London's FTSE 250 was down 0.5% to 19,577.01 in afternoon trade on Wednesday.
Dunelm rallied as it said the new financial year had started well, even though full-year profits dropped to towards the lower end of expectations. Revenue for the year to 1 July of £955.6m was up 8.5% on the prior year, with like-for-like sales down 2.4%, while profits before tax of £109.3m at the underlying level were down 15% as per management's £109-111m guidance.
Halfords was in the black after it poached fellow retailer Dixons Carphone's software boss, Graham Stapleton, to take up the chief executive role vacated by the soon-to-depart Jill McDonald.
On the downside, Esure was hit by a downgrade to 'sell' at UBS, which said the company is likely to face increasing headwinds. UBS forecast lower margin ahead on the new risk segments Esure is expanding into, while also predicting early Ogden reinsurance renewals and releases coming in below guidance due to reduced reserve conservatism on new business.
Galliford Try fell despite reporting full-year pre-tax profit at the top end of its expected range. In the year to the end of June, pre-tax profit declined 57$ to £58.7m on group revenue of £2.7bn, up 7% from the year before. The company had said back in July that full-year pre-tax profit would be at the top end of analysts' forecasts of between £46m and £59m, down from £135m a year ago.
Booker was under the cosh as Exane BNP Paribas downgraded its stance on the stock to 'underperform' from 'neutral', which was the same downgrade it applied to Tesco.
"As Booker is locked in a merger ratio with Tesco and we assume that the combination will go ahead (as it would seem does the market given the discount has more or less disappeared), Booker's share price is determined with reference to the Tesco share price."
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 669.00p 9.58%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,601.00p 3.62%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,641.00p 3.40%
IP Group (IPO) 122.50p 2.17%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 181.00p 2.14%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 185.20p 1.93%
Vectura Group (VEC) 102.00p 1.69%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 393.50p 1.55%
Halfords Group (HFD) 318.60p 1.50%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,767.00p 1.28%
esure Group (ESUR) 251.00p -4.96%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 781.50p -4.17%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,422.00p -3.79%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 437.60p -3.61%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 302.30p -3.02%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 82.60p -2.94%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 2,068.00p -2.82%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 1,325.00p -2.79%
Booker Group (BOK) 198.10p -2.75%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 264.50p -2.61%