Thursday, November 8: The FTSE 100(+0.33%) eked out a gain for a second day due to strong sessions from financials, retailers and good news from AstraZeneca. Financials rallied as stocks tracked strong trade in European counterparts; M&S led retailers higher despite posting LFL sales declines, whilst AstraZeneca rose +4.49% as strong demand for new drug products in Q3 prompted the drugmaker to guide on years of sustained improvement.
Wincanton(+4.63%) climbed higher after announcing first half results improved due to margin improvements. Profitability improvements in the industrial and transport segment arose due to cost-saving initiatives and the termination of lower-margin contracts. Revenue grew an incremental 0.1% to £518.8m as the business announced a 48% increase in pretax profit to £30.1m for the six months to September 30. Excluding an exceptional profit on property disposal and other items, underlying pretax profit rose 7.1% to £24.1m. The logistics operator declared a 10% increase in the interim dividend to 3.60p as it informed the market that results for FY19 will be in line with market expectations.
Clipper Logistics(+8.89%) delivered solace to investors as it announced a tie-up with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct. The logistics company announced a new contract, initially for three years to provide logistics services to Sports Direct at and from a Clipper site in Peterborough. The stock reacted positively on the news after a profit warning in the Summer saw the shares aggressively de-rate.
At the close European equities were mixed with the FTSE 100 +0.33%, the CAC 40 -0.13% and the DAX 30 -0.45%.