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Market Update

Europe Earnings: Aviva, Dixons, National Grid, Richemont, Thomas Cook

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 11:47 AM ET May 16 2013

3:00 PM Frankfurt Aviva first quarter sales were flat at 5.46 billion and Dixons total group sales jumped 10%. National Grid profit for the year climbed 13% to 2.30 billion. Richemont profit for the year surged 30% to 2.01 billion. Thomas Cook net debt dropped 13% to 1.22 billion.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged down 0.1% or 6.49 to 6,687.30 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 0.2% or 13.3 to 8,349.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slipped 0.4% or 16.8 to 3,965.

Aviva Plc surged 7.9% to 348.70 pence after the UK based insurance company said first quarter ending in March total life and pension sales were nearly flat at 5.46 billion compared to 5.48 billion.

Internal debt in the quarter reduced by 300 million and combined operating ratio steady at 96%. Operating expenses declined 10% to 769 million. Value of new business improved profitable in UK Life and Asian growth.

Sale of remaining stake in Delta Lloyd, and eliminate the businesses in Russia and Malaysia are completed.

Dixons Retail Plc climbed 7.8% to 39.36 pence after the UK based electrical retailer total group sales for the year ending in March jumped 10% and like-for-like sales increased 7% and multi-channel business soared 14%.

For the year, group underlying profit before tax expected between 75 million and 85 million and disposals of Webhallen and PLS agreed for a total valued nearly 15 million.

For the fourth quarter, multi-channel businesses delivering like for like sales climbed 11%. UK & Ireland traded like for like sales surged 13% and Northern Europe like for like sales advanced 14% whilst like for like sales in Southern Europe declined 5%.

National Grid Plc slipped 1.6% to 830.94 pence after the UK based energy network operator reported revenue in the year ending in March rose 3% to 14.36 billion from 13.83 billion. Profit for the year climbed 12.7% to 2.30 billion compared to 2.04 billion and diluted earnings per share jumped 62.3 pence from 55.4 pence.

National Grid said the company agreed new eight-year UK price controls that cover nearly 24 billion of regulated assets and finalized four US rate cases and two other cases settled, pending approval which covers about 55% of US rate base.

Richemont SA, the Switzerland based luxury goods maker said sales in the year ending in March climbed 14% to 10.15 billion from 8.87 billion. Profit for the year surged 30% to 2.01 billion compared to 1.54 billion and diluted earnings per share soared 30% to 3.60 from 2.76.

The company added gross profit for the year advanced 15% to 6.52 billion and operating profit jumped 18% to 2.43 billion and operating margin gained 80 basis points to reach 23.9%.

Suedzucker Mannheim Ochsenfurt AG dropped 5.6% to 27.65 after the Germany based sugar producer expects operating profit for the year declined nearly 825 million.

Thomas Cook Group Plc soared 14.1% to 165.11 pence after the UK based tour operator reported revenue in the first-half fell 3% to 3.22 billion compared to 3.31 billion. Loss for the first-half narrowed 33% to 391 million from 584 million and diluted loss per share widened to 68.2 pence from 31.9 pence.

Net debt for the period dropped 13% to 1.22 billion compared to 1.39 billion a year earlier.

The traveler expects to raise about 305 million from rights issue of 2 shares for every 5 held and issue 401,556,476 new shares at 76 pence per share and 120 million from issue of 87,591,241 shares at 137 pence per share, as part of 1.6 billion refinancing to reduce its debt pile.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc