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Boortmalt expands; SBS mortgage record; McGill’s order

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4.30pm: FTSE 100 flat

The FTSE 100 dipped in mid-morning trade but rose after Wall Street opened. It closed almost flat, just 4.42 points lower at 6,736.17.

11am: More electric buses

A further 33 electric buses are being built for McGill’s, the UK’s largest independent bus operator. 

The £15m order with China-owned Pelican Yutong follows a £17.5m investment announced last month which will see Pelican Yutong build 22 Yutong E12 vehicles in China while Alexander Dennis will build 12 double deck buses and 1 single deck in Falkirk.

10.30am: Building Society record

Scottish Building Soc Paul Denton

Scottish Building Society today announced a record £74 million increase in mortgage lending and a record £58m growth in savings balances.

In a year the Society described as “extreme conditions,” profit before tax increased by 34% to £840,000.

Paul Denton, chief executive (pictured), said the strong performance was driven by the Society’s commitment to support Scottish homeowners through tough times. Active members increased 9%, while new mortgage lending doubled and saving balances rose 18%.

9am: London markets lower

The FTSE 100 rose in early trade but fell back as forecast following falls in the oil price. After the first hour it was 27 points lower at 6,713.60.

Investment platform AJ Bell rose after it lifted full-year revenue guidance as it continued to see rising customer numbers in the first half.

The company said it expected revenue for the 12 months to 30 September to be at least £6m higher than its own compiled forecasts of £136m (see below).

BT Group was among the top gainers after an upgrade to ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley, while housebuilder Barratt Developments was pushed lower by a downgrade to ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan.

8.50am: Malting expansion

Malting company Boortmalt has announced a £12 million investment to expand its facility in Buckie, Morayshire. The expansion will support the growing demand for malt in whisky distilling and brewing.

Production capacity will increase by 50%. The expansion is already under way and scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2021. 

7.30am: Deliveroo

Deliveroo

Food delivery company Deliveroo said it will price its shares between £3.90-£4.10, down from the range of £3.90-£4.60 announced last week, which sees its top end valuation fall by around £1billion to £7.85billion, from £8.8billion. It comes after some major institutions said they will not take part.

Full story here

7am: AJ Bell

Investment platform AJ Bell lifted full-year revenue guidance as it continued to see rising customer numbers in the first half.

Revenue for the 12 months to 30 September was expected to be at least £6m higher than company-compiled forecasts of £136m, it said.

“The company has continued to see strong customer acquisition in the first half of the current financial year and dealing activity by direct-to-consumer customers has remained at elevated levels throughout.”

Dealing activity was expected to moderate from current levels in the second half.

Plexus Holdings

Chief executive Ben van Bilderbeek said: “We believe that Plexus, with our field proven POS-GRIP leak-proof technology, is well positioned to maximise the opportunities that are now beginning to open up to us, especially in relation to natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, which it is widely reported will increasingly be used to produce hydrogen, over the coming years.

“In July 2020 we announced the award of an order for a POS-GRIP surface production wellhead system from Spirit Energy. The contract is progressing as planned, and as a result we would expect to recognise the majority of revenues from this contract in the second half of FY21.”

“Half year results, including revenues of £419,000, are in line with internal budgets and the Group’s revenues are projected to be higher in the second half.”

The company reported continuing operations loss before tax of £1.9 million (2019: loss £2.76m).

Markets

Oil stocks are expected to weigh on the market as prices recede following the re-floating of the Ever Given, the vessel that has been blocking the Suez Canal.

US markets ended last week higher, while Asian markets this morning are mostly higher.

The Nikkei 225 is 350 points higher this morning while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index is 50 points up.



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