Financial services group Old Mutual climbed after revealing that its underlying activities had performed strongly in 2013.
Old Mutual, which owns pension provider Skandia, unveiled adjusted operating profit of £1.6bn, similar to last year in reported currency but up 15% at constant currency.
Mondi Group, the international packaging and paper company, delivered a strong rise in annual pre-tax profit, driven by low costs and exposure to higher growth markets. On a 12% rise in revenue to €6,476m, pre-tax profit leapt 36% from €368m to €499m. Basic earnings per share rose from 50.1 cents to 79.8 cents.
William Hill also moved higher despite the fact its annual pre-tax profit fell six per cent to £257m as the gaming company invested heavily in it its online offering. In an effort to keep up with the growing online market, with consumers opting to gamble on tables, computers and smartphones, the company launched mobile in new markets and took over full control of William Hill Online.
ARM Holdings shares
continued to rise on the back of the four-day Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona earlier this week, giving investors a chance to recoup recent losses.
Meanwhile, lower margins in North America and the merger between publishing houses Penguin and Random House pushed full-year operating profits at Pearson six per cent lower to £871m as the company warned of a further hit on earnings in 2014. The Financial Times publisher company said 2014 earnings per share at current exchange rates
would be 62p to 67p as the pound strengthened against the dollar, adding that another £50m in restructuring costs would have to be set aside. Investec said the group's outlook once again disappointed, and put its price target under review.
Ruper Soames, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aggreko, has announced his plan to step down from the group to take up the same role at Serco Group. After 11 years at the helm, he is due to leave the company on April 24th.
The owner of British Airways and Iberia, International Airlines Group, fell sharply despite hailing the success of its turnaround strategy as it reported annual operating profit of €770m against losses of €23m a year ago.
Struggling UK insurer RSA continued in the red one day after it posted annual pre-tax losses of £244m and announced plans to launch a rights issue to raise £775m. RSA, whose shares have suffered since it revealed accounting problems in Ireland ripped a big hole in its balance sheet, said it faced an Irish underwriting loss of £220m from management irregularities, reserve strengthening and adverse weather in the fourth quarter. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its 'hold' rating on the stock, with a target price of 95p.
Standard Chartered moved lower after UBS reduced its target price from 1,680p to 1,515p, while its 'buy' recommendation remained unchanged.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Old Mutual (OML) 197.00p +5.80%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,090.00p +5.31%
William Hill (WMH) 391.60p +4.48%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,390.00p +2.96%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 784.50p +2.62%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 1,018.00p +2.62%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,483.00p +1.96%
ITV (ITV) 202.80p +1.81%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,553.00p +1.59%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 250.30p +1.40%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Pearson (PSON) 1,004.00p -6.69%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,568.00p -3.80%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 439.50p -2.72%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 96.25p -1.89%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 907.00p -1.57%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,790.00p -1.56%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 233.60p -1.43%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 342.80p -1.41%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,263.00p -1.37%
Carnival (CCL) 2,476.00p -1.28%