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Persimmon targets revival; SMS bolt-on acquisition


4.30pm: Traders back Budget

The markets were generally positive towards Rishi Sunak’s Budget which offered further Covid support and underpinned the housing and infrastructure sectors.

The FTSE 100 closed 61.72 points (0.93%) higher at 6,675.47. Unsurprisingly, house builders topped the risers. Barratt Developments advanced over 7% to 732.6p, while Persimmon gained 6.83% at 2,895p.

10.15am: Bus deal

Alexander Dennis and BYD UK jointly announced that their electric vehicle partnership, has taken an order for 22 BYD ADL Enviro200EV electric single deck buses from First Bus.

Full story here

9.15am: Maven backs Adimo

Maven Capital Partners has led a £1.54 million funding round for Adimo, a Glasgow-based marketing technology platform that enables FMCG brands to turn their digital marketing campaigns into shoppable experiences.

… more follows

8.45am: London shoots higher

The FTSE 100 rose strongly at the open amid optimism over vaccine rollouts and the prospect of further US government stimulus.

The blue chip index was up 80 points, or 1.2%, at 6,693.20.

8.30am Law At Work deals

Law At Work is expanding its operations through three acquisitions by parent company Marlowe.

Full story here

7am: Persimmon

Persimmon homes

House builder Persimmon reported a slump in 2020 profit, but Britain’s second-largest homebuilder said it was targeting a full return to pre-pandemic new home completion levels next year.

It posted an underlying profit before tax for 2020 of £863m (2019: £1.05 billion) on total revenue of £3.33bn (2019: £3.65bn)

Chairman Roger Devlin said there has been no significant disruption to the business caused by the UK’s exit from the EU and the completion of the free trade agreement.

“We maintain close contact with our supply chain and remain mindful of any potentially adverse impacts,” he said.

Smart Metering Systems acquisition

Smart Metering Systems has announced the £8.25 million acquisition of Industrial and Commercial Half Hourly electricity meters.

SMS will take ownership of the data service contracts associated with more than 20,000 meters, which will initially generate £2 million of data annualised recurring revenue.

SMS has also entered into agreements with two of the fastest growing independent energy suppliers to provide services as an integrated domestic smart meter installer and Meter Asset Provider.

Under the terms of the agreements, which include a minimum contracted order commitment, SMS will fund and install domestic smart meters on behalf of the energy suppliers. These contract successes enhance SMS’s contracted smart meter order pipeline to c2.5 million meters (31 December 2020: c2 million).

Daily Mail group buys New Scientist

Daily Mail & General Trust, through dmg media, its consumer media business, has acquired New Scientist, the science publishing title from a consortium of individual investors led by Sir Bernard Gray, for £70m cash. 

New Scientist has a large and growing international readership, with a weekly circulation of approximately 120,000, of which just over half are UK-based.  The business makes about 75% of its revenue from subscriptions. In 2021, the business is expected to generate cash operating income and operating profit of approximately £7m and revenues are expected to exceed £20m.


The FTSE 100 was expected to open higher ahead of today’s Budget after closing up 25.22 points, or 0.4%, at 6,613.75.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.5%. In China, the Shanghai Composite is up 1.7%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is up 2.5%.

Wall Street ended in the red, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending down 0.5%, the S&P 500 0.8% lower and the Nasdaq Composite falling 1.7%. Futures currently point to a rebound in today’s session.

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