London shares are flat in early trade on Monday with investors concerns focusing on disappointing recent US and Chinese economic data largely offset by some relatively upbeat corporate announcements. The FTSE 100 is trading just 2 points lower at 6,694, although midcaps are under pressure, the FTSE 250 index losing close on 50 points to 17,629.
HSBC (HSBA) advances 1.3% to 587.5p as pre-tax profits rise 10% to $13.6 billion in the six months to the end of June, largely thanks to its performance in Asia. The banking giant has also struck a $5.2 billion deal to sell its business in Brazil, although $1.4 billion of the proceeds will be put aside to pay potential product mis-selling compensation and other fines.
Aerospace and defence specialist Rolls Royce (RR.) advances 4.5% to 829.5p with group apparently falling under the gaze of activist investor ValueAct, according to weekend press speculation.
Quality control firm Intertek (ITRK) leaps 6.4% to £26.04 as it confirms it is on track to hit 2015 profitability targets. Intertek has over the last 12 months been dragged down by its Industry and Assurance division, which represents around one third of revenue and is heavily exposed to the oil and gas industry. Growth in other units helped the £4.2 billion cap deliver 0.9% growth in organic revenue and a 6% improvement in earnings per share to 105.6p in the six months to 30 June.
Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror (TNI) soars 7.9% to 143.5p as alongside its interims it confirms full year profits will be in line with guidance given and posts the first net cash position in its history.
North Africa focused E&P Petroceltic (PCI:AIM) falls 10.3% to 59p as it suspends the marketing of a $175 million bond issue citing ‘volatile market conditions’. The proceeds are intended to help develop its flagship Ain Tsila project in Algeria, it is facing opposition to the debt sale from its belligerent shareholder Worldview.
Mobile technology firm Zamano (ZMNO:AIM) rallies more than 28% to 12.5p as it receives a preliminary buyout approach at of €0.20 per each share, or about 12p. But the approach is chock full of ifs, buts and other conditions, not least proper due diligence, which makes the deals' success far from certain.
Sunrise Resources (SRES:AIM) jumps 24% to 0.28p thanks to bonanza silver grades from recent underground sampling at Bay State. The company has now received the required consent for its proposed drill programme from the US Bureau of Land Management.
Advertising tech play Adgorithms (ADGO:AIM) is up 2.5% to 122.5p despite reporting an interim pre-tax loss of $4.8 million (impacted by the costs of June’s IPO) as the market focuses on revenue growth of 80% to $12.3 million.
Ground engineering specialist Keller (KLR) slips 0.8% to £10.50 after the group's interims showed the revenue at the £759 million cap slipping 4% to £755.8 million. Operating profit meanwhile rose 6% to £37.7 million.
Animal medicine-maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals’ (DPH) agreement to buy 63.3% of Genera fails to lift the stock. The shares slip 0.2% to 982.5p on news that it’s buying the Croatian animal healthcare business for €51.4 million – a 42.5% premium to Friday’s closing price. The deal, conditional on a shareholder vote, moves Dechra into the vaccine market and three new sales territories.