Daily Mail

Cruddas £60m poorer as CMC shares collapse

- By John Abiona

Tory peer Lord Cruddas and his wife saw nearly £60m wiped off their fortune as CMC Markets tumbled.

The rags-to-riches businessma­n, who founded the trading firm in 1989, watched the value of his stake dwindle as clients struggling to get to grips with inflation and war in Ukraine quit the platform.

In an update for the six months to the end of September, CMC said the number of trading clients fell 7pc, and it was suffering from rising costs.

CMC benefited from a surge in trading activity during the pandemic when Britons looked for ways to make money and pass the time. But as lockdown restrictio­ns loosened, activity on the investment platform has subsided.

And its expansion projects are proving more expensive than thought. operating costs came in at £106.3m, up 28pc from the same period last year. The shares were down 12.7pc, or 34p, to 234p.

Cruddas, a former Tory party treasurer and donor, and his wife

Fiona own a combined 62pc of the company, worth £407.5m.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.25pc, or 18.25 points, to 7351.19 while the FTSE 250 was down 1.77pc, or 343.48 points, to 19,112.40, with defence stocks rallying after a russian-manufactur­ed missile killed two people in Poland near the border with Ukraine.

The strike fuelled fears that Poland, a Nato member, could be dragged into the war. But president Andrzej Duda said: ‘There is no indication that this was an intentiona­l attack on Poland.’

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenber­g also said a Ukrainian air defence missile was the likely cause though ‘ russia bears ultimate responsibi­lity’ due to its attack on Ukraine. Shares in BAE Systems rose 4.2pc, or 31.2p, to 769.8p while Babcock added 0.1pc, or 0.4p, to 280.8p.

Software giant Sage ended its financial year in style as revenue rose 5pc to £1.95bn for the year to September with its business cloud division soaring 24pc. Shares added 7.3pc, or 55.4p, to 811.2p.

Mr Kipling and Bisto owner Premier Foods grew in the first half of

the year to october 1, as more consumers stay in rather than eat out. revenues rose 6.2pc to £419m and profits swelled by more than a tenth to £47m. But the shares fell 2.3pc, or 2.6p, to 108.4p.

British Land saw the value of its estate decline 3pc to £9.6bn amid rising interest rates as it sank 1.1pc, or 4.4p, to 391.7p.

over at Vodafone, investors cheered the telecom giant’s launch of a share buyback programme worth up to £580m. It rose 1.3pc, or 1.27p, to 97.16p.

Meanwhile, Hill & Smith hailed a strong demand after the safety barrier maker said profit for the year should be above £89.7m. It climbed 5.3pc, or 58p, to 1150p.

Serco sank into the red even though it won a £200m contract with the Ministry of Defence to provide services for the royal Navy. Its share price dipped 0.7pc, or 1.2p, to 164.9p.

Tullow Oil fell 0.4pc, or 0.2p, to 47.3p after the energy firm’s production forecast for the year lagged behind levels in 2020. It expects to have produced 61,000 to 62,000 barrels of oil a day at the end of 2022 – down from a previous range of 60,000 to 64,000, and some way off the 74,900 in 2020.

Kainos was up 4.8pc, or 69p, to 1510p after Berenberg upgraded the IT firm’s rating to ‘buy’ from hold’ and raised the target price to 1700p from 1200p.

Deliveroo tumbled 7.1pc, or 7.02p, to 92.58p after ending a seven-year stint in Australia. The online delivery company placed its subsidiary there into voluntary administra­tion as it said that the business cannot become profitable without ‘ considerab­le financial investment’.

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