profit rose 5% to £856m. 'The majority of the group's regions were impacted by macro-economic and political uncertainty in the fourth quarter', chief executive Steve Ingham said. The shares were 1.7% firmer at 476p.
On the downside were shares in white-label household good-maker company McBride (MCB), hammered 16% lower to 67.1p after reporting lower first-half revenues following a slowdown in the last two months of the year.
Chemicals firm Elementis (ELM) warned on profit after reporting a subdued first quarter which was impacted by a challenging market backdrop as more cyclically-exposed parts of the business like chromium and energy deteriorated. The shares slid 12.7% to 143.7p.
Chief executive Peter Redfern commented, ‘despite an uncertain political and economic backdrop in 2019, we have continued to experience a good level of demand for our homes and trading in the second half of the year was as anticipated.'
Shares in builders merchants group Grafton Group (GFTU) were 5.2% to the good following a trading update for the year ended 31 December where the company said that sales in the last two months of the year were better than anticipated.
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