The FTSE 100 is in positive territory up 21 points to 7,154.17 despite fears over a potential trade war with China leading to another day of losses on Wall Street overnight. There are reports that President Trump is going to impose $60bn of tariffs on goods imported from China with many fearing what the retaliation will be from the Chinese.
FTSE 250 bank Onesavings Bank (OSB) loses 4.5% to 387.6p as although its final results beat expectations earnings downgrades are expected due to higher costs. The bank’s underlying pre-tax profits increased by 21% to £167.7m with loan book growth of 23% to £7.3bn driven by 14% growth in gross originations to £2.6bn.
However, the end of access to cheap funding as the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme has finished leads its CEO Andy Golding to have ‘an expectation of rising cost of funds’ needed for investment in regulatory and infrastructure projects.
Financial services company Just Group (JUST) gains 3.9% to 140.2p as it reports a 35% increase in adjusted operating profit to £221m. This beat analysts’ expectations due to lower costs involved with the merger of Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance to form the company. Its results for the year ending 31 December 2017 also show improved pricing discipline and a new business margin of 9% up from 6.8% on a pro forma basis.
Imperial leather maker PZ Cussons (PZC) crashes 22.5% to 214.4p on releasing a profit warning as the company tries to deal with a cautious UK consumer market. It says that pre-tax profit for its year ending 31 May ‘will fall short of expectations’ and be in the range of £80m to £85m.
FTSE 250 construction company Kier (KIE) falls 4.4% to £10.31 as while it half year results show increasing revenue and pre-tax profit, its net debt jumped 33% to £238.5m mainly due to investments in its property division. Revenue is up 8% to £2.15bn and pre-tax profit improved by 4% to £48.8m in the six months to 31 December 2017 both on a year-o-year basis and it also hiked its interim dividend by 2% to 23p.
Cinema company Cineworld (CINE) ticks up 1.8% to 244.6p after pre-tax profits rose by 22.7% to £100.6m for 2017. Its results for the year ending 31 December 2017, the company’s revenue also grew by 11.6% to £890.7m while earnings per share improved by 19.7% to 16.4p. It also hiked its dividend by 14.5% to 3.1p per share.
Life insurer Old Mutual (OML) is up 1% to 253.3p as its results for 2017 came in ahead of expectations. The company’s pre-tax operating profit is up 22% to £2bn for its year ending 31 December 2017 and it has also hiked its dividend per share by 17% to 7.1p.
Precious gem miner Gem Diamonds (GEMD) sparks up 5.8% to 102p as the market continues to digest the company’s bumper year for large carat diamond discovery in 2017.