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Market Wrap - Market Open

FTSE static as Provident Financial starts business review

25 August 2017 09:07

Struggling Provident Financial (PFG) was ready to fight back following its profit warning earlier this week.

Executive chair Manjit Wolstenholme announced the company will begin a review of the business and change the management of the consumer credit division, helping to lift the shares 15.3% to 867p.

The doorstep lender announced on Tuesday that sales were £9m a week lower compared to 2016 and collections were at 57%, down from 90%.

Overall, the FTSE 100 was 0.3% higher to 7,427. Stronger mining stocks helped keep the blue-chip index in positive territory, with Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BLT) up 2.4% and 1.6%, respectively.

Brent crude oil rose 0.7% to $52.43 per barrel. Copper increased 0.6% to $6,724 per tonne and gold was flat at $1,287 per ounce.

Aviva (AV.) said Aviva Italia exercised an option to sell its entire 50% shareholding in its joint venture in Italy, Avipop Assicurazioni and its wholly owned subsidiary Avipop Vita to Banco BPM. The news did little to move the share price at 525p.


Shares in Computacenter (CCC) catapulted 16.7% to £10.30 as trading is anticipated to be marginally ahead of expectations. Adjusted pre-tax profit nearly doubled from £25.3m to £41.9m in the first half of 2017.


Consultancy WYG (WYG) crashed 37.5% to 57.5p after announcing that operating profit for the half year is anticipated to be 'significantly' lower than the prior year.

The company blamed the warning on two major contracts taking longer than expected to start, a lull in activity in Turkey and lower than expected volumes in certain framework contracts.

Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) signed its first binding customer contract to manage cargo at its port facility, sparking a share price rally of 73.7% to 8.4p. Under the contract, MPL said it expects to generate revenue of approximately £4.7m for every one million tonnes handled, with a built-in escalation of 7% per annum.

Hazardous waste expert Augean (AUG) slumped 41.7% to 33.5p as it reports it has received a landfill tax bill of £2.1m (including interest) the company plans to appeal.

Nanoco (NANO) cautioned that the adoption of its manufactured cadmium-free quantum dots continued to be slow, while protracted regulatory change restricting the use of cadmium was unhelpful. Shares in the firm fell 8.5% to 27.1p.

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