A "resilient" first-half performance and a 5% increase in the interim dividend helped lift shares
in Elementis during today's session. The speciality global chemicals company, which posted a 3% rise in sales and a 7% increase in profit, said that it had been able to achieve growth despite weather issues in the first quarter and varied global growth rates, largely thanks to its geographic footprint and broad end-markets.
A good performance in Europe helped Imperial Leather soap maker PZ Cussons to froth up annual profits despite the strong pound, sending shares higher. Cussons said its UK washing and bathing division performed strongly with all four of its brands doing well.
Meanwhile, Petra Diamonds shares took a knock after it became aware that 43m shares held by Awal Bank have been placed by its administrators, RBS Capital Markets, with both UK and international institutions at a price of 190p per share. The other 13.2m shares held by Awal Bank are subject to a 90-day lock-up. The group is also retreating after rising strongly on Monday on the back of better than expected results.
Also lower was insurer and reinsurer Jardine Lloyd Thompson, which expressed caution about market conditions in the second half after a robust performance in the first. Thanks to a good organic performance and a full contribution from the acquisition of Towers Watson Re, partly offset by forewarned foreign exchange
headwinds, total revenue rose 15% to £559.6m, of which 6% was organic.
However, broker Numis has cut full year forecasts 5% for 2014 and 6% for the year after, due to reduced expectations for the Towers Re business as well as modestly higher forex headwinds, offset by stronger Asia employee benefits profits.
FTSE 250 - Risers
Elementis (ELM) 277.00p +7.61%
NMC Health (NMC) 476.90p +4.81%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,290.00p +3.71%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 121.40p +3.23%
SIG (SHI) 171.50p +3.00%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 239.90p +2.92%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 645.00p +2.63%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 356.80p +2.56%
BTG (BTG) 609.50p +2.52%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 596.50p +2.49%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 195.80p -9.60%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 338.70p -3.45%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 186.50p -3.12%
AO World (AO.) 194.00p -3.00%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,025.00p -2.94%
Alent (ALNT) 344.00p -2.69%
Exova Group (EXO) 235.00p -2.08%
Amlin (AML) 464.90p -2.00%
Greencore Group (GNC) 269.40p -1.86%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,858.00p -1.64%