UK market update – BAE, JD Sports, Playtech, Polymetal, Petrofac, Abrdn

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© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – At 07:42GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading lower by 0.1% at 7285.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3478, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8573. The US Dollar Index is flat.

Today’s calendar highlights include Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence, US CB Employment Trends.

Polymetal (LON:POLYP) – Board approves $447 million investment as part of Veduga gold project, based on preliminary feasibility study. The updated Ore Reserve estimate as at 1 February 2021 comprises 31.9 Mt of ore with an average gold grade of 3.9 g/t containing 4.0 Moz of gold. This is a 50% or 1.3 Moz increase compared to the previous estimate. First production is expected in Q2 2025.

JD Sports (LON:JD) – Responds to Sunday Times article alleging Chairman Peter Cargill met with Footasylum’s Barry Bown which the UK CMA is said to be investigating. JD believes the meeting does not amount to wrongdoing or a breach of the Interim Enforcement Order and does not see how it would be reasonable to accuse JD of such.

Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) – Completes sale of civil nuclear instrumentation & control (I&C) business to Framatome. 

Playtech (LON:PTEC) – Confirms received preliminary approach from Gopher Investments on possible full takeover for Playtech. Board confirms Gopher has been provided access to due diligence information for this purpose and discussions are ongoing. Aristocrat Leisure, which had agreed to purchase Playtech for 680 pence per share, has said it will provide further updates as and when necessary.

BAE Systems (LON:BAES) – 2021 guidance remains unchanged with sales seen +3%-5%, underlying EBITS +6%-8% and 2021 free cash flow above £1.0 billion. Will pay interim dividend of 9.9 pence per share.

Abrdn (LON:ABDN) – Confirms in discussions with J.C. Flower regarding a potential acquisition of Interactive Investor. The deal could reportedly be worth £1.5 billion.

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust – Recommending 5% increase in interim dividend to 1.52 pence per share. Investment in healthcare and biology companies has grown from 11.6% a year ago to 21.4% today, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has been greatest contributor to this change.

Petrofac (LON:PFC) – Awarded Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Commissioning contact worth MYR 399 million (approx. $96 million) by Petronas.

BHP Group (LON:BHPB) – Signed a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement to divest its 80% interest in BHP Mitsui Coal. Stanmore Resources has agreed to acquire 100% of the shares in Dampier Coal from BHP Minerals, the subsidiary which holds BHP’s interest in BMC, for cash consideration of up to $1.35 billion.

Investec (LON:INVP) – Increased guidance for H1 2022 adjusted EPS to 26.0p-26.5p from 21.5p-24.0p.

Sirius Real Estate (LON:SRET) – Agreed to acquire Helix Investments Limited from Värde Partners for a cash consideration of circa £245 million, based on an enterprise value of £380 million. Consideration will be funded by a combination of new and existing debt together with the proceeds of a proposed fundraise which is expected, in aggregate, to raise gross proceeds of circa £135 million. Separately, the company said H1 profit before tax increased 25.7% to €78.2 million. Increased dividend 2.5% to 2.04 cents per share. Trading in line with expectations for the full year.

Syncona (LON:SYNCS) – Blackstone (NYSE:BX) Life Sciences entered into a strategic collaboration and financing agreement with Syncona portfolio company Autolus Therapeutics with $100 million immediate equity investment and up to $150 million in product financing to support lead obe-cel) programme.

Daily Mail and General Trust (LON:DMGOa) – Publishes offer document in relation to takeover by Rothermere Continuation Limited.

Go-Ahead (LON:GOG) – In the first four months of the year, passenger volumes have steadily increased with between 70% and 80% of typical pre-pandemic journeys now being made on the Group’s regional bus services. Seen slight slowing in recovery in bus travel in recent weeks. On London and International Bus travel, full year performance is expected to be inline with expectations. Rail division overall is expected to operate at around breakeven for the current financial year.

Card Factory (LON:CARDC) – Sales continued to recover with two-year like-for-like sales showing gradual improvement. Two-year store LFL was -3.0% for the quarter to 31 October 2021. Online is trading in line with company expectations.

Angling Direct (LON:ANG) – Confirms it is currently managing a cyber security incident after detecting unauthorised activity on its network late on Friday 5 November 2021.

Dignity (LON:DTY) – Underlying revenue increased 1% to £237.0 million in the 39 month period to 24th September. Operating profit down 10% to £43.4 million. Given current uncertainty, Dignity refrains from giving guidance.

Kingspan (LON:KSP) – Sales in the nine month period to 30 September were €4.72 billion, up 44% on the same period in the prior year.

UK market update – BAE, JD Sports, Playtech, Polymetal, Petrofac, Abrdn

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