Britain's biggest water supplier United Utilities (UU.) posts a 14% increase in underlying pre-tax profit to £215.7 million. A steer towards future price rises, albeit likely below Ofwat's allowable limits, moves the shares 1.6% higher to 667.5p.
Catering giant Compass' (CPG) full-year results show a 9.2% rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.2 billion. The most important factor for Compass is that operating margins continue to rise, gaining 20 basis points in the year to 7.1%. Underlying free cash flow increased by 9.7% to £834 million. The shares rise 0.4% to 930p.
A handful of mid-tier insurance claims outsourcing wins in the US lifts Innovation (TIG) 0.5p to a six-year high of 32.5p. Revenues from the US should add up to a little more than £24 million when the company unveils full-year to September results next week (2 December).
Investor demand builds for cross-border payments enabler Earthport (EPO) with the stock up 5.5% to 23.75p for a 17% run since last week's well-received full-year figures. Shares flagged the emerging opportunity back in March at 13.5p.
As foreshadowed by Shares, home shopping-to-education supplies business Findel (FDL) firms 4.75p to 256p on better-than-expected half-time figures which drive forecast upgrades. Showing strong turnaround progress, the £215 million cap's figures show sales 5.2% ahead at £243.6 million, representing a fourth consecutive six-month period of year-on-year growth, while losses were pared dramatically from £6 million to £400,000.
Travel services provider Hogg Robinson (HRG) is flat at 76.75p despite growing underlying pre-tax profit by 3% to £16 million in the six months to September. The dividend's gone up 5%. The small cap reckons it will hit full-year expectations on the assumption that a 'modest' recovery in the UK and North America is offset by ongoing weakness in Europe and Asia.
Recruitment consultant InterQuest (ITQ:AIM) has bought digital technology staffing agency ECOM in a deal capped at £7 million. The company also says trading so far in 2013 has been 'excellent', which helps to drive up the share price by 1.6% to 97.5p.
Hospital operator NMC Health (NMC) jumps 10.9% to 422.2p as Dubai’s government makes health insurance mandatory in the emirate. The ruling means that 2 million people need cover and has led Numis to update its earnings per share forecasts for 2018 by 24%.
Offshore real estate trust Picton Property Income (PCTN) falls 1.8% to 54p after proposing to issue new shares at 53.5p to raise up to £11.9 million. Full-take of the placing would represent 6.2% of the existing share capital. The proceeds will fund fresh investments.
News of a further deterioration in trading at Albemarle & Bond (ABM:AIM) sends the counter crashing 30.9% to 25.8p. Management is attempting to renegotiate the terms of its bank borrowings but continued poor trading and a weak gold price have further suppressed profits. Full-year results will be announced on 9 December.