“The FTSE100 was virtually flat in early trading following a mixed session of Wall Street and slim gains in Asia. Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell led the board after oil prices rose following OPEC’s agreement to cut output,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.
“Toy group Character’s shares were up in early trading after another excellent year, with revenues rising by 22.1% to £121.0m. The group is living high on the hog with its top selling brand, Peppa Pig, continuing to deliver a consistently high level of sales. Revenue from international customers, which is generated in US dollars, increased by 50.3% and this will continue to provide a natural currency hedge against a currently weakened sterling. Character’s shares were up by 4.6%.
“Inland Homes led the AIM board after a bullish update ahead of its annual general meeting. The specialist housebuilder and brownfield land developer currently has a record 394 homes under construction across 12 sites and its joint venture with CPC Group has been given the go-ahead for 239 units at a prime site in the centre of High Wycombe. Inland is working on initiatives which aim to offer lower cost housing in the South East, where price remains a barrier to many people owning their own home. Inland’s shares were up by over 4.7%.
“Daily Mail & General Trust’s shares rose following a resilient full-year performance in challenging market conditions. Over half of the group's operating profits came from outside the UK, with 40% coming from North America. The results underline the growing significance of the group’s B2B businesses which generated 78% of adjusted operating profit while underlying growth in digital advertising and subscriptions was offset by the revenue decline in print advertising. DMGT’s shares were up by more than 7.8% in early trading.”
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