The FTSE 100 enjoys a positive start to the new trading week, up 0.2% to 7,201. Banks, miners and utility companies all help to drive up the blue chip index.
Ryanair says its third quarter profit fell 8% to €95m as growth in passengers numbers was more than offset by low air fares. It maintains a cautious outlook for the last two months of its financial year, maintaining full year profit guidance of €1.3bn to €1.35bn. However, Ryanair warns this performance will only be achieved if there are no unforeseen security events. Its shares fall 1.7% to €14.52.
EasyJet says it managed to fill 86.2% of seats on available flights in January 2017, up from 85% a year earlier. The airline carried 11% more passengers in the month. Its shares dip 0.5% to 935p.
FTSE 100 gold miner Randgold Resources (RRS) jumps 4% to £71.35 as it pleases the market with news of a 52% hike in its full year dividend. Costs in the year were lower than expected but earnings were slightly worse than forecast by analysts.
Ithaca Energy (IAE:AIM) advances 10.4% to 119p after receiving a C$1.95 (120p) takeover approach from Israeli-listed conglomerate Delek. We said to buy Ithaca’s shares at 86p in late December 2016 when we included the stocks in our top 10 tips of the year for 2017.
Gem Diamonds (GEMD) could close its Ghaghoo diamond mine in Botswana, believes broker Panmure Gordon. The project has struggled amid weak diamond prices and Gem Diamonds today says it will make an announcement regarding Ghaghoo’s future by the end of March.
Elsewhere in the business, failure to find large special diamonds at its flagship Letseng mine in 2016 has caused an ‘adverse impact’ on the company’s revenue and cash flow in the year, according to a trading update.
Nutrition group Glanbia (GLB) is to invest €181m in two businesses in the US and the Netherlands to boost its Performance division. The acquisitions of Amazing Grass and Body & Fit will be boost group earnings this year and funded by existing debt facilities.