Europe's biggest home improvement retailer Kingfisher (KGF) clips ahead 3.3% to 317.3p on well-received succession news and marginally better-than-expected interim results. Long-serving CEO Sir Ian Cheshire is to step down before the end of the current fiscal year after nearly seven years in charge, handing over the reins to Veronique Laury, boss of Castorama's French business. The B&Q-to-Brico Depot owner's half-year results show flat pre-tax profits of £364 million after adverse currency movements and tough trading in France, though trading is said to have improved in Kingfisher's biggest market in August.
A number of stocks suffer reversals after going ex-dividend, among them stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown (HL), down 2% to £10.12, insurer Admiral (ADM), off 4.3% at £12.38, Al Noor Hospitals (ANH) and G4S (GFS), which sheds 1.6% to 258.3p.
Chocolatier Thorntons (THT), a running Shares Play of the Week, sweetens 1.8% to 106.88p as full-year results come in ahead of expectations. Aided by a lower interest bill, pre-tax profits rose 60.4% to £7.5 million in the year to 28 June, good going given a third quarter sales wobble. The numbers highlight the ongoing success of CEO Jonathan Hart's strategy to rebalance the business away from the retail division and towards the growing fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) division.
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International (SPD) cheapens 3% to 699p as its first quarter update confirms recent trade has been affected by the England football team's early World Cup exit. Over the 13 weeks to 27 July, sports retail revenues rose 16.3% to £611.8 million, though sales in the premium lifestyle and brands divisions both decreased and England's disappointing campaign has dampened demand in the weeks since period-end.
A reassuring trading update from vehicle testing specialist AB Dynamics (ABDP:AIM) lifts the shares 4.2% to 172p. The Wiltshire firm says results for the year to 31 August will be in-line with expectations and flags 'strong' demand ahead of the announcement of its preliminary results on 13 November.
Medtech specialist Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS:AIM) rises 3.4% to 121p on news of an 18% first-half improvement in pre-tax profits to £7.1 million, driven by strong demand for its higher margin products and rising interest from US customers. Read our news analysis here.
Residential property franchiser Belvoir Lettings (BLV:AIM) gains 2.3% at 130p despite reporting flat pre-tax profits of £773,000. The interim dividend is held at 3.4p, despite Belvoir generating a 147.9% improvement in cash year-on-year to £739,000.