Buy-to-let lender Paragon Group led the FTSE 250 charge on Tuesday, after first half profits were boosted by rising demand from an uplift in the rental market.
Underlying pre-tax profit rose 20% to 57.9m pounds in the first half as it granted more than double the amount of loans, from £102m to £269.3m.
Chief Executive Nigel Terrington stressed that while the buy-to-let market has grown in recent years, it remains materially below its pre-financial crisis peak.
Despite profits slashed due to regulatory fines, Homeserve was one of the top risers thanks to rising revenues and bullish outlook on its overseas opportunities. Homeserve reported strong growth in the overseas business last year gaining 800,000 customers to 3.4m across the US, Spain, Italy and France.
Chief Executive Richard Harpin said: "The US remains our greatest opportunity and during 2015 we intend to increase investment in marketing and business development to take advantage of this. All our businesses are progressing in line with our expectations and we are confident of making further progress in 2015," he added.
TV dinners maker Greencore is already doing well in the US to make up for a challenging UK market. A strong 26% increase in like-for-like sales at its Convenience Foods unit in the States helped first half revenue rise 8.2% to £619.8m, driven also by store openings by major retailers.
Adjusted pre-tax profit increased 20.5% to £30.7m and earnings per share grew 18.6% to 7p and the company achieved a strong market position in the UK across food-to-go, chilled prepared meals, chilled soups and sauces, ambient sauces and pickles, cakes and desserts and Yorkshire Puddings. Shares in Greencore were up 6.39% to 262.90p by late afternoon.
Moving the wrong way was oil and gas company Afren after it posted a fall in quarterly revenue and pre-tax profit. Some analysts also bemoaned a rather "light" outlook statement with no reiteration of production guidance and Oriel Securities noting that production was behind 2014 guidance of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and that operating cash flow was "fairly low", especially given that tax and interest are set to be significantly higher on annualised basis.
888 Holdings the day after disappointing monthly figures were announced from the US state of New Jersey, where operational difficulties are holding back growth of the newly liberalised online gaming market.
FTSE 250 - Risers
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 377.00p +7.68%
Homeserve (HSV) 340.00p +7.22%
Greencore Group (GNC) 262.90p +6.39%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 304.70p +6.20%
Pace (PIC) 357.70p +5.39%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,256.00p +4.93%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 333.50p +4.55%
NMC Health (NMC) 459.80p +4.26%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,005.00p +4.25%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 312.50p +4.17%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Afren (AFR) 144.40p -6.29%
Cobham (COB) 295.90p -5.22%
888 Holdings (888) 123.70p -3.96%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 414.70p -3.45%
Lonmin (LMI) 234.30p -3.06%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 204.20p -2.76%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 135.00p -2.74%
Soco International (SIA) 411.40p -2.70%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 271.60p -2.65%
Booker Group (BOK) 137.30p -2.42