After five days of consecutive gains the FTSE 100 was back in the red on Thursday as hopes for an overnight deal on Greek’s looming debt repayments were dashed. In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 had recovered a little to trade down 5.25 points at 6839.56. The FTSE 250 just nudges into positive territory – up 2.62 points to 17,927.60.
Among the mid-caps packaging group DS Smith (SMDS) climbs 2.5% to 385.3p as it announces a 20% increase in pre-tax profit to £200 million in the 12 months to 30 April as well as the proposed acquisition of Grupo Lantero's corrugated business for €190 million, expanding its position in Iberia. Corrugated box volumes have risen by 3.1% year-on-year.
Supermarkets giant Tesco (TSCO) ticks up 2.10p to 217.9p as anticipation builds ahead of tomorrow's first quarter trading update.
Debenhams (DEB) creeps 1.23p higher to 91.53p on a reassuring third quarter update confirming the department store is on course to hit full-year profit targets. However trading over the 15 weeks to 13 June was lacklustre, with like-for-like sales flat, reflecting a pull forward of its New Season Spectacular into the first half.
Photobooth operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) gains 0.7% to 137.5p on a 16% rise in reported pre-tax profit to £35 million. Revenue at constant currency has increased for the first time in five years, by 0.9%, due to the winding down of its minilab division. The group has hiked its dividend by 30% to 4.88p.
North Sea E&P Trap Oil (TRAP:AIM) falls 34% to 0.41p as it secures an agreement with creditors but announces that the Niobe well failed to uncover hydrocarbons in commercial quantities. Following the settlement deal the group has just £400,000 cash in the bank and says it needs to raise more cash to cover any potential cost over-runs on Niobe.
The failure of Independent Resources (IRG:AIM) to attract a farm-out partner for its Ksar Hadada development in Tunisia continues to frustrate investors as it reports its prelims. The shares are marked down 32.5% to 0.68p despite the company insisting that the asset remains viable even given lower oil prices.
International bathroom fit-out specialists Norcros (NXR) moves 5.4% higher to 19.5p as the Wilmslow-based £110.5 million cap announces the acquisition of Croydex Group, a UK-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality bathroom furnishings and accessories, for £21.9 million.
High-tech defence specialist Cohort (CHRT:AIM) climbs 4.3% to 276p after the £108.3 million cap's full year results for the 12 months to the end of April show a 40% increase in revenue to £99.9 million while the group looks forward to a strong order book underpinning turnover in the current year.