GKN, Bovis and Mitchells & Butlers

“Blue-chips edged higher building on yesterday’s solid performance when the index rose to 7,762.94 points by the close of play,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

“Engineering and aerospace group GKN’s shares soared after it turned down an approach from Melrose. GKN’s board considered the proposal as entirely opportunistic and that the terms fundamentally undervalued the company and its prospects. GKN will now press ahead with plans to split the business between aerospace and automotive divisions. GKN’s shares were up by more than 20.2% in early trading.

“Housebuilder Bovis was an early riser after a bullish update. The group expects full year figures to be in line with forecasts after a significant improvement in customer satisfaction levels. Operational restructuring and cost reduction initiatives had been completed and the group has a strong forward sales position to support controlled growth this year. There has also been a step change in the quality of the homes delivered on completion and customer satisfaction levels continue to improve. Bovis’s shares were up by over 3.8%.

“Pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers shares edged higher after a strong Christmas with like-for-like sales up by 3.9%. Christmas Day was a record taking day with like-for-like sales growing by 5.4% and 225,000 meals sold. But bad weather conditions in the lead up to Christmas limited sales growth to 1.6% over the full seven-week period. The group’s shares were up by over 0.2%.”

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