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Market Update

Europe Movers: Lloyds Loss Narrows, William Hill Profit Surges

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 9:02 AM ET March 01 2013

2:00 PM Frankfurt Belgacom fiscal net declined 6% and Lloyds net loss for the year narrowed. Thales net for the year jumped 5% and William Hill profit surged 58% and agreed to pay 424 million to Playtech for the 29% stake.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index fell 0.7% or 44 to 6,317 and in Frankfurt, the DAX index slid 1% or 80.1 to 7,662. In Paris, CAC 40 index dropped 1.4% or 52.1 to 3,671.

Belgacom SA declined 9.1% to 19.45 after the Belgium based mobile telecommunication service provider reported group revenue for the year ending in December grew 0.9% to 6.46 billion. Net income for the year declined 6% to 711 million compared to 756 million from a year ago. Earnings per share slipped 5% 2.24 from 2.36 a year earlier.

The company said Belgacom TV customers increased by 175,000 to a total of 1.39 million and fixed Internet customers rose 46,000 to a total of 1.64 million. The number of mobile customers declined with 43,000 to a total of 5.42 million.

Lloyds Banking Group plc tumbled 8.2% to 50.01 pence after the UK based financial service provider reported net interest income for the year ending December dropped 29% to 9.08 billion from 12.70 billion a year ago. Net loss for the year narrowed to 1.34 billion compared to 2.71 billion from a year ago. Diluted earnings per share slipped 5% 2 from 4.1 a year earlier.

Thales SA soared 12.3% to 30.32 after the France based aerospace systems provider said sales for the year advanced 9% to 14.16 billion from 13.03 billion a year ago. Net income for the year jumped 5% 536 million compared to 511.5 million from a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 3% 2.69 from 2.60 a year ago period.

Thales added new orders for the year rose 1% to 13.29 billion.

Valiant Petroleum plc surged 28.4% to 445 pence on speculation the UK based oil and gas explorer may be acquired by Canada based Ithaca Energy Inc. Shareholders of Valiant will receive 307 pence in cash and 1.33 share of Ithaca Energy the closing price of C$1.97 of February 28. Total transaction valued for 203 million.

Shares of Ithaca Energy on London Stock Exchange declined 8.6% to 117.20 pence.

William Hill Plc soared 7% to 433.10 pence after the UK based gambling company reported net revenue for the fiscal year ending on January 1 climbed 12% to 1.28 billion compared to 1.14 billion in the same period of last year.

Net profit for the year surged 58% to 231 million from 146.5 million from a year ago and diluted earnings per share soared 64% to 26.6 compared to 16.3 from a year ago.

The company said net retail revenue for the year jumped 6% to 837.9 million and online net revenue climbed 27% to 406.7 million. Operating profit1 soared 20% to 330.6 million.

Sportsbook net revenue surged 50% and mobile sports-book turnover jumped to 260%.

In a separate press note, the company said it would pay 424 million to Playtech for the 29% stake in William Hill Online. William Hill added the deal funded by 375 million fully underwritten rights issue and give full ownership of online gambling services.

The company also agreed to pay 460 million for the Australian and Spanish online business and the transaction is schedule to complete on March 19.

Shares of Playtech Ltd slipped 1.5% to 563 pence.

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