UK stocks opened on the front foot on Friday as official figures showed the economy expanding at 2.3% in March, its fastest rate since July 2020.

At 9am the FTSE 100 index of leading shares was 0.6% higher at 7,129 points.

Overnight trading in Asia was subdued with China’s Composite SE index off 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 0.1%.

COPORATE NEWS

The UK’s largest listed residential landlord Grainger (GRI) said it had acquired The Forge, an asset comprising 283 rental apartments and a ground floor commercial unit for £57 million from Moorfield Real Estate Fund III.

The purchase price represented a gross yield of about 6.25%, which Grainger expects to manage in line with its standard rental margin of over 75%. The shares lost 0.6% to 289p.

PERSONNEL CHANGES

Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) said that its chief financial officer, Neil Smith, will leave the company on 26 November to take up another opportunity. Smith will work with chief executive Dominic Paul and the board to ensure an orderly transition. The shares dropped 1.6% to 384p.

Fund manager Man Group (EMG) said chief investment officer Sandy Rattray will retire and leave the company in the second half of the year.

Meanwhile chief financial officer Mark Jones has been appointed as a deputy chief executive officer and will have responsibilities in Man AHL, Man Numeric and the group’s technology roles.

Current co-chief executive Antoine Forterre will be appointed as chief financial officer and be appointed to the board. The shares were flat at 181.2p.

SANNE RECEIVES TAKEOVER OFFER

Shares in asset manager Sanne Group (SNN) surged 12% to 864p after it said it had received a non-binding offer from private equity firm to buy the company in an all cash offer at 875p per share.

Cinven is required to either make an announcement of its intention to buy Sanne or to announce it does not intend to make an offer by 9 July 2021.

Fantasy video game developer and publisher Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM)  said it is targeting fiscal 2022 revenues between £130 million and £150 million following record growth in 2021 where provisional unaudited revenues were approximately £91 million.

Looking further ahead to FY23, projected revenue range is in the range of £160 million to £180 million.

The company also announced that it would be launching Jurassic World Evolution 2 will in late 2021 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

There was some disappointment that 2021 revenues were slightly below expectations and with the shares having already gained ahead of today’s update, the shares dropped 5% o £25.10.

Global provider of human capital Mind Gym (MIND:AIM) said full year revenues dropped 18% to 39.4 million, resulting in a statutory loss of £0.4 million.

Octavius Black, Chief Executive Officer of Mind Gym, said, ‘we are well-placed to at least match our FY20 pre-COVID revenues in FY22 and return to profitability in FY23.’ The shares sank 7.5% to 141p.

A list of FTSE 100 movers can be seen HERE

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Issue Date: 11 Jun 2021