Stocks in London trade lower on the back of a profit warning from tech outfit Laird (LRD) and a slowdown in sales at consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB.).

The blue chip FTSE 100 index is down 0.2% at 6,987 with similar declines in the mid cap index.

At Laird, weak mobile phone sales are to blame for lowered profit guidance, sending shares 46% lower to 170p. Underlying pre-tax profit is now expected to be around £50m, down from analyst estimates before today's update of £77m. The update is another blow to the company after chief executive David Lockwood agreed to depart for defence outfit Cobham (COB) in August.

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser is one of the main drags on the FTSE 100, falling 2.5% to £71.39 as investors question whether it can hit expectations of a 4% constant currency increase in like-for-like sales for the full year. A third quarter update shows net revenue growth slowed to 2%, lower than performance in the first six months of its financial year. Improvement in the fourth quarter will be needed for the business to hit expectations.

Also going backwards, Travis Perkins (TPK) slips 5% to £14.14 on plans by the builders merchant to close 30 branches and incur £50m of one-off costs in a supply chain efficiencies programme. Chief executive John Carter says in a third quarter trading update that it is still too early to predict demand in 2017 and management is 'continuing to monitor lead indicators closely'. Sector peer Grafton (GFTU) also falls 2.5% to 510.

 


Issue Date: 19 Oct 2016