Centrica Heats up on Takeover Talks

Friday, July 7: FTSE indices initially took a step back in trade today, before weak UK industrial output data and strong US jobs data hit sterling, cheapening UK indices for foreign investors – the FTSE 100 eventually closed +0.19%.

Centrica(+3.71%) was one of the largest gainers in the primary index as media reports surfaced suggesting it is in the cross-hairs of two potential buyers. Apparently, the company has attracted the interest of two consortia, one termed “a strategic buyer with its advisers” and the other, a consortium of Kuwait, Singapore and Canada infrastructure-focused buyers.

Dunelm(+4.04%) traded higher after reporting revenue growth both in the final quarter and full financial year, boosted by its acquisition of Worldstores late last year. Excluding Worldstores, revenue rose 6.7% and by 3.8% on a LFL basis. In the full year, to the same date, total revenue grew by 8.5% to £955.6m and by 2.3% excl. Worldstores, but LFL revenue slipped by 2.4%, which Dunelm noted was due to a 7.0% fall in LFL over the Easter period. Overall, Dunelm said it was particularly pleased with “strong” growth in home delivery sales, as it also improved its range of seasonal products.

Across Europe, indices were mixed at the close with the FTSE 100 +0.19%, the DAX 30 +0.06% and the CAC 40 -0.14%.

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