Cigarette and nicotine products company British American Tobacco (BATS) puffs up 4.4% to £41.48 on news its revenue increased by 56.9% to £11.6bn on a year-on-year basis. The company’s chief executive Nicandro Durante says he is ‘confident’ that the company can exceed £1bn of revenue in its non-cigarette products as it seeks to diversify its product range.

Molten metal engineering company Vesuvius (VSVS) bubbles up 10% to 640p after reporting a record first half trading profit. For the period ending 30 June the company’s trading profit increased by 20.3% to £99.6m while pre-tax profits increased 44.4% to 87.8m, both on a year-on-year basis.

Medical technology company Smith & Nephew (SN.) ticks up 4.5% to £13.8 after announcing its revenue grew by 4% to $2.4bn in the first half of the year to 30 June. The company has also reconfirmed its full year guidance.

Global staffer Robert Walters (RWA) ticks up 3.2% to 786p after achieving record profits for the six months ending 30 June.  The company recorded pre-tax profits of £20.6m during the first half of the year, a 32% improvement on the prior year. It has also hiked its interim dividend by 45% to 4p per share in a year.

Automotive distributer Inchcape (INCH) revs up 1.6% to 799.5p after securing new contracts with Suziki, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW. However, the company’s pre-tax profits are down 15.6% in the six months to 30 June compared to the same period last year. Despite this, Inchcape still upped its interim dividend.

Aerospace and defence company Cobham (COB) dips 10% to 118.45p after one of its clients, US aerospace giant Boeing, is withholding payment on two major contracts. Cobham’s Centerline Drogue System programme is also taking longer and has ‘been more challenging than expected’.

Property firm Intu Properties (INTU) is down 9.2% to 163.45p after news that its chief executive David Fischel is standing down. This follows an earlier disappointment when real estate behemoth Hammerson (HMSO) pulled out of a £3.4bn take-over of the company in April. The company also says there has been a period of weakening sentiment in the retail market which has impacted prime shopping centre valuations.

Insurance company Lancashire (LRE) shares drop 6.2% to 536p after its CEO Alex Maloney says after pricing peaked in January ‘we are now seeing a decline from those levels’. He adds that there is too much capital in the system and another year of losses ‘may serve to dampen appetites. Some of its peers are exiting unprofitable lines of business and ‘time will tell what impact this will have on the market’.

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Issue Date: 26 Jul 2018