The FTSE 100 was up for two consecutive trading days and closing at 0.4%, as the U.K.'s Chancellor of the Exchequer unveiled some modest tax cuts as part of the spring budget and updated the government's five-year fiscal plan in what is expected to be an election year. "The tax cut may lift output and inflation marginally, but it is no game-changer," Berenberg analyst Kallum Pickering said in a note. ConvaTec Group, International Consolidated Airlines and Anglo American were the session's biggest risers, up 6.1%, 4.8% and 3.7% respectively. Hikma Pharmaceuticals was the day's biggest faller, down 3%, followed by Fresnillo, down 2.9%, and Smurfit Kappa, down 2.5%.


DS Smith Says Trading Has Remained Resilient, Outlook in Line With Views

DS Smith said that trading has been resilient in a challenging market and that its performance for the rest of the year is in line with management expectations.


Tullow Oil Profit Plunges on Lower Oil Prices, Impairment

Tullow Oil said its pretax profit slumped on lower oil prices and impairments, while it backed its guidance for the year ahead.


Legal & General 2023 Operating Profit Misses Views; Backs Targets

Legal & General Group is on track to meet its midterm goals, the financial services provider said as it posted operating profit for 2023 short of expectations.


Nichols's Profit Soared on Strong Packaged Unit Performance

Nichols's full-year pretax profit soared 75%, mainly on a strong performance in its overall packaged business, a decrease in administrative costs and a net finance gain, and it said this year has also started well.


ConvaTec Lifts Midterm Guidance After Profit Doubles

ConvaTec Group said pretax profit in 2023 more than doubled and upgraded its medium-term revenue guidance supported by accelerating organic growth.


Capita Swings to Pretax Loss on Higher Costs

Capita said swung to a pretax loss, dragged by business exits and costs that included a hit from a cyberattack.


Galliford Try Increases Dividend After Profit Rises on Robust Momentum

Galliford Try Holdings said pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2024 increased, supported by a robust momentum with continuing growth, and raised its dividend payout.


888 Holdings Mulls Possible Sale of U.S. B2C Operations

888 Holdings is considering a possible sale of its U.S. B2C operations as part of a strategic review of the business given lower gross profit margins than the rest of the group.


Quilter Profit Rises on Improving Market Conditions

Quilter said pretax profit rose, supported by supportive markets into the year-end period, and raised its dividend payout.


Likewise Group to Meet Market Views After Strong Start to the Year

Likewise Group said the year has started positively, with sales sharply up in the first two months, and that it remains confident of meeting full-year market views.


Rathbones Pretax Profit Slipped on Investec W&I Combination Costs

Rathbones Group posted a fall in pretax profit for 2023 on costs from its Investec Wealth & Investment combination.


AIB Group to Return EUR1.7 Bln to Shareholders After Profit Leap

AIB Group is returning 1.7 billion Euros ($1.85 billion) to shareholders after reporting a jump in 2023 profit driven by a strong business performance, continued economic growth, and a return to a more normal monetary policy environment.


Breedon Group Buys BMC Enterprises for $300 Mln

Breedon Group said it is buying BMC Enterprises for $300 million as it continues to expand into the U.S. market, alongside earnings for last year.


Chill Brands Shares Rise on U.K. Plans to Discourage Smoking More Than Vaping

1402 GMT - Chill Brands shares rise 17% after the U.K. government said it will keep financial incentives for people to choose vaping over smoking. U.K. Treasury Chief Jeremy Hunt said in his Spring Budget that the government will introduce an excise duty on vaping products from October 2026 to discourage non-smokers from taking up vaping. However, Hunt said the government believes vapes can also play a positive role in helping people quit smoking, and at the same time introduced an increase in tobacco duty, Hunt said. Peer Supreme shares also rise 3.4% after Hunt's comments. (


U.K. Inflation Should Fall Faster Than Estimated, Chancellor Hunt Says

1306 GMT - U.K. inflation should fall more quickly than previously estimated and reach the government's target in the coming months, according to fresh forecasts cited by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. Consumer prices should rise by less than 2% "in just a few months' time," Hunt says as he sets out the budget for the coming fiscal year, referring to new forecasts set out Wednesday by watchdog Office for Budget Responsibility. This means inflation coming below the government's target nearly a year earlier than the OBR had previously expected, he says. The OBR in its forecasts last autumn had predicted inflation to average 3.6% this year before coming down to 1.8% in 2025. (; @joshualeokirby)


Sterling Looks Likely to Rise After U.K. Budget

1059 GMT - Sterling should rise after the U.K. spring budget announcement, due around 1230 GMT, which is expected to result in tax cuts ahead of a likely election later this year without resorting to "fiscal largesse," ING analyst Chris Turner says in a note. "Some decent fiscal stimulus should only delay the Bank of England easing cycle (we currently pencil in August for the first cut) and support sterling," he says, adding that any measures to support the U.K. financial industry would also be positive for the currency. "We are mildly positive on sterling today and can see a scenario where GBP/USD presses strong resistance at 1.2800/25." GBP/USD is last up 0.1% at 1.2717. (


Legal & General in a Good Place Given Growth Outlook

1054 GMT - Legal & General is still investing in growth, Bank of America Global Research writes in a note. The provider of life insurance, pensions, retirement and investment services posted both a 2023 operating profit miss and a solvency-print beat, in what BofA calls a mixed update. "We will have to wait for June's capital markets day for L&G's new CEO to set out his new strategy but we largely expect more of the same," analysts write. Buybacks seem to be years off as the board confirmed it sees opportunities to reinvest capital, they add. The stock has few near-term catalysts but patient investors should be rewarded, they say. Shares trade 2.3% lower at 239.7 pence. (


Tullow Oil Set to Focus on Growth

1038 GMT - With financing secured and free cash-flow growth ahead, Tullow Oil can now focus on growth into the end of the decade, Barclays analysts write in a research note. The U.K. oil-and-gas producer booked FCF of $170 million last year--down on year but ahead of its guidance--which is a number expected to increase in 2024, the analysts say. "Essentially Tullow is now starting to deliver momentum, and this we see as key to closing the value gap," they say. Key to supporting production volumes in 2024 is the now-resolved water-injection issues at the Jubilee field in Ghana, Barclays says. Shares are down 2.4% at 27.58 pence. (


Legal & General Results Bode Well For Future Returns

1033 GMT - Legal & General's results clear the way for better performance into its capital markets day in June, JPMorgan writes in a note after the provider of life insurance, pensions, retirement and investment services posted 2023 results. "The Solvency II capital position is far stronger than consensus, with lower sensitivity to interest rates, which we believe leaves L&G in a better position to consider higher capital distribution or dividends to shareholders," analysts Farooq Hanif and Bingdi Fan write. They expect the group to keep its interest rate sensitivity below its historical levels, suggesting it is going into 2024 with "true capital surplus." Shares fall 2.2% to 239.9 pence. (


Tullow Oil Has Potential for Shareholder Returns, Inorganic Growth

1013 GMT - Tullow Oil could explore shareholder returns and mergers and acquisitions in the short-to-medium term after another strong year of debt reduction and production growth, Peel Hunt analysts write in a research note. "The rapidly improving balance sheet and strong free cash-flow stream from Ghana and Gabon give Tullow flexibility to look to shareholder returns and in/organic growth in the short to medium-term," they say. The U.K. oil-and-gas company is a corporate client of Peel Hunt. Shares are down 2.9% at 27.44 pence. (

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-06-24 1245ET