The FTSE 100 starts the week on the front foot, after a higher finish on Wall Street Friday night and mixed trading in Asia overnight.

Early on the index is up 0.3% to 7,070.46.

Budget airline Ryanair (RYA) books an 9% fall in first half profit after it was hurt by strike action, lower ticket pricing and higher fuel costs.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September fell to €1.32bn, even as revenue rose 8% to €4.79bn.

Excluding the company's investment in Austrian carrier Laudamotion, pre-tax profit fell by a more modest 7%. Net margin fell 4 percentage points to 25%.

Given the negative headlines and trends facing Ryanair it appears investors were expecting worse and the shares gain 3.7% to €11.88.

Gulf-country private healthcare group NMC Health (NMC) upgrades its annual revenue and earnings guidance following 'positive developments' in the second half.

Revenue for 2018 is now expected to grow by 24%, up from previous guidance of 22%, while earnings should come in at $480m, up from previous guidance of $465m.

Guidance for 2019 would point towards a continuation of strong organic growth on the back of sustained ramp-up at key facilities, integration and expansion of acquired entities, as well as a strong operational performance, NMC adds. The shares advance 2.8% to £31.14.

Revenue in 2019 is forecast to increase by 22-24% while earning are expected to increase by 18-20%.

Replacement door and window supplier Safestyle (SFE:AIM) says it has reached an agreement with Mitu Misra, who was a party to the company's dispute with Niamac Developments.

Niamac, which traded as SafeGlaze UK, was currently in the process of re-branding following a legal settlement with Safestyle.

The agreement would involve a five-year non-compete pact and the provision of services by Misra in support of the continued recovery of Safestyle.

In exchange, Safestyle had agreed to pay Misra 4m shares and £2m cash, subject to the achievement of performance hurdles.

The cash and share payments would only be made in the fourth quarter of 2020, contingent on Misra meeting performance conditions and Safestyle's trading performance in 2019 being above existing market expectations.

Shares in Safestyle surge 27.2% to 72p.

Shares in fashion brand Superdry (SDRY) tick up after an article in The Sunday Times (paywall) saw co-founder Julian Dunkerton pitch his return to the company to help revive its fortunes after its recent profit warning.

Technology-led defence operator QinetiQ (QQ.) agrees to acquire military training systems provider Inzpire Group for £23.5m.

The deal involves QinetiQ acquiring 85% of Inzpire immediately, with the remaining 15% to be bought in two years' time.

Inzpire is a provider of operational training and mission systems for military customers in the UK and internationally. QinetiQ shares tick up 0.4% to 278p on the news.

In the micro cap space oil firm MX Oil (MXO:AIM) loses half of its market value to trade at 0.1p as investors react to a placing at 0.1p to raise £1m.


Issue Date: 22 Oct 2018