Rolls-Royce lifted by helicopter deal
ENGINEERING giant Rolls-Royce got a much-needed boost yesterday, after winning the contract to provide engines for a new generation of US army helicopters.
The FTSE 100 group will produce the propulsion system for Bell Textron’s V-280 Valor aircraft, which is competing to win the contract for the US Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft programme.
Unlike traditional helicopters with a rotor disk, the V-280 has two sets of blades that can be rotated forwards for level flight or upwards to hover.
The announcement offered some much-needed relief for the group, which rose 20.8p to 285.60p. It has seen its share price battered in recent months amid disruption in the aerospace sector.
It left Rolls as one of the FTSE 100’s biggest risers. The group’s gains were overshadowed only by Hargreaves Lansdown, which popped up 161p to £17.50 after potential investment platform rival Robinhood scrapped plans to launch in the UK.
The blue-chip index ended fairly flat, after shedding early gains as a buoyant mood on global markets prompted by the successful end of negotiations over a European rescue fund faded.
GVC Holdings was the biggest faller, dropping 64p to 808p after announcing HMRC is investigating its former Turkish business.
Persimmon also slipped and Dave Jenkinson, the house-builder’s outgoing boss, has sold 50,000 shares – his second batch in less than two months. Mr Jenkinson, 52, offloaded 50,000 shares on Monday at £26.20 each, netting him £1.3m.
It followed his sale on June 5 of 89,581 shares at £24.70 each, or £2.2m in total. He still owns over 700,000 shares in the company.
In February, Mr Jenkinson announced his plans to step down from the house-builder. He had taken over 15 months before, following the exit of predecessor Jeff Fairburn – who left amid a row over his £75m bonus. Persimmon shares fell 87p to £25.27.
Pharma giant AstraZeneca also slid, dropping 272p to £90.48, the day after touching an all-time high after positive results for the vaccine it is developing alongside Oxford University researchers.
Analysts raised doubts over whether the Oxford treatment would prove sufficient, with UBS’s Michael Leuchten also noting that Astra has said it does not see the vaccine as a commercially-driven venture.
On the FTSE 250, booking app Trainline jumped 44.20p to 443.20p after announcing it had hired Jody Ford, the chief executive of online printing company Photobox, to become its first-ever chief operating officer from late September.
In an statement, Trainline said Mr Ford, who worked at eBay for 10 years, “will be central to driving Trainline’s growth strategy and performance”.