Unloved parcel delivery service Royal Mail (RMG) rises 3.4% to 402.2p on better than expected half year results. CEO Moya Greene reports ‘a good start to the year’ and says her charge is performing well in a highly competitive UK parcels market.

Royal Mail's overseas division GLS was the star performer, strong growth offsetting flat revenue from domestic parcels and letters business UKPIL in the half ended 24 September, while investors are also relieved that external mediation with trade union representatives is underway and the threat of pre-Christmas strikes has receded.

Heading south is GKN (GKN), the automotive and aerospace engineer slumping 7.2% to 288.6p on another warning in relation to its US aerospace arm. CEO Designate Kevin Cummings is leaving GKN with immediate effect, while broker Panmure Gordon predicts GKN will shelve the final dividend.

Elsewhere, gambling firm Sportech (SPO) sprints ahead 3.7% to 106.5p on news it will return almost £54m to shareholders next month following the successful sale of The Football Pools business.

Quirky British fashion brand Ted Baker (TED) cheapens 1.9% to £25.14 as a third quarter trading update reveals a slowdown in retail sales in tough market conditions. The good news is full year wholesale guidance has been increased with North American demand growing ahead of expectations, while Ted Baker’s online sales are growing like topsy.

Leisure travel and distribution and logistics play Dart (DTG:AIM) sparks up 56.5p (9.4%) to 656.5p as investors applaud a 30% jump in first half pre-tax profits. Dart’s leisure travel business had a strong summer season in terms of passenger volume growth for both Jet2holidays and Jet2.com, although it was a challenging season in terms of pricing.

Floor coverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP:AIM) improves 3.5% to 820p on the £246.5m, earnings enhancing acquisition of European branded floor and wall ceramic tiles maker Keraben, a deal part-funded by a £180m placing.

Cadmium-free quantum dots manufacturer Nanoco (NANO) ticks 5.5% higher to 24p on annual results revealing a narrowed loss. While there have been challenges from slower than anticipated adoption in the display industry,’ says chairman Dr Christopher Richards, ‘an increasing number of manufacturers are now producing demonstration displays incorporating our technology.'

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

Issue Date: 16 Nov 2017