Ithaca rises on Rosebank | Pendragon reviews offers
Ithaca Energy was the main attraction, climbing 14.5p, or 8.8%, to 177¾p after the energy regulator approved the $3.8 billion Rosebank oil and gasfield it is developing in the North Sea with Norway’s Equinor.
Other energy firms were gainers on the day. BP rose 7.75p to 538.5p and Shell was 30p higher at 2600p.
However, Centrica was among the fallers as analysts said positive news was now priced in and investors should take profits from its recent gains. It fell 8.5p, to 157.75p.
Joining Centrica on the FTSE 100 fallers’ board was Land Securities, which was among one of the many commercial property stocks to suffer a loss on the back of a bearish note from Jefferies. Its shares slipped 26p to 579.25p.
The FTSE 100 was in retreat, declining 32.5 points, or 0.4% to 7,593.22 with energy firm.
Pendragon, the motor dealership group, has received a third takeover offer, after one of America’s biggest car retailers entered the race.
AutoNation has pitched in with a £447 million cash offer, equal to about 32p a share and the same as the increased offer from Hedin, a European motor dealership group which already owns 26%of Pendragon’s shares.
Hedin is bidding jointly with Penske, which owns Britain’s bigger motor dealer, Sytner. Hedin-Penske’s initial offer of 28p a share was rejected by Pendragon’s board.
Pendragon is behind the Stratstone and Evans Halshaw car dealers and is now reviewing its decision last week to sell its UK motor and leasing businesses to Lithia Motors, an American motor group that already owns Jardine Motors in the UK, for £250m, valuing Pendragon at 27.4p a share.
In a statement alongside today’s interim results, it said: “The board has subsequently received unsolicited approaches from Hedin Mobility Group and PAG International and from AutoNation, which it is considering in consultation with shareholders. We will provide a further update at the appropriate time.”
Figures for the half year to the end of June show profit before tax rose by 10.6% to £36.4m on 13.2% rise in revenue to £2.09 billion (H1 FY22: £1.84bn).
Over-50s holidays and insurance group Saga said revenue for the half year to the end of July increased 15%, reflecting continued momentum in cruise and travel.
Underlying profit before tax came in at £13.4m, compared with £14m in the prior year which benefited from one-off Insurance underwriting releases. A reported loss before tax of £77.8m reflects a £68.1m impairment of insurance broking goodwill.
For the full year, the board expects significant double-digit growth in revenue and underlying PBT when compared with the prior year, ahead of current estimates.
James Quin will be standing down as group chief financial officer (CFO) after five years to focus on a portfolio career.
He will be replaced by Mike Hazell who, until recently, was Interim CFO at The Co-op Group. Before working at the Co-op he was CFO and joint chief executive at Debenhams. Previous experience has included time at BSkyB and Pfizer.