London's blue-chip index closed 0.26% higher at 7,952.62 points on Thursday, the last trading session of the first quarter. "A 3% gain for the quarter might not be the most impressive return, but the index has made great strides over the past three months" IG analyst Chris Beauchamp wrote in a market comment. "Improving earnings, less hawkish monetary policy and rebounding fund flows seem to put the index in a good place for the rest of the year, countering some of the gloom from this morning's GDP figures," he added.



Smith & Nephew Names John Rogers CFO as Anne-Francoise Nesmes Exits

Smith & Nephew said John Rogers has been appointed chief financial officer from April 1.


Aviva's GBP460 Mln AIG Life Acquisition Cleared by U.K. Regulator

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority cleared insurer Aviva's 460 million pound ($581.5 million) acquisition of AIG Life U.K.


Antofagasta Says Los Pelambres Plant Pipeline Cleared and Filtering Resumed

Antofagasta said that concentrate material has been cleared from the Los Pelambres processing plant pipeline in Chile and that copper sales that were expected in the first quarter of this year will be rescheduled.


JD Sports Fashion Expects Improving Conditions, Boosted by Busy Summer

JD Sports Fashion set its profit target for the year ahead, saying it expects improving conditions, supported by a busy summer in sport and softer comparatives with last year.


Arbuthnot Banking Pretax Profit Rises on Higher Interest Rates and New Deposits

Arbuthnot Banking Group reported a higher pretax profit driven by rising interest rates and the ability to attract new deposits in line with its Future State 2 strategic plan.


Spirent Communications Agrees to $1.47 Bln Keysight Takeover; Withdraws Viavi Recommendation

Spirent Communications said that it agreed to a 1.16 billion ($1.47 billion) takeover by Keysight Technologies and has therefore withdrawn its previous recommendation of the Viavi Solutions deal.


Quiz PLC CEO Tarak Ramzan to Step Down; Sales Fall Further

Quiz PLC said founder and Chief Executive Tarak Ramzan will step down from the role with immediate effect, being replaced by current Chief Commercial Officer Sheraz Ramzan, as part of the business's turnaround plans.


AO World Expects Adjusted Profit at Top End of Range After Returning to Revenue Growth

AO World said returned to revenue growth during the fourth quarter and it now expects fiscal 2024 group adjusted pretax profit to be at the top end of the previously guided range.


Thames Water Won't Get GBP500 Mln in Funding as Regulations Make Business Plan 'Uninvestible'

Thames Water Utilities said it won't receive an expected 500 million pounds ($632.1 million) in funding from shareholders because U.K. water regulations will make its business plan uninvestible.


Amigo Holdings Shares Rise on GBP237,548 Placing

Shares in Amigo Holdings surged after it said it will raise 237,548 pounds ($300,308) via a placing and that it will use the funds as working capital.


888 Sells Some Assets Ahead of U.S. Consumer-Market Exit

888 Holdings is selling some of its U.S. business-to-consumer assets to Hard Rock Digital and plans to exit the rest and fully stop operations by the end of this year.


Galliford Try Holdings Taps Kris Hampson as CFO

Galliford Try Holdings appointed Kris Hampson as chief financial officer, with effect from no later than September.


AdvancedAdvT Swings to Pretax Profit Boosted by Strong Growth

AdvancedAdvT swung to a pretax profit and said that it remains optimistic about growth opportunities ahead.


Westminster Group Swings to Pretax Loss as Revenue Falls on Delayed Orders

Westminster Group said it swung to a pretax loss for the first fiscal half as revenue fell due to some orders being delayed because of the economic climate, but it started 2024 with healthy recurring revenue and orders.


Lloyd's of London Swings to Pretax Profit Boosted by Strong Growth

Lloyd's of London swung to pretax profit reflecting solid profitability on both the underwriting and investment sides along with a strong balance sheet.


888 Holdings' Exit From U.S. Consumer Market Seen as Positive

1020 GMT - 888 Holdings' exit from the U.S. business-to-consumer market is seen as a positive step given the challenges that face sub-scale operators in the country, Goodbody analyst David Brohan writes in a research note. This reflects a sense of urgency from the new management team to set the business on the right track, the analyst says. Exiting the business will incur one-off cash costs of GBP40 million to realize GBP25 million of annualized savings, which represents an impressive outcome, Brohan adds. Shares are up 0.5% at 88.95 pence. (


JD Sports Well Placed to Grow Market Share When Consumer Spending Bounces Back

1003 GMT - JD Sports Fashion managed to outperform the market and is optimistic about the year ahead, a different message from the fashion retailer's competitors, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says in a note. Although the current trading environment is certainly difficult, the London-listed company looks set to increase market share when the backdrop improves, Mould says, referring to a return in consumer spending and rising sales. "JD's success has been driven by consumers racing to buy the latest trainers, pairs of which often costing hundreds of pounds," he says. "The company's scale and deep relationships with important brands has given it an advantage over many rivals and enabled it to expand across different geographies and become a major force in the sports retail world." Shares are up 6.5%, but down 25% since the start of the year. (


JD Sports Encourages as Profit Warning Didn't Materialize

0942 GMT - JD Sports Fashion's trading update was considerably more encouraging than it has been expected as the anticipated profit warning didn't materialise, Quilter Cheviot equity research analyst Mamta Valechha says in a note. The London-listed fashion retailer reported sales growth ahead of both company and market expectations, the analyst says. Gross margins for the year were only down 50 basis points, which is quite commendable given heavy promotional activity toward the end of the year, Valechha highlights. "JD Sports echoed Nike's view on future performance, with the expectation that FY 2025 will be second-half weighted, with 1Q being the weakest," the analyst adds. Shares are up 5.5% leading the FTSE 100 index. (


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