Military equipment maker Chemring (CHG) gains 4.3% to 248p as it announces the £138 million sale of its European munitions businesses. The company says the cash injection will improve its net debt to earnings ratio. Investec comments: 'This is positive, in our opinion, as it reduces balance sheet risk and provides management with flexibility to address tough defence end markets and seek growth in near and adjacent markets.'
Centamin (CEY) implies a new law in Egypt could result in the dismissal of a legal case questioning its right to operate the Sukari gold mine. Investors like the news, sending the share price up 10.1% to 61.6p. Read our news analysis on the announcement.
Consumer products powerhouse Unilever (ULVR) eases 1.1% to £26.06 despite pushing out a solid first quarter update. The Hellmann's mayonnaise-to-Pot Noodle maker's turnover tumbled 6.3% to €11.4 billion amid slowing emerging markets and a negative currency hit. We take a closer look at the news in this article.
Blue chip drugs giant AstraZeneca (AZN) slips 0.7% to £40.14 after revealing an 18% drop in first quarter profits to $1.8 billion. There's still no official response from the pharmaceutical group about rumoured bid interest from Pfizer.
FTSE 100 miner Anglo American (AAL) rises 2.4% to £15.84 on robust production numbers. The only blip is a 39% year-on-year slump in platinum production which it blames on industrial action in South Africa during the first quarter of 2014. There's no mention of exiting its Rustenberg platinum mines, as speculated by the Financial Times earlier this week.
Mr Kipling cakes-to-Ambrosia custard maker Premier Foods (PFD), which recently completed a transformational financial restructuring, cheapens 1.97% to 62.25p on a soft first quarter trading update. A 3.5% fall in Grocery Power Brands sales to £123.7 million was largely expected, though excuses such as tough grocery market conditions and this year's milder weather and late Easter get the thumbs down from investors.
Identity intelligence business GB (GBG:AIM) is to pay £20.5 million for Australian DecTech Solutions as part of its strategy to expand into new markets and product areas. GB also confirms strong current trading and an £11 million share placing to part fund the acquisition, priced at 137.5p, above yesterday's 133p close. The market clearly likes the deal, driving the shares 7.5% to 143p in today's trading.
Gift wrap, greetings cards and stationery maker International Greetings (IGR:AIM) gains 6.4% at 75p on a positive trading statement. The £41 million cap traded in line with expectations in the year to March and debt levels reduced by a better-than-expected amount.
Specialty chemicals outfit Elementis (ELM) edges up 0.6% to 296.1p after reporting a good start to the year. Sector peer Croda (CRDA) falls 1.3% to £25.48 after flagging pressure from unfavourable foreign exchange rates which could prevent earnings improving in its second quarter compared to the previous three months.
Taylor Walker-to-Wacky Warehouse operator Spirit Pub Company (SPRT) rises 1.9% to 80p after reporting an 11% rise in interim pre-tax profit to £22 million. The second-half period has started well with an 8.3% rise in like-for-like sales in its managed pubs arm for the four weeks to 29 March.
Bombed-out Bahamian oil explorer Bahamas Petroleum (BPC:AIM) surges 68.4% to 2.5p on the appointment of new high-profile management and progress with farming out assets off the Caribbean island. The former chief operating officer of BP's (BP.) now defunct TNK-BP joint venture Bill Schrader becomes non-executive chairman and ex-Bahamas finance minister James Smith becomes deputy chairman.
Kazakh oil and gas play Tethys Petroleum (TPL) gains 5.6% to 28.5p as it unveils the third successful shallow gas well so far this year. Drilled on the Akkulka property to a depth of 800 metres, AKK19 intercepted a pay zone (the rock in which hydrocarbons are found in exploitable quantities) twice as thick as AKK15 to the north-west.
Workforce optimising software supplier ServicePower Technologies (SVR:AIM) jumps 8.5% to 8p after agreeing a licence deal with German giant and existing customer Bosch. This will bolster up the UK company’s core field engineer software suite in the machine-to-machine (m2m) connected services space, an emerging area of opportunity.
Sweden's EU Supply (EUSP:AIM) is a major faller in the software space, the shares crashing more than 16% to 30.5p as full-year losses soar at the pan-European e-commerce supplier. EU Supply joined Aim in November after raising £5 million at 22.6p per share.