The FTSE 100 starts slightly higher on Friday, up 6.83 points after sterling weakens against both the dollar and the euro. The US indices all hit new highs last night and all eyes will be on job figures from across the pond later.
In corporate news, budget airline EasyJet (EZJ) sheds 1.1% to £12.70 despite releasing a pleasing trading statement. The company expects headline pre-tax profit for 2017 to be at the upper end of guidance and has also delivered record passenger numbers. However, exchange rate movements are expected to have a £100m impact on headline pre-tax profits compared to the previous financial year.
Ten-pin bowling operator Hollywood Bowl (BOWL) ticks up 1.4% to 186.63p as it states it expects earnings for the year to be slightly ahead of expectations. Its year ending 30 September update suggests full year revenue grew 8.9% with like-for-like revenue growth of 3.5%.
Intellectual property and life sciences support services company RWS Holdings (RWS) gains 11.2% to 439.38p as it forecasts its ‘best ever year’. The company expects revenues to be up 33.6% to £163m for year ending 30 September.
Aerospace and defence specialist Chemring (CHG) rises 5.9% after receiving advance payment on a munitions contract worth $30m. It confirms that the associated revenue and profits from the contract will be recognised in 2017, although full year guidance remains unchanged,
High tech defence company Ultra Electronics (ULE) ticks up 12p to £18.45 after its US acquisition target Sparton Corporation’s shareholders gave the nod for its $325m takeover. This should cement Ultra’s position as the main supplier of sonobuoys for the US Navy.
Used car retailer Motorpoint (MOTR) tracks up 4.9% to 142.13p on forecasting a large hike in profits. For its half year ending 30 September, the company expects underlying pre-tax profits to be around £10.5m, up from £6.4m on a year on year basis.
Platinum producer Lonmin (LMI) is up 9.6% to 81.13p after being given the thumbs up to acquire Pandora JV. Lonmin’s lending banks have given the go ahead and the company also secures a covenant waiver from 30 September to 30 March 2018.
Cake maker Finsbury Food (FIF:AIM) is down 1.8% to 106.5p after revealing it will close the loss-making Grain D’Or factory. The company says that the costs associated with the closure could reach £10m, although more likely to be in region on £6m.