The UK’s biggest telecoms group, BT (BT.A), plans to shake-up its global service division and scale back dividend growth ambitions. The group continues to battle back from the effects of an accounting scandal in Italy and a profit warning. The share price remains surprisingly robust in early trades, dipping a little more than 1% to 308.55p.
British company behind the Superdry fashion brand, Supergroup (SGP), is forecasting full-year profit in line with expectations in a trading statement covering its latest quarter. The retail business continues to benefit from the weak pound although investors remain concerned about prospects for the UK high street and squeezed consumer, marking the stock a little more than 2% lower at £16.15.
FTSE 250 Aldermore (ALD) reports a 6% increase in first-quarter lending buoyed by strong demand from small and medium-sized businesses, homeowners and landlords. But investors shrug-off the news from the banking group, the stock flat at 257p.
Soft drink bottling group Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) reports higher first quarter revenue and sales volumes on Thursday, helped by improving trends in Russia and other markets. That news nudges the stock 10p higher to £21.94.
A raft of large company stocks go ex-dividend on Thursday acting as a drag on the wider market. These include, insurer Admiral (ADM), oil giant BP (BP.), under pressure British Gas-owner Centrica (CNA), mining group Glencore (GLEN) and pharmaceuticals colossus GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The FTSE 100 remains almost flat, off just a handful of points at 7.383.30.
Energy supply minnow and technology developer Flowgroup (FLOW:AIM) is attempting to about face its previous decision to sell its energy supply business. But to do so the company confirms a desperately needed cash call, with advanced talks over a £20m cash injection. But investors fear a massive dilution from bargain priced new stock, sending the share price spinning 40% lower to 1.8p, valuing the business at £6m.
Car dealer Lookers (LOOK) surprises sceptics by posting robust first quarter new car sales and profits. Investors had been getting nervous about new car sales in the UK, which saw a record 2.69m new cars hit Britain’s roads in 2016. Lookers share price rises 1p to 123p.
Shares in generic drugs developer Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) slump almost 8% to £18.06 as its inhaled asthma treatment ANDA is temporarily blocked by regulator, the FDA. The news blows a 9% hole in the share price of Vectura (VEC) as well, which had been developing the inhaled delivery system for the treatment. Vectura shares are down 12.7p to 132.2p.