Daily Business Live

AG Barr ‘strong’ sales; Openreach extends broadband


5pm: Blue chips flat

The FTSE 100 ended the session before the Bank Holiday weekend on quiet note, just 2.934 points ahead at 7,022.61.

4.30pm: Van der Kuyl and Palmer for Baillie Gifford trust

Games entrepreneur and serial investor Chris van der Kuyl and the strategy and marketing professional Rachael Palmer have been appointed non-executive directors of Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust.

Full story here

4pm: Norway deal delayed

A wide-ranging free trade pact between the UK and Norway will have to be pushed back as Norway’s coalition government failed to reach an agreement today.

The three governing parties had until today to reach consensus over fears that a free trade deal would hit farmers in Scandinavia’s richest country too hard.

8.05am: Broadband boost

Openreach has outlined plans to extend ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to at least three million more homes and businesses – including more than 300,000 in Scotland – in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities.  It means fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.

More than 160 exchange areas across Scotland will be upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses in places such as Fort William, Oban, Turriff, Burntisland, North Berwick, Pitlochry, Carstairs and Stranraer set to benefit from what will be a massive nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering.

Island communities like Brodick on Arran, Portree on Skye, Stornoway, Kirkwall and Lerwick are also included, with more than 60,000 households and businesses set to benefit across the Highlands and Islands, alongside 30,000 in Aberdeenshire; 20,000 in Angus; 30,000 in Dumfries and Galloway; and 25,000 across Ayrshire.

8am: Blue chips up

Blue chips picked up the baton from Asia with a slight rise at the open. The FTSE 100 index was trading at 7,029.7, up 10.05 (0.14%).

7am: AG Barr trading strong


Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr said current trading is strong and there are plans for further investment in its brands along with a resumption of dividend payments.

In a statement issued ahead of its AGM, the Cumbernauld-based company said: “As lockdown restrictions have eased we have seen a positive impact on both our sales volume and mix.

“Current trading is encouraging and we have clear plans to further invest in our brands. 

“Our balance sheet remains strong and we remain committed to our plan to recommence dividend payments during the current financial year.  A further update in this regard will be provided in our half year trading update in early August 2021.

“Whilst there remains some uncertainty in the short term as pandemic related restrictions ease, we believe we are well placed to drive the growth of the business and remain confident in the Company’s prospects for the full year.” 

Global markets

Wall Street was poised for a strong end to the week after the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 142 points while the S&P closed in on another record high, rising 5 points

In Asia this morning Japan’s Nikkei 225 is 603 points to the good and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 184 points higher.

Spread betters were expecting the FTSE 100 to follow the wider market and rise 24 points to 7,044 at the open.

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