Market report

Springfield signs affordable contract | Ryanair flies

Property hit by yield surge

A resurgence in bond yields, amid continued uncertainty about the direction of interest rates, weighed on property stocks by pushing up the cost of borrowing.

Unite, the student halls provider, and Segro, the warehouse landlord, both took a hit and sector’s weakness pulled the FTSE 100 lower.

Gains by aerospace companies and banks offset some of falls in the property sector, so that the index was unchanged at 7,417.76.

Airline shares also flew higher after Ryanair said it was on track to generate record profits this year (see below). In a read across, easyJet rose 4.75p to 396p.

Springfield signs contract

Innes Smith

Springfield Properties has signed a £6.1 million affordable housing contract with The Highland Council following its earlier decision to re-enter the sector.

The company’s decision was based on an increase in the Scottish Government’s affordable housing investment benchmarks.

The Elgin-based company said this has made affordable housing projects more attractive and it is well-placed to benefit from a return to this market. It is supported by a Scottish Government target to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.

Innes Smith, CEO (pictured), said: “We continue to be encouraged by the interest we are receiving from local housing authorities and other affordable housing providers as they seek to meet the Scottish Government’s targets and help meet recognised housing needs across the country. 

“Since 31 May, we have signed affordable housing contracts totaling c.£24m and we expect to be awarded further contracts in the near term.”

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust

Investment trust manager Tom Slater has hit back at critics of its portfolio’s performance, claiming its assets will provide significant value in the years ahead. Full story here



Profits at Irish airline Ryanair surged by 59% to €2.18 billion in the six months ended 30 September.

Passenger numbers grew by 11% to 105.4 million during the six-month period, boosting revenues by 30% to €6.62bn.

Chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said the board planned to return €400 million to shareholders in two dividends in February and September 2024.

It will also consider returning surplus cash through special dividends or share buybacks, debt and capital spending requirements allowing, its chief executive added.

Ryanair expects profits to reach between €1.85bn and €2.05bn in its current financial year, which ends on 31 March.

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