Aerospace behemoth Rolls Royce (RR.) enjoys an almost 7% share price lift to 949.50p as it reports almost £2bn in profits for the first half to 30 June. This is especially pleasing to investors as at the same time last year the company reported a loss of over £2bn. Despite this decent turnaround, chief executive Warren East says ‘this is no time for complacency’.

Insurance company Direct Line (DLG) shares rise by 6.7% to 399.80p on news that its operating profits are up by 9.5% to £352.2m. Premiums are up 5% to £1.7bn and the company has also declared an interim dividend of 6.8p per share, up 38.8% on a year on year basis.

MARKET ON THE FRONT FOOT

The FTSE 100 opens up by 37 points to 7,408.10 following decent trading in Asia and the US over night. The price of Brent oil rises $0.05 to $52.77 suggesting oil prices are recovering.

Oil production giant BP (BP.) shares tick up 2.4% to 456.43p as it reveals significant gas discoveries in Senegal and Trinidad. Its results for the first half of the year to 30 June also shows the company’s profits stood at $1.6bn compared to a loss of $2bn at the same time last year.

BRITISH GAS RAISES ENERGY TARIFFS

British Gas-owner Centrica (CNA) is up 3.6% to 207.70p despite the company reporting that its adjusted operating profits are down by 4% compared to first half to 30 June 2016. The company also says that it is to increase the price of electricity for the first time since November 2013, impacting 3.1m of its customers.

Another oil and gas producer Genel Energy (GENL) sees it shares track up by 5.7% to 107.25 as the company moves from a $3.8m loss last year to a $14.2m profit in the first half to 30 June. Two of the company’s sites generated cash of $139m leading to free cash flow of $78m in the first half.

CORNER SHOPS STRIKE SUPERMARKETS DEAL

Convenience chain McColl’s (MCLS) sees it shares rise by almost 7% to 249.50p as it reaches an agreement with supermarket Morrisons (MRW) to supply its 1,300 shops and 350 newsagents. This deal also includes a relaunch of the Safeway brand, once a main fixture on UK high streets. McColl’s chief executive Jonathan Miller says the deal is ‘a defining moment’ for the company.

Sanne (SNN), a provider of services to alternative investment fund managers, shares tick up 1.5% to 701p as it says that the momentum from business opportunities in the latter part of 2016 has continued into the first half of this year to 30 June.

The company’s acquisition of IFS at the start of the year is reported to be integrating well and the company sees that business from new and existing clients totals around £10m on a projected annualised business.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account.

Issue Date: 01 Aug 2017