Results from oil major Royal Dutch Shell jumped after it smashed analysts' estimates with its second-quarter profits. Shell, which has a market cap of around £156bn at current prices, said that earnings on a current cost of supplies basis surged to $5.1bn in the three months to 30 June, up from $2.4bn the year before, helped by higher liquids production volumes and prices.
First half net rental income rose £8m year-on-year at Intu Properties, helping to lift underlying earnings from £68m to £72m as the letting market showed "encouraging signs of improvement". During the six-month period, the market value of the shopping centre owner's investment properties increased 16% from £7,624m to £8,843m, while net asset value (NAV) per share climbed 7.5% from 346p to 372p, well ahead of forecasts of 344p.
Defence group BAE Systems rose it posted lower half-year sales and profits but in line with expectations but did not deny rumours that it could revive its collapsed merger with Airbus. BAE, which builds submarines, warships and parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, reported a 10.6% drop in sales to £7.6bn from £8.5bn in the six months to 30 June and said underlying pre-tax earnings came in 7.5% lower at £802m versus £867m last time, all largely in line with expectations.
First-quarter revenues were down at BT, but the stock rose after underlying figures were more positive and profits were 7% higher than the same period last year. "We have made a good start to the year," said chief executive Gavin Patterson, keeping his guidance for the full year and pointing to cost cutting continuing at a similar pace as last year, with underlying costs excluding transit and BT Sport down 3%.
Meanwhile, even though it unexpectedly hiked its half-year dividend 50% to 24p, shares
in the asset manager Schroders dropped into the red after it sounded a note of caution about the retail investor market. While chief executive Michael Dobson said July had seen "good inflows" and cited a "significant pipeline" of institutional business, the company's outlook statement was not altogether positive.
Schroders fell after it warned that "the short-term outlook for retail investor demand is uncertain given no clear trend in markets", although in the longer term it was encouraged by a wide range of growth opportunities across the business.
Lloyds was lower as investors engaged in a round of profit taking as underlying profits improved by 32% to £3.82bn in the first half of the year. The analyst consensus was for an underlying profit of £3.6bn. On a negative point, which may have soured the interest of some investors, impairments for souring loans decreased 58% to £758m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,555.00p +2.65%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,443.00p +2.54%
Intu Properties (INTU) 328.20p +2.47%
ITV (ITV) 208.40p +1.91%
BAE Systems (BA.) 430.90p +1.39%
BP (BP.) 485.75p +0.83%
BT Group (BT.A) 391.00p +0.80%
Pearson (PSON) 1,143.00p +0.79%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,435.50p +0.74%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,332.00p +0.46%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Schroders (SDR) 2,396.00p -4.12%
St James's Place (STJ) 724.50p -4.04%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 727.00p -3.77%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,576.00p -3.45%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 74.06p -3.08%
GKN (GKN) 340.70p -3.02%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,717.00p -2.94%
Capita (CPI) 1,200.00p -2.83%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 347.80p -2.77%
3i Group (III) 376.20p -2.77%