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Market Update

Europe Earnings: Bouygues, Schroders, Stobart, STV, Unite Group

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 11:29 AM ET March 06 2014

4:00 PM Frankfurt – Bouygues offered €10 billion for SFR controlled by Vivendi. Schroders net climbed 27% to £353 million. Stobart plans to sell 51% stake in transport business to DB Capital for £281 million. STV Group profit surged. Unite Group net plunged.

European Central Bank left its key lending rate on hold at a record low of 0.25% and the central bank is running out of options to stimulate the economy further.

President Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank said after the decision in a news conference that the euro zone economy is recovering at a “moderate” pace.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 0.3% or 20.98 to 6,796.40 and in Frankfurt the DAX index edged up 0.04% or 3.70 to 9,545.72.

In Paris, CAC 40 index jumped 0.6% or 27.10 to 4,418.35.

Bouygues SA soared 4.7% to €30.15 after the France-based telecommunications and media company offer Vivendi to start negotiation to merge SFR valued €10 billion or $14.4 billion in cash and 46% of the new entity.

Bouygues said at the time of IPO, Vivendi would also have an opportunity to monetize further 15% of the capital and then will be free to sell its remaining interest when it sees fit to do so. The terms valued SFR at about €19 billion.

Schroders Plc climbed 4.7% to 2,713 pence after the U.K.-based investment manager reported revenue in the year ending in December soared 27.5% to £1.81 billion from £1.42 billion a year ago.

Net profit in the year surged 27.4% to £352.7 million compared to £283.2 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to £1.26 from £1.01 a year earlier.

Assets under management climbed 24% to £262.9 billion from £212 billion a year earlier.

The board recommended an increase of final dividend by 40% to 42 pence per share payable on May 7.

Stobart Group Ltd declined 6% to 104.55 pence after the U.K.-based logistic company plans to sell 51% stake of core transport and distribution business to DouglasBay Capital, an asset management company for £280.8 million.

STV Group Plc surged 6.5% to 361.16 pence after the U.K.-based broadcasting company reported revenues jumped 9% to £112.1 million from £102.7 million a year earlier.

Profit in the year soared £12.2 million compared to £4.9 million and diluted earnings per share grew to 31.2 pence from 12.5 pence a year ago period.

The Unite Group Plc slipped 1.1% to 443.40 pence after the U.K.-based real estate developer said total revenue in the year ending in December declined 52.6% to £101.6 million from £214.6 million a year ago.

Profit in the year plunged 38.9% to £77.1 million compared to £126.2 million and earnings per share dropped to 46 pence from 78.3 pence a year earlier.

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