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JD profits upgrade; Parkmead’s new licences

JD SharesFri close: Shares in JD Sports Fashion, which includes Edinburgh-based outdoor equipment company Tiso, soared 7.84% or 58.5p to 805p after it said full-year profit would be 10% ahead of market forecasts on strong underlying sales growth which continues to exceed its expectations.

Analysts have been expecting the firm to post a pre-tax profit of £110m. In June the company said it had made a strong start in the first 19 weeks of its new financial year. It will publish first-half results on 16 September.

Parkmead, the UK and Netherlands focused independent oil and gas group, has been provisionally awarded three licences covering three offshore blocks in the UK 28th Licensing Round. Two of the new licences are in the highly prospective West of Shetland area, and will both be operated by Parkmead. The third licence is in the Southern North Sea, and will be operated by Atlantic Petroleum.

The company said the new licences “complete an excellent 28th Round for Parkmead”, with the company winning nine oil and gas licences covering 12 offshore blocks. It said they complement Parkmead’s strong existing asset base of oil and gas production, exploration prospects, and the major Perth-Dolphin-Lowlander (PDL) oil hub development.

Tom Cross, executive chairman, said the new licence awards further increase the scale of Parkmead’s oil and gas operations in the UK. “Both the West of Shetland region and the Southern Gas Basin are areas we understand well, and both have the potential to add major value to Parkmead,” he said.

He reiterated the company’s ongoing search for further acquisition opportunities which take advantage of the low oil price environment. The shares were up 2p at 89p.

Moneysupermarket:  Martin Lewis, the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, has sold a 1.6% stake in the company. Shares were down 2.7p at 293.3p.

Lloyds Banking Group declined as the lender reported its first half results and set aside an extra £1.4bn provision for PPI mis-selling, which was higher than analysts expected. Shares closed down 2.82p at 83.2p

ITV gained as US media giant Liberty Global upped its stake in the broadcaster to just under 10%. Shares rose 9p to 280.7p.

Cruise operator Carnival sailed to the top of the leader-board mid-afternoon on a gust of positive sentiment from across the Atlantic. Shares rose 176p to 3,552p.

In the oil and gas sector, BG Group rallied after posting a slump in second-quarter earnings that were better than analysts had forecast and reporting record oil and gas output. Shares were up 13p at 1,092.5p.

Royal Bank of Scotland declined on news the government is set to launch the first sale of its shares since the lender’s £46bn taxpayer-funded rescue nearly seven years ago, marking the beginning of the bank’s return to private ownership. Bankers have been sounding out investors for the past week about a sale of RBS stock that could begin in the next few days. Shares were off 0.2p at 342.2p.

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