UK market update – Rolls Royce sells AirTanker stake, AB Foods raises outlook

imageStock Markets34 minutes ago (Sep 13, 2021 08:27)

© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk – At 08:26BST, the FTSE 100 is trading higher by 0.4% at 7,057. The midcap FTSE 250 is trading higher by 0.3% at 23,805.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3810, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8533. The US Dollar Index is +0.3%.

Today’s calendar looks set to be a quiet one with the highlight the OPEC monthly oil market report.

Rolls-Royce (LON:RR)/Babcock International (LON:BAB) – Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) is to sell its 23.1% stake in AirTanker Holdings to Equitix Investment Management for cash proceeds of £189 million. Babcock has sold its 15.4% stake for £126 million. AirTanker Holdings is an asset joint venture between Airbus, Thales, Babcock, and Rolls-Royce

Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) – Adjusted operating profit in the fourth quarter for both the food businesses and Primark is anticipated to exceed expectations. Primark like-for-like sales in Q3 were 3% ahead of the comparable period two years ago reflecting the very strong trading in the UK and those European regions where stores had reopened.

British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) – An investigation found evidence that suggests British American Tobacco was involved in negotiations to pay a bribe to former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. The investigation also alleged BAT was paying bribes in South Africa and using illegal surveillance. (BBC)

FirstGroup (LON:FGP) – Overall trading performance year to date has been in line. No change in management expectations for current full year results.

Marks and Spencer (LON:MKS) – Reviewing the future of its 20 French stores after border delays caused by post-Brexit custom arrangements hit deliveries of UK made foods. (FT)

Sthree (LON:STEMS) – Group net fees for Q3 up 29% YoY. Expects profit before tax for FY will be significantly above market consensus, driven primarily by the timing of the planned increase in investment shifting from H2 FY21 to FY22 and beyond, and strong trading performance.

WH Smith (LON:SMWH) – Activist investor Causeway Capital upped its stake to 9%. (Guardian)

S4 Capital (LON:SFOR) – H1 like-for-like gross profit (net revenue) up 49% and accelerating to 66% in second quarter. Like-for-like gross profit (net revenue) guidance for 2021 increased for the third time this year, now from 35% to 40%

Ascential (LON:ASCL) – Has acquired content optimisation business OneSpace. FInancial terms not disclosed.

Henry Boot (LON:BOOT) – H1 revenue up 18.7% to £129.0 million. Profit before tax increased 220.8% to £23.1 million. Boosts dividend 10% to 2.42 pence per share. 

UK market update – Rolls Royce sells AirTanker stake, AB Foods raises outlook

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