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Market Update

Europe Movers: Ashmore, Axa, Evraz, Marks and Spencer, WH Smith

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 10:15 AM ET April 11 2013

3:00 PM Frankfurt Ashmore said third quarter assets under management climbed 9.4% to $77.7 billion. Axa sold its US unit to Protective Life for $1.06 billion. Evraz report net in the year swung to $335 million loss. M&S fourth quarter food sales climbed 4%. WH Smith said group total sales fell 4%.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index added 0.2% or 15.9 to 6,403 and in Frankfurt the DAX index rose 0.4% to 29.8 to 7,840.

In Paris, CAC 40 index gained 0.6% or 21.6 to 3,765.

Ashmore Group Plc surged 13.9% to 404.30 pence after the UK based investment company said assets under management during the third quarter climbed 9.4% to $77.7 billion. Corporate debt in the quarter surged 51.6% to $4.7 billion and external debt slid 3.3% to $14.8 billion.

Axa SA rose 1% to 13.85 after the France based insurer agreed to sell its US based unit Mony Life Insurance Co to Protective Life Corp. for $1.06 billion or 0.82 billion. Transaction expected to close on October 1.

Evraz Plc plunged 10.8% to 187 pence after the UK based steel and mining company reported revenue for the year ending in December declined 10.2% to $14.73 billion. In the year, net swung to $335 million loss compared to net profit of $453 million. Diluted loss of earnings per share was to 23 cents from diluted earnings of 36 cents a year ago.

Hays Plc climbed 6.6% to 99.55 pence after the UK based recruitment group estimated operating profit for the full year ending in June at the upper end of between 112.3 million and 122.5 million.

Marks and Spencer Group Plc gained 2.7% to 394.25 pence after the UK based clothing retailer reported group sales in the fourth quarter increased 3.1% and total UK sales grew 2.6%. Comparable UK sales rose 0.6% and food sales climbed 4%.

Multi-channel sales for the quarter surged 22.9% and international sales jumped 7%.

The clothing retailer said in last year mobile sales soared 70% and continue to improve mobile shopping experience to our customers.

Man Group Plc, the UK based hedge fund manager reported it is no longer required to hold $300 million as capital buffer after it confirmed with the UK based Financial Conduct Authority had changed the regulatory status from full scope group to a limited licence group.

Man Group would have surplus capital of up to $920 million as at 1st January 2014.

WH Smith Plc climbed 3.6% to 772 pence after the UK based retailer said total group profit before the tax for the six month ending on February 28 increased 5% to 69 million and earnings per share climbed 11% to 44.2 pence from 40 pence a year earlier.

Group total sales fell 4% with like-for-like sales dropped 5% Travel total sales were flat to 216 million and with like-for-like sales slipped 4%. High Street total sales declined 6% to 422 million with like-for-like sales slumped 5%.

The retailer added group profit from trading operations increased 4% on the prior year to 77 million and Total group sales were 638 million compared to 665 million a year ago.

Gross margin improved by 160 basis points.

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