London’s blue-chips trade 40.64 points lower at 7,502 on Wednesday, tracking falls in Asian markets and mixed sentiment on Wall Street with investors continuing to worry about Chinese growth.

FTSE 250 engineer Spirax-Sarco (SPX) sparks up 135p (2.4%) to £57.10 on stellar first half results and a positive outlook statement. The valves, pumps and control systems supplier’s adjusted profit before tax powered 30% higher to £99.2m in the six months to June, reflecting strong organic growth, currency benefits and a boost from recent acquisitions.

Furniture seller ScS (SCS) cheapens 1.2p to 157.9p on news of a 5% drop in like-for-like orders in the second half of the year due to softer market conditions and against demanding prior comparatives.

With consumers now deferring spend on big ticket items, ScS’ like-for-like order intake for the year to 29 July fell 0.7%, although CEO David Knight stresses impressive two year like-for-like order intake growth of 14.3%.

Security group G4S (GFS) falls 4.7% to 315p despite reporting an increase in first half revenues and earnings. Growth slowed in the second quarter but G4S expects to meet its full year targets. The group is also making progress with its restructuring plans while continuing to invest in strengthening its sales operations and new products and services.

Also on the back foot is support services and construction group Interserve (IRV), marked down 5.8% to 210.25p on half time figures showing a lurch into losses amid difficult market conditions, rising costs and political changes.

Cadmium-free quantum dots technology developer Nanoco (NANO) sparks up 3.7% to 35p as the European Commission prohibits deadly cadmium from TVs and displays sold in Europe from October 2019, with immediate effect for lighting.

The ban is part of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, designed to protect human health and the environment, and offers a clear business boost for the cadmium-free future innovator.

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) gains 3.7% at 41.75p after amending its banking covenants on more favourable terms, a move CEO Duncan Anderson says gives the self-propelled self-elevating support vessels provider with ‘with the operational and financial flexibility to focus on executing our strategic plan and delivering significant efficiencies for our clients.’

Investors have a thirst for Stock Spirits (STCK), the Central and Eastern European branded spirits producer bid up 4p to 162.25p. Half year results reveal progress with the turnaround of the business, sales, profits and the dividend all on the up, ‘hard cost savings’ delivered and importantly, CEO Mirek Stachowicz reporting volume and value market share gains in core market Poland.

Bisto gravy-to-Mr Kipling cakes maker Premier Foods (PFD) perks up 1.9% to 40.25p on the well-received appointment of Keith Hamill, OBE, as chairman.

Self-storage group Lok’nStore (LOK:AIM) improves 3.5p to 381.5p after confirming strong trading in the second half of the year, taking full year like-for-like sales up 5.5%, driven by increased occupancy and prices.


Issue Date: 09 Aug 2017