London’s FTSE 100 rallied 46.6 points to 7,373.4 on Monday as claims the US and China are ‘very close’ to a trade deal sent global markets higher.

Restaurant Group (RTN) fell 3.8% to 140.5p after delivering an update to bondholders on second-quarter trading at Wagamama. Turnover rose by 11% to £93.5m thanks to the opening of six new sites and as delivery kitchen with the US showing 12.5% like-for-like sales growth.

Adjusted operating earnings were up 27% to £16.7m giving a margin on sales of 18.1% compared with 15.7% in the same quarter a year ago.

Meanwhile the board of fast-food delivery firm Just Eat (JE.) published a letter to shareholders recommending they ignore the Prosus offer of 710p per share, saying it ‘significantly’ undervalues the food delivery company. Shares in Just Eat, which continues to back an offer from, fattened up 1.4p to 754.4p.

Financial information provider Euromoney (ERM) cheapened 2p to £12.76 despite announcing the acquisition of Wealth-X which provides data on the world’s richest private individuals.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but for the year to 31 December Wealth-X was projected to make revenues of $12.7m and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $0.8m.

Pub group Marston’s (MARS) confirmed the disposal of 137 pubs from its non-core estate to rival Admiral Taverns for a total of £44.9m, sending the shares 0.65% higher to 124p.

Personal Assets Trust (PNL) reported a 2.5% increase in Net Asset Value for the six months to the end of October due to its ‘modest’ exposure to risk assets such as stocks.

More interesting was the news that Sebastian Lyon of Troy Asset Management would take over running the fund from the start of May 2020. Shares in the investment trust were flat at £421.5.

Betting technology firm Sportech (SPO) ticked 0.15% higher to 33p after announcing that while full year revenues would be in line with estimates, due to tight cost control earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would be ahead of previous guidance.

Financial intermediary and broker FinnCap (FCAP:AIM) was flat at 21.5p despite registering a steep increase in revenues and earnings for the five months to the end of September thanks to the acquisition of Cavendish Corporate Finance back in April.

Group turnover was £14.2m against £9.1m thanks to the inclusion of £5m of merger and acquisition (M&A) revenues.

Chief executive Sam Smith commented that the group ‘now has a more diversified revenue stream and we remain excited about continuing to build a financial services business for growth companies’.

Egg-free cakes retailer Cake Box (CBOX:AIM) sweetened up 3.5p to 142.5p, despite first half profits having been temporarily impacted by the timing of new store openings, as growth-hungry investors focused on the robust outlook.

Trading during the first eight weeks of the second half has been ‘encouraging’ and Cake Box remains on track to achieve its full year franchise store openings target.

D4T4 Solutions (D4T4:AIM) cheapened 9.1% to 195.5p after posting a fall in first half profit, although the data solutions specialist touted a stronger second half to come, underpinned by a high level of contract renewals.

Billing software provider Cerillion (CER:AIM) edged 1.3% higher to 188.5p as full year results confirmed a strong second half and a healthy order book, prompting broker Shore Capital to raised its forecasts for the new financial year.

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Issue Date: 25 Nov 2019