News Column

UK MORNING BRIEFING: ITV Weighs On FTSE 100 Despite Strong Revenue

May 14, 2014

Tom Waite



LONDON (Alliance News) - Share have opened mixed in London Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 underperforming small- and mid-cap indices, ahead of UK economic data and announcements by the Bank of England.



The blue-chip index is being weighed down by broadcaster ITV, whose shares are down 4.4% at the open despite reporting higher revenue for the first quarter of 2014 thanks to a continued recovery in advertising revenue. ITV said it expects to get a further boost from its coverage of the football World Cup in June as well as the launch of new TV channels.



Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs dislikes FTSE 250 firm Dairy Crest a little less Wednesday, raising its shares to Sell and taking them off its Conviction Sell List.



Here is what you need to know at the UK market open:

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MARKETS

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FTSE 100: down 0.1% at 6,865.10

FTSE 250: up 0.1% at 16,056.88

AIM ALL-SHARE: up 0.2% at 810.52

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Hang Seng: up 1.0% at 22,565.33

Nikkei 225: closed down 0.1% at 14,405.76

DJIA: closed up 0.1% at 16,715.44

S&P 500: closed marginally higher at 1,897.45

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GBP-USD: up at USD1.6868

EUR-USD: up at USD1.3721



GOLD: down at USD1,294.96 per ounce

OIL (Brent): up at USD109.49 a barrel



(changes since end of previous GMT day)

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ECONOMICS AND GENERAL

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Wednesday's Key Economic Events still to come

(all times British Summer Time)



09:30 UK ILO Unemployment Rate, Average Earnings, Claimant Count

10:00 EU Industrial Production

10:00 Switzerland ZEW Survey

10:30 UK Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report and Governor Carney speech

12:00 US MBA Mortgage Applications

13:30 US Producer Price Index

15:30 US EIA Crude Oil Stocks change

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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is endangering the recovery by "washing his hands" of rising house prices and passing the buck to a Bank of England still coming to terms with new regulatory powers, the Financial Times quoted Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls as saying Wednesday. The paper quoted Balls saying that Osborne needed to rein in the Help to Buy scheme in London, and put fresh effort into building new towns and more social housing to boost supply.

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Germany's EU measure of inflation accelerated for the first time since December as initially estimated, final data from Destatis showed. The harmonized index of consumer prices advanced 1.1% year-on-year in April, following a 0.9% rise in March. Meanwhile, the index slipped 0.3% on month, offsetting March's 0.3% rise. The statistical office confirmed April figures.

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Germany on Tuesday made a fresh push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, as fresh fighting in the country's east killed at least seven people. German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier said during talks with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev that Berlin will assist efforts to start political dialogue between Ukraine's bitterly divided factions. The Ukrainian government said it would hold a roundtable on "national unity" this Wednesday, but said that leaders of the armed rebellion would not be invited.

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An index measuring domestic corporate goods prices in Japan was up 2.8% on month in April, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday - standing at 105.7. That was in line with expectations following the flat reading in March. On a yearly basis, prices were up 4.1% - topping forecasts for 4.0% and up from 1.7% in the previous month. Export prices fell 0.1% on month and 1.7% on year, the bank said, while import prices dipped 0.5% on month and 1.1% on year.

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A total of 201 people were dead after a Turkish coal mine explosion started an underground fire, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said early Wednesday. Hundreds of workers were trying to free miners still trapped, a day after the fire broke out with 787 miners underground. Estimates of the number of missing ranged from 200 to 300. Emergency responders extinguished the fire Tuesday but were still battling to clear heavy smoke from the tunnels more than 2 kilometres underground.

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Major differences remain between Iran and six world powers as they begin drafting an agreement to end the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear programme, a senior US administration official said Tuesday in Vienna. "We do not know if Iran will be able to make the tough decisions they must to ensure the world that they will not obtain a nuclear weapon and that their programme is for entirely peaceful purposes, as they have said," the official said. Both sides were set to start a new round of talks in the Austrian capital Tuesday to start drafting the language of an agreement that would place further limits on Iran's nuclear programme, to guarantee that it could not be used to make nuclear weapons. In return, Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany are offering to lift sanctions targeting the Islamic republic.

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BROKER RATING CHANGES

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JPMORGAN CUTS RANDGOLD TO 'NEUTRAL' ('OVERWEIGHT') - TARGET 5300 (6300) PENCE

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GOLDMAN RAISES DAIRY CREST TO 'SELL' ('CONVICTION SELL LIST')- TARGET 362 PENCE

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BARCLAYS RAISES HOME RETAIL TO 'EQUAL WEIGHT' ('UNDERWEIGHT')- TARGET 190 PENCE

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COMPANIES - FTSE 100

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UK television company ITV PLC reported higher revenue for the first quarter of 2014 thanks to a continued recovery in advertising revenue, and said it expects to get a further boost from its coverage of the football World Cup in June as well as the launch of new TV channels. The company reported that revenue in the three months to end-March rose to GBP672 million, from GBP666 million a year earlier, as net advertising revenue rose to GBP390 million, from GBP382 million. Its total external revenue rose 2.5% to GBP585 million, from GBP571 million.

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Food and support services companyCompass Group PLC reported a higher pretax profit for the first half of the year, boosted by new business wins and a continued strong performance in North America and what it calls the Fast Growing & Emerging region. The group raised its interim dividend by 10% to 8.8 pence, and proposed capital return of GBP1 billion to shareholders via a special dividend and ongoing GBP500 million share buyback.

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The Chinese police have charged the former China head of GlaxoSmithKline PLC and other colleagues with corruption after a 10-month investigation found that they had paid billions of renminbi in bribes to doctors and hospitals, The New York Times reports. Mark Reilly, who is British, and two Chinese executives, Zhang Guowei and Zhao Hongyan, were suspected of bribing officials in the industry and commerce departments of Beijing and Shanghai, the paper said, quoting a report from official news agency Xinhua which quoted police in Hunan Province.

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British drugs giant AstraZeneca PLC, the subject of a GBP63 billion takeover approach from US rival Pfizer Inc, said its MedImmune biologics arm would collaborate with Incyte Corp on an early-stage cancer treatment trial using a combination of the two companies' drugs. In a statement, AstraZeneca said the companies would conduct a phase I/II oncology stody to evaluate the the efficacy and safety of MedImmune's investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, MEDI4736, in combination with Incyte's oral indoleamine dioxygenase-1 inhibitor, INCB24360.

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BHP Billiton announced it is reviewing its Western Australian Nickel West business, comprising the Mt Keith, Cliffs and Leinster mines and associated concentrators, the Kalgoorlie smelter, Kambalda concentrator and the Kwinana refinery. The company said the review includes all options for the long-term future of Nickel West, including the potential sale of all or parts of the business, and follows the decision to cease operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance Underground mine due to safety concerns in December 2013.

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Lloyds BankingGroup PLC's plans to float retail bank TSB on the London Stock Exchange were Tuesday approved by the European Commission. In a statement, the European Commission said it had extended the original November 2013 deadline because it won't jeopardise the viability of TSB. Instead, the UK's request to push the deadline to December 31, 2015 has been approved. The European Commission required Lloyds to sell the 630 branches as a condition of its state bailout after it ran into trouble due to its acquisition of HBOS in the midst of the financial crisis.

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HSBC Holdings is is trying to reach a deal with shareholders over the pay of Chairman Douglas Flint as it seeks to head off a revolt at its annual general meeting next week, the Guardian reported Tuesday. According to the Guardian, the bank could make a make a "partial climbdown" over plans to pay Flint a bonus in shares of up to GBP2.25 million. Flint's extra work on regulatory reform has been put forward by the bank as justifying the payout, the Guardian said. While the Guardian said that HSBC declined to comment on talks with shareholders, it quoted an investor in the bank who said: "The word is it's going to be a one-off."

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Admiral Group PLC said first-quarter turnover dropped due to its UK car insurance business, partly offset by growth in its international car insurance business, as intense competition in the UK continues. The FTSE 100 motor insurer said group turnover fell to GBP514.0 million in the three months ended March 31, compared with GBP551.0 million in the corresponding quarter a year earlier, as UK car insurance turnover fell by GBP50.0 million to GBP420.0 million. UK car insurance premiums written fell by GBP384.0 million, from GBP432.0 million. Claims developed "in line with expectations" in the UK, Admiral said.

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British Land FY Pretax Profit GBP1.11BN Vs GBP260M; Underlying Pretax Profit GBP297M Vs GBP274M; Increases Dividend 2.3% To 27.0 Pence Vs 26.4 Pence; Says UK Portfolio Valued 8.3% Higher

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Mondi Says Sales Volumes In Q1 Broadly In Line With Prior Year Due To Scheduled Maintenance Shuts; Anticipated Selling Prices For Number Of Key Paper Grades Currently Below Prior Year

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COMPANIES - FTSE 250

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ICAP FY Pretax Profit GBP122.0M Vs GBP66.0M; Revenue GBP1.40B Vs GBP1.47B; Hurt By Bank Customers Scaling Back, Especially In FICC; Says Trend In H2 Has Been Largely Replicated In New Financial Year

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Catlin Q1 Gross Premiums Written USD2.01B Vs USD1.84B; Says No Catastrophe Losses In Q1; Total Investment Return 0.9% Vs 0.5%

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Rathbone Brothers Funds Under Management Rise To GBP22.8B From GBP22.0B During Q1; Net Operating Income GBP54.7M Vs GBP44.0M

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Partnership Assurance Q1 New Business Premiums GBP254.0M Vs GBP374.0M

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Wood Group Says Overall Trading Outlook For Year Is Unchanged, Continues To Expect EBITDA Up In 2014; Says Performance In Year-To-Date Is Slightly Ahead Of Expectations In Engineering And PSN - Production Services; Says Turbine Joint Venture Financial Performance Hit By Delays On Darad Contract

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Premier Oil Says Production Averaged 65,800BOEPD In First 4 Months Of 2014; Maintains 2014 FY Production Guidance Of 58,000-63,000BOEPD

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Galliford Try Expects FY Pretax Profit To Be Above Analysts Consensus Of GBP89.7M

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3i Group: Strong Total Shareholder Return Of 30% For Year Ended March 31; Total Dividend 20.0P Per Share Vs 8.1P; To Buy Back All B Shares At 131.4364p In GBP6.1M Offer

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Capital & Counties To Place Up To 75.9M Shares Representing 10% Of Issued Share Capital; Hopes Placing WIll Accelerate Value Create At Covent Garden And Earls Court Sites

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Renishaw Q3 Pretax Profit GBP14.4M Vs GBP15.9M; Revenue GBP84.5M Vs GBP81.9M

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UDG Healthcare H1 Pretax Profit EUR17.2M Vs EUR17.3M; Revenue EUR1.04Bn Vs EUR1.02Bn; Interim Dividend 2.69 Cents, Up 3%

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COMPANIES - ALL-SHARE AND AIM

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Bob Diamond'sAtlas MaraCo-Nvest Ltd late Tuesday said it plans to privately place 36.5 million shares at an issue price of USD11.00 per share to raise roughly USD400 million. The investment company said it plans to use the proceeds to support the growth of its ABC Holdings Ltd investment, for future acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.

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Hilton Food Group Says Performance Has Met Board's Expectations; Says UK Volumes Building To Expected Levels

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Marshalls Says Revenue For Fourth Months To April 30 Up 22% On 2013

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Lookers Expects 2014 Results To Be Ahead Of Market Expectations; Says Its Core Retail New Car Sales Up 25% On Like-For-Like Basis So Far In 2014, With Higher Margin

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Fyffes Q1 Pretax Profit EUR9.5M Vs EUR12.8M; Q1 Total Revenue Including Share Of Joint VenturesEUR306.5M Vs EUR296.5M; Q1 Group Revenue Excluding Share Of Joint VenturesEUR256.7M Vs EUR243.4M

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Ultrasis Names Alan Kershaw As Finance Director, Formerly With WH Ireland, JP Morgan

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Cambium Global Timberland To Sell Georgia Property For USD9.1M; To Use Proceeds To Pay Down Debt

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Enables IT Says H1 Revenue Slightly Ahead Of Expectations At About GBP3.6M

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Leni Gas & Oil Says Well GY-664 In Trinidad Has Reached 4,212 Feet, Finds Gross Sand Thickness Of 1,300 Feet; Says Well Now Will Be Logged To Determine Oil Production Potential

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Enables IT Expects FY Revenue To Miss Market Expectations; Expects H2 Revenue To Be At Broadly Same Level As H1

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Coms Expects FY Revenue To Be Around GBP14M And Pretax Profit Around GBP450,000

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Stellar Diamonds Says Processing Of Bulk Sample At Tongo Is Yielding Higher Diamond Grades; Says Tongo Processing Has Now Yielded 730 Carats at 134cpht

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Gulf Keystone Says Shaikan-7 Deep Well Has Failed To Achieve Objective, Now Being Converted To Jurassic Producer; Says 2014 Revenue Guidance Is In The Range Of USD150M To USD180M

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Novae Says Overall Q1 Claims In Line With Expectations

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Frenkel Topping: Trading Since Year-Start In Line With Market Expectations

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Wednesday's Scheduled AGMs/EGMs



St. James's Place

ITV

Mondi

National Express Group

Fidelity Japanese Values

Rathbone Brothers

Cape

Hill & Smith Holdings

Hilton Food Group

Marshalls

Rentokil Initial

Unilever

John Wood Group

Xaar

Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust

Premier Oil

888 Holdings

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Source: Alliance News


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