Bookmaker William Hill (WMH) rebounds 5% to 274.9p on relief a 10% dip in full year operating profit to £261.5m meets downgraded guidance. CEO Philip Bowcock flags an encouraging start to 2017, positive trends in amounts wagered seen in all four divisions in the seven weeks to 14 February.
International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) rises 2.8% to 518.5p on news of improved fourth quarter operating profits and passenger trends. The British Airways and Iberia owner shrugged off the impact of the weak pound to deliver solid full year results, helped by lower full costs. CEO Willie Walsh also announces a 17.5% dividend hike for 2016 as well as a bumper €500m share buyback for 2017.
One of the day’s biggest stories involves Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), 2% easier at 244.3p as the taxpayer-owned bank slumps to a £7bn annual loss, the ninth year in a row RBS has been in the red. Compounding the agony is RBS’ statement that it won’t return to profitability until 2018 at the earliest.
Also out of favour is Standard Chartered (STAN), off 4.25% at 719.1p despite good progress made in 2016 as the lender withholds the dividend yet lifts bonuses. CEO Bill Winters expects operating conditions to remain challenging in 2017 and concedes ‘our financial returns are not yet where they need to be’.
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) cheapens 4.2% to 412.6p, investors unimpressed by flat annual adjusted pre-tax profit of £168.4m, despite higher assets under management, owing to expansion costs and lower performance fees.
Industrial threads manufacturer Coats (COA) loses the best part of 4% to 56p, despite achieving 16% growth in full year operating profit to $158m, on the cautious tenor of CEO Rajiv Sharma’s 2017 outlook statement.
Health-focused wearable devices play Cloudtag (CTAG:AIM) crashes 33.3% to 3.25p after raising £975,000 at a discounted 3.75p. Pre-revenue Cloudtag warns it is ‘dependent on its ability to raise further capital to continue its operations in the short term’ and that nominated adviser Cairn Financial Advisers has resigned.