London’s FTSE 100 firms 29.4 points to 7,207 on Tuesday, the blue-chip benchmark bouncing back from two sessions of losses as exporters benefited from a weaker pound following MPs vote to take control of the Brexit process.

Bombed-out department store operator Debenhams (DEB) rebounds 42% to 2.2p following ‘a possible offer’ from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct (SPD) for the remaining shares it doesn’t yet own. The takeover offer is an attempt by Ashley, whose Sports Direct sporting goods giant is Debenhams’ biggest shareholder, to wrestle control of the business from lenders and avoid being wiped out.

In response, Debenhams says: ‘Any firm proposal from Sports Direct regarding an offer for the company will be given due consideration by the board. Given the timetable associated with any public offer, an offer for the company would not, in itself, address Debenhams’ immediate funding requirement. Therefore, the company will continue with its plan to obtain the funding required, as outlined in Debenhams’ statement of 22 March 2019.’

Online grocer-turned-technology platform Ocado (OCDO) ripens 4.5% to £13.12 after confirming another strategic partnership, the latest deal inked with Australian retailer Coles for facilities in Melbourne and Sydney.

Ocado CEO Tim Steiner insists ‘today marks another big moment in the continuing transformation of Ocado. Our unique, proprietary and industry-leading technology is bringing new growth opportunities to retailers around the world and changing the customer experience of grocery shopping.’

Premium carbonated mixers marvel Fevertree Drinks (FEVR:AIM) softens 1.8% to £24.96 despite serving up slightly better than expected full year results showing sales 40% ahead at £237.4m and a jump in adjusted EBITDA from £58.7m to £78.6m. The market is perhaps disappointed by the absence of further upgrades from this highly-rated growth company, one of Shares’ top picks for 2019, which is trading in line with management’s expectations at this early stage in 2019.

Elsewhere, homebuilder Crest Nicholson (CRST) clips ahead 8.9% to 384.4p after poaching Galliford Try (GFRD) CEO Peter Truscott, who will replace Patrick Bergin in the hot seat in September. There is also a rather confident AGM statement from Crest Nicholson, despite the prevailing political and economic uncertainty.

Building materials support services company Ferguson (FERG) falls 9.5% to £46.79 as a decent set of first half results are overshadowed by outlook comments pointing to a slowdown in recent trading. Management also now expects trading profits for the full year to be at the lower end of the consensus range.

Motor finance and specialist lender S&U (SUS) skips 13.2% higher to £20 on strong full year results, representing a 10th successive year of increased profits, as well as a confident outlook statement.

Food producer Tate & Lyle (TATE) sweetens up 3p to 711.2p after announcing the disposal of its non-core Oat ingredients business in Sweden to an agricultural cooperative.

International online retailer MySale (MYSL:AIM) sheds 37.4% to trade at a mere 11p on poor first half results and a warning its full year performance will be ‘materially below’ previous guidance due to the scale and disruption arising from the group’s turnaround plan.

Oil play Amerisur Resources (AMER:AIM) slumps 16% to 14.2p on an update on operations in Colombia, including at the CPO-5 block where the Calao-1X exploration well has disappointingly failed to identify hydrocarbon potential following drilling and logging.

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Issue Date: 26 Mar 2019