ITV among the big fallers as the mar­ket re­mains flat

Yorkshire Post - Business - - MARKET REPORT -

BROAD­CASTER ITV saw its shares take a hit de­spite post­ing its sixth straight year of dou­bledigit profit growth.

Shares in the group - home to shows in­clud­ing Down­ton Abbey and The X Fac­tor - sank more than 3 per cent as the firm’s down­beat out­look for ad­ver­tis­ing in the first quar­ter over­shad­owed a bumper an­nual prof­its haul.

The wider FSTE 100 In­dex ended the day largely un­changed, los­ing ini­tial gains that saw it hit its high­est level so far this year, to stand 5.82 points lower at 6147.06.

It comes af­ter a re­cent rally, with hopes build­ing for the UK econ­omy and the end of a pun­ish­ing oil price rout.

But the top flight was once more left in the red, even as the cost of Brent crude edged up 0.4 per cent to just un­der 37 US dol­lars a bar­rel.

Ger­many’s Dax and the Cac 40 in France were both just ahead.

The pound was slightly higher against the euro at just over 1.29, on trader ex­pec­ta­tions that the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank will boost its stim­u­lus mea­sures next week.

Ster­ling was just ahead against the US dol­lar at just over 1.40.

ITV was among the big­gest blue-chip fallers, down 8.7p to 240.9p, even though it posted an 18 per cent surge in un­der­ly­ing pre-tax prof­its to £843m for 2015 and said it was in line for a sum­mer sport­ing boost from the Euro 2016 foot­ball tour­na­ment.

Its falls came as the group cau­tioned it ex­pects net ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enues to be flat and “marginally be­hind the mar­ket” in the first quar­ter, com­pared to 12 per cent growth in the same pe­riod last year.

Banks were among blue chips mak­ing strong gains, with Asian-fac­ing Stan­dard Char­tered and HSBC up 22.9p to 454.8p and 10.7p to 471.6p re­spec­tively.

Min­ers were also lead­ing the FTSE 100 higher as Antofa­gasta rose 17.6p to 508p and An­glo

Amer­i­can lifted 32.8p to 524.1p. Trou­bled en­gine maker Roll­sRoyce edged 3p lower to 680p, af­ter it said it had given US ac­tivist share­holder ValueAct a seat on its board in a move that will give the in­vestor in­flu­ence over the en­gine maker as its seeks to turn around its for­tunes.

Bradley Singer - a part­ner and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at San Fran­cisco-based fund ValueAct - will be­come a mem­ber of Rolls-Royce’s sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy com­mit­tee. In the FTSE 250 In­dex, len­der

Vir­gin Money said an­nual pre-tax prof­its surged 53 per cent to £160.3m in 2015 as its growth in mort­gages, sav­ings and credit cards re­mained a step ahead of the mar­ket.

It also cheered in­vestors in­clud­ing Sir Richard Branson’s Vir­gin Group - with its first ful­lyear div­i­dend af­ter float­ing in 2014.

Shares jumped 7 per cent, or 23.8p to 364p.

Ni­chols posted an 8.9 per cent rise in pre-tax prof­its to £28m for 2015 as a 3.9 per cent lift in in­ter­na­tional sales helped off­set a slug­gish UK mar­ket, where sales dropped 0.3 per cent. The firm, based in Mersey­side, said the UK sales fall came against falls in the wider soft drinks mar­ket, down 0.6 per cent last port­fo­lio in­cludes year. Its brand Vimto, which is sold in over 70 coun­tries. Shares were up 70p at 1320p. The big­gest ris­ers in the FTSE 100 In­dex were An­glo Amer­i­can up 32.8p at 524.1p, Aberdeen

As­set Man­age­ment up 141/2p at 261.7p, Stan­dard Char­tered up 22.9p at 454.9p, and BHP Bil­li­ton up 38p at 778.4p.

The big­gest fallers in the FTSE 100 In­dex were In­tertek down 139p at 2865p, Berke­ley Group down 128p at 3118p, ITV down 8.7p at 240.9p, and Per­sim­mon down 70p at 2144p.

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