Mr. Kipling cakes-to-Bisto gravy maker Premier Foods (PFD) falls 6.1% to 54p as it warns of disappointing second quarter 'Power Brands' sales amid weak grocery market conditions, a risk previously highlighted by Shares. However, the food producer insists it should still meet 2014 profit forecasts as it bears down on costs. Separately, as part of Premier's ongoing grocery business efficiency drive, the £474 million cap announces the formation of a joint venture with privately-owned Specialty Powders - 'Knighton Foods' - to process and pack powdered drinks and desserts at its Staffordshire factory.
Structurally-challenged mother and baby products specialist Mothercare (MTC) edges up 1.5p to 203.5p, despite a negative newspaper report flagging the struggling retailer's plans to reduce store hours for staff amid rising high street rents and falling sales and margins. Cantor Fitzgerald responds with a very negative research note with a 114p price target.
Discount greetings cards retailer Card Factory (CARD) clips ahead 0.25p to 209.25p, still below its 225p offer price, on a positive-but-terse trading update. In the four months to 31 May, Card Factory highlights continued like-for-like sales growth and roll-out of new stores. At last count, the recent Main Market debutante (20 May) had 742 stores and sees scope for 1,200 in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Plus size fashion retailer N Brown (BWNG) falls 2.4% to 424.8p despite delivering an encouraging first-quarter trading statement. Total sales grew 2.6% in the 15 weeks to 14 June, at the bottom end of the expected range. Yet this is a transitional period for the retailer, whose strategic changes under CEO Angela Spindler are on track. Younger brands Simply Be and Jacamo are growing strongly and the quality of the long-standing Shares favourite's sales is improving.
St Ives (SIV) nudges ahead 0.5% to 214.38p after saying its marketing services revenue and operating profit were significantly ahead year-on-year over the 17 weeks to 30 May. Yet the running Shares Play of the Week dampens the mood by saying print revenue is lagging year-on-year.
Media group Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) adds 2.1% to 832.2p as it collects up to £190 million for selling 40% of its 52% stake in property website Zoopla through an IPO. Shares in the company have been priced at 220p each, at the lower end of the 200p to 250p range, valuing Zoopla at £918.8 million. Conditional dealings kicked-off this morning, ahead of unconditional trading on Monday. Read our Zoopla news analysis here.
Housebuilder Berkeley (BKG) falls 2.8% to £21.97 despite final results showing a 39.7% increase in profit before tax, as investors continue to assess the temperature of the UK housing market, especially in the South East of England where Berkeley is most active.
Fluid management device maker Deltex Medical (DEMG:AIM) edges up 1.1% to 10.7p as the US' Medicare and Medicaid insurance programme increases the reimbursement rate for US doctors using the company's oesophageal Doppler monitor from $101 to $111.77.
Stem cell specialist ReNeuron (RENE:AIM) rises 4.1% to 3p on a positive outlook statement within full-year results to 31 March. Losses widened slightly from £6.3 million to £7 million, although positive news-flow is expected from ReNeuron's clinical trials pipeline this year.