Financial Planning

FTSE 100 edges up, Vodafone and Land Securities weigh

Financial Planning
Published: 15 May 2018

The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) has recovered from an earlier dip after a raft of financial results and the news that Vodafone’s longstanding CEO will be stepping down this year.

The blue chip share index rose 0.16%, up 12 points at 7,722.67 by 10.33 GMT.

Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) dropped by 2.5% as the company reported its full-year results and said that CEO Vittorio Colao would be replaced by CFO Nick Read in October after 10 years in the job. Fiona Cincotta, Senior Market Analyst at City Index said: “The decline came despite Vodafone reporting a 1.4% fourth quarter increase in service revenue, ahead of forecasts of a 1.1% rise. The group’s earnings rose 11.8% to €14.7 billion. Vodafone expects its 2019 core earnings to increase by between 1%-5% and to have free cash flow of €5.2 billion, marginally less than in 2018.”

Land Securities (LON:LAND) shares fell 0.9% as the commercial property firm reported an annual pre-tax loss with a warning that the ongoing Brexit negotiations would impact on the property market. Fiona Cincotta commented: “The company reported a £251 million loss for the full year to March 31. Its adjusted diluted net asset value per share declined to 1,403p, a drop attributed to the cost of refinancing £1.5 billion of bonds. Cressida Hogg will become the company’s new chairwoman.”

easyJet (LON:EZJ) shares rose 2.8% as the budget airline reported a strong first-half performance and cut its pre-tax loss to £68mn from £236mn the year before. Revenue increased to £2.18bn for the six months to March 31 from £1.83bn in the same period last year. The airline has been boosted by the demise of peers Air Berlin, Alitalia and Monarch plus the rostering woes of Ryanair. easyJet has also increased investment in its holiday division and CEO Johan Lundgren said: “On holidays we have been in that space for quite some years now. We have got 90 million customers and this is just about exploring the opportunities.”

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) shares rose 2.3% as it said it would be hiking its dividend to 7.5% in 2019 and confirmed its guidance for the year.

In the mid-caps, CYBG (LON:CYBG) shares dropped 5.3% as the banking group reported a £76mn loss for its first-half due to an increased charge of £350mn for mis-selling of payment protection insurance. CYBG did not provide an update on its £1.6bn takeover bid for Virgin Money.

On the currency markets, sterling fell 0.10% against the dollar to $1.3548 and was steady, up 0.04%, against the euro at €1.1362.