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Bellway lifts dividend | Moneysupermarket deal


5pm: Pound restrains FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 index closed up 13.70 points, or 0.2%, at 7,217.53 despite a stronger pound.

Entain closed 2.2% higher after suitor DraftKings deadline to make firm offer for the Ladbrokes owner has been extended to 16 November.

British Airways owner IAG was the biggest faller in the blue chip index, down 10.16p (5.78%) at 165.56p.

Elsewhere on the market e-commerce retailer THG was again a big faller, down 23.4p (6.71%) at 326p.

2pm: Setback for carbon cluster plan

Scotland’s hopes of developing a carbon capture and storage project have taken a knock after its bid was reduced to being a “back up” option in case either of two preferred proposals failed to deliver.

Full story here

9am: Pounds hits FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 index defied expectations of a small uplift and was down 5.22 points, or 0.1%, at 7,198.61 as the pound strengthened on reports of an interest rise next month.

Bellway rose 3.9% after the house builder saw profit surge in and revenue back near pre-pandemic levels (see below).

7am: Bellway profits surge

Homebuilder Bellway has increased its dividend after underlying pretax profit for the year ended 31 July rose 72% to £530.8 million as demand for homes remained robust. Revenue rose by 40.3% to £3,122.5m.

The number of housing completions rose by 34.8% to 10,138 and it is targeting an increase of around 10% in output of new homes for the year ending July 2022.

Bellway proposes a total dividend per share of 117.5p (2020 – 50.0p, 2019 – 150.4p), a rise of 135%

7am: Moneysupermarket swoops on cashback site

Online price comparison platform is buying consumer cashback website Quidco for up to £101 million.

The deal involves £87m in cash with a further £14m deferred on a debt-free, cash-free basis.

Quidco is the second largest cashback business in the UK with around one million transacting users. It offers cashback at around 4,500 merchants including retail, travel and switching services.

In a Q3 trading update, Moneysupermarket said it expects to see continued strong gross margin performance and therefore anticipate full-year EBITDA in line with current market expectations.

“We do not anticipate energy market conditions will improve this year and therefore expect that switching will be negligible in Q4 (energy accounted for 16% of Group revenue in Q4 2020).”

7am: YouGov lifts dividend

Data analysis firm YouGov posted adjusted profit before tax up by 21% to £31.2m (FY20: £25.7m) and proposes a 20% uplift in its dividend to 6p per share (FY20: 5p).

Investment Summit

At least 30,000 jobs will be created around the UK following £9.7 billion of foreign investment due to be announced by the Prime Minister at the Global Investment Summit today.

The package of 18 deals will support growth in vital sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage, cementing the UK’s climate leadership for COP26 and beyond. 

It comes as the Department for International Trade launches a new Investment Atlas, an online platform designed to help international investors identify and execute high priority investment opportunities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Global markets

The FTSE 100 index was predicted to resume its ascent following yesterday’s 30-point drop to 7,203.83.

London was expected to follow a more upbeat performance in New York. The Dow Jones dipped 0.1% but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 0.3% and 0.8% as most of the big tech stocks climbed.

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly higher this morning. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.68% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 1.22%

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.55% and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.63%.

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