Telecom Plus topped the second tier risers today after impressing with an increase in annual profit and revenue as the utility achieved a record increase in customer numbers.
The company, which supplies gas, electricity, telephony and broadband, said adjusted pre-tax profit jumped 25.3% to £44.6m and revenue increased 9.5% to £658.8m in the year to end-March. The number of services providing reached 1.9bn by year end, up 305,100 on the previous year, and the group's customer base reached 530,000.
Soft drinks group Britvic also surged after it served up a 20% increase in interim profit, as it continues with its cost saving programme, and underlined its confidence in future trading with a 13% interim dividend hike. Pre-tax profit jumped 20.8% to £45.3m for the 28 weeks ended April 13th, while revenue increased to £670.7m from £639.2m the same time a year earlier with volume growth of 3.9% and average realised price (ARP) growth of 0.8%. Half-year adjusted earnings per share were 14.5p, up 16.9% on last year.
Hot on its heels was distribution group DCC, which climbed after its earnings in the year to March came in 11.7% higher at 191.2p. The Irish holding company grew operating profit 11.5% to £208m on revenue up 6.2% to £11.2bn, driven by acquisitions, particularly in DCC Energy, and excellent organic growth in DCC Technology.
Meanwhile, Intermediate Capital plunged after it revealed a 25% decline in its loan book and a 13% fall in the profitability of its asset management arm. Numis Securities cut its target price for the stock and highlighed how the business only generates returns to shareholders of 9%, despite having leveraged exposure to assets that typically yield between 10-15%. The broker cut its forecasts for earnings per share for this year and next to 36.2p (from 41.8p) and 38.9 (from 44.1p), respectively.
Paragon Group erased some of yesterday's gains, which came after it said first half profits were boosted by rising demand from an uplift in the rental market. Today saw Numis reiterate its 'sell' recommendation, despite increasing its target price from 219p to 244p.
FTSE 250 - Risers
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,531.00p +11.75%
Britvic (BVIC) 746.50p +7.49%
DCC (DCC) 3,327.00p +7.15%
Lonmin (LMI) 252.20p +6.86%
RPS Group (RPS) 289.90p +6.39%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 591.00p +4.60%
Booker Group (BOK) 143.50p +4.52%
Hunting (HTG) 817.50p +4.07%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 45.77p +4.02%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 151.60p +3.98%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 397.70p -3.77%
Redefine International (RDI) 54.75p -3.44%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 374.20p -2.45%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 740.00p -2.37%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 299.70p -1.71%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 494.00p -1.59%
Carillion (CLLN) 335.40p -1.56%
Provident Financial (PFG) 1,997.00p -1.33%
HICL Infrastructure Company Ltd (HICL) 136.90p -1.30%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 1,311.00p -1.21%