Thomas Cook, Finsbury Food and Brammer

“Equities opened on the front foot ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement and in the wake of Wall Street posting heady gains overnight,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

“Holiday group Thomas Cook’s shares were up in early trading despite a fall in full-year profits. It was a tough year for the tourist industry with instability in Turkey and a spate of terror attacks taking their toll. But Thomas Cook’s swift action to shift its holiday programme into the Western Mediterranean and long haul, together with the benefits of a stronger euro, helped it to maintain revenue and bookings for next summer in its key markets are encouraging. Thomas Cook’s shares were up by more than 4.1% in early trading.

Finsbury Food has maintained the strong growth it has achieved in recent years with its 50%-owned European business offsetting a decline in the UK bakery division. Consumer confidence has remained stronger than anticipated but input costs, which are globally priced in dollars or euros, have increased substantially following sterling's weakness since the Brexit vote.

“Industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul products provider Brammer’s shares soared on a recommended cash offer from AI Robin, a wholly-owned subsidiary of funds managed by Advent International. The 165p per share offer values Brammer at £221.5 million and represents a premium of 69.2% to last night’s closing price. Brammer recently carried out a strategic review which identified a number of operational issues which need to be addressed to turnaround the business. These would require significant structural and behavioural changes, incur significant cash reorganisation costs and take at least three years to implement and would carry significant risk and uncertainty for a public company. Brammer’s shares were up by over 68.3%.”

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