London markets slump into the red in early trade on Tuesday on concerns about Greece and bond market volatility, while blue chip budget airline Easyjet (EZJ) disappoints with its full-year outlook. The benchmark FTSE 100 index tumbles roughly 90 points, or 1.2%, plunging back below the important 7,000 mark to 6,941, ahead of data that is expected to show UK industrial production growth slowing to a standstill in March.
In corporate news, budget airline EasyJet crash lands more than 7% to £16.98, leading the Footsie fallers despite swinging back into the black. The shares tank on word that exchange-rate movements and air traffic control strikes in France are expected to hit second-half results.
Credit-checking outfit Experian (EXPN) also fell despite returning to organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter. For the full year, total revenue from continuing activities grew 1% to $4.8 billion, with profit before tax slightly above flat at $751 million.
Among the bigger movers, Surgical Innovations (SUN:AIM) collapses by more than 20% to 1.45p as losses soared last year to £9.8 million. Much of that damage is caused by £8.4 million of one-off and impairment charges.
Industrial minnow Fox Marble (FOX:AIM) slumps nearly 9% to 19.5p as it raises £2 million via a placing of 10 million new shares at 20p. Proceeds will go to pay-off an outstanding convertible loan of £1.1 million with Amati Global that was entered into at the Company's IPO in August 2012.
Resources tiddler W Resources (WRES:AIM) rises 5.5% to 0.29p as it completes the scout diamond drilling programme at the CAA / Portalegre gold and base metal exploration licence in Portugal. In the 1058 metre drilling campaign, Hole CAAD-05 intersected 16 metres of gold at 1.37 grams per tonne between 124 metres and 140 metres, which is the most significant result in the CAA programme.
Franchised motor retailer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB:AIM), a running Shares Play of the Week, sparks up 2.6% to 59p as strong interims and a confident outlook statement stoke another round of forecast upgrades. We highlighted scope for additional upwards earnings revisions here last week.
Electronic components supplier TT Electronics (TTG) rises 2.3% to 136p as it tells investors that trading is in line with expectations. Revenues were in line with the prior year on an organic basis and forward orders remain solid.
Home and motor insurer Hiscox (HSX) falls 3.1% to 792.2p despite premiums rising 12% to £561.7 million in the three months to the end of March. This was driven by a 26% rise in US demand, but low growth in Europe is a concern, as Shares explains here.
Pubs group Enterprise Inns (ETI) adds 0.6% to 133.2p after revealing plans to significantly expand its managed business to mitigate the impact of the new Market Rent Option law. By September 2020 it aims to have between 750 and 850 managed pubs, up from 16 today, as well as a commercial property business with 900 to 1,000 property assets, up from 185 today. It also plans to sell pubs which aren't delivering acceptable returns, reducing its total estate from 5,200 to around 4,200 pubs by 2020.
Gambling group Sportech (SPO) loses 0.7% to 67.5p on a 9% fall in betting volumes in its Venues business between 1 January and 11 May, driven by the severe winter in the US and the rebuilding of a major venue. Its Digital business also suffered the loss of two 'significant and profitable' customers. Despite this management expects full year trading to be in line with expectations.
South eastern Europe-focused Secured Property Development & Investment (SPDI:AIM) rises 4.5% to 23p on rents increasing 33% to €3.6 million in 2014. The value of its assets improved 59% to €62 million on the back of acquisitions. Prelims are due 25 May.