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Market Update

Europe Earnings: Lifeline, Metro, Numericable, Smiths News, Thorntons


Author: Nigel Thomas
ticker.com
Last Update: 10:39 AM ET March 03 2014

4:00 PM Frankfurt – European markets plunged on rising tensions in Ukraine. Metro plans to raise €1 billion and fell 6% on a weakness in Russian markets. Numericable and Altice are preparing a merger with SFR unit of Vivendi for about $20 billion. Thorntons profit and sales climbed.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index slumped 1.4% or 92.29 to 6,717.41 and in Frankfurt the DAX index declined 2.7% or 265.92 to 9,426.16.

In Paris, CAC 40 index dropped 2% or 88.71 to 4,319.37.

Lifeline Scientific, Inc climbed 3.2% to 147 pence after the U.K.-based organ transplant service provider secured a 23 renal transplant contract in France. The financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Metro AG plunged 6.6% to €29.93 after the Germany-based retailer plans to raise €1 billion or $1.4 billion by selling a quarter of its Russian cash-and-carry operation in an initial public offering in London.

The stock was also under pressure after market indexes in Russia plunged 13% and Russia’s ruble dropped as much as 1.5%. Metro’s Russia business has been a significant growth contributor to the company.

Numericable Group SA slid 0.5% to €29.93 after the France-based cable operator and its shareholder and investment firm Altice are preparing an offer to merge with a mobile unit SFR of Vivendi SA valued at about $20 billion.

The offer includes €11 billion or $15.2 billion in cash and €3 billion in Numericable’s cable assets and a €750 million capital increase by Altice, according to local reports in the French media.

Smiths News Plc tumbled 13.4% to 178 pence after the U.K.-based newspaper, magazines and books publisher forecasted its underlying group profit-before-tax for the first-half to be in line with the prior year.

The company expects to deliver profit marginally above the performance of last year.

Thorntons Plc rose 0.3% to 154 pence after the U.K.-based confectionery and sweet foods maker said revenue in the first-half ending on January 11 jumped 4.5% to £139.7 million from £133.7 million a year ago.

Profit for the period surged to £5.22 million compared to £2.98 million and earnings per share rose to 7.1 pence from 4.3 pence a year earlier.

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