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Market Update

Fraport Wins 14 Greek Airport Contracts; Tesco, WH Smith Profit Surge

Author: Sarla Buch
Last Update: 10:42 AM ET April 12 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt – BAT agreed to acquire some brands of Bulgaria-based rival Bulgartabac for €100 million. Fraport wins contracts to operate 14 Greek airports. PUMA said revenues in the first-quarter surged 18%. Pagegroup profit soared 20%. Tesco operating profit surged 30%. WH Smith net jumped.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index increased 24.49 or 0.3% to 7,372.44 and in Frankfurt the DAX index edged down 5.63 to 12,194.89.

In Paris, CAC 40 index edged up 2.82 to 5,105.04.

British American Tobacco Plc slid 0.1% to 5,385.33 pence after the U.K.-based cigarette maker agreed to acquire cigarette brands of Bulgaria-based Bulgartabac for more than €100 million or $106 million.

Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide edged up 0.01% to €71.22 after Germany-based airport services provider secured contracts to operate 14 Greek airports, three mainland airports and eleven holiday islands airports, for €1.23 billion.

The Fraport also said it plans to invest about €400 million to improve and expand the infrastructure by 2021. The rights give Fraport a 40-year concession to manage and develop airport locations.

Separately, Fraport said passenger traffic in the first-quarter increased 1.5% to 13 million passengers and cargo throughput (airfreight + airmail) jumped 5.8% from a year ago period.

PUMA SE jumped 5.8% to €330.20 after Germany-based athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories maker reported preliminary revenues in the first-quarter ending in March surged 18% from a year ago to €1 billion and operating profit soared 70% to €70 million from €41.3 million in a year ago period.

The athletic and casual-ware maker lifted full-year operating profit forecast in the range of €185 million to €200 million from the earlier estimated range of €170 million to €190 million. The footwear maker reaffirmed that net earnings in fiscal 2017 will significantly improve.

Puma is schedule to release its first-quarter result on April 25.

Pagegroup Plc, formerly Michael Page International Plc soared 6.3% to 471.90 pence after the U.K.-based recruitment services provider stated total gross profit in the first-quarter ending in February jumped 19.7% from a year ago to £170.3 million.

The recruitment services provider said Michael Page businesses jumped 7.1% and Page Personnel businesses surged 14%.

Tesco Plc slumped 2.6% to 190.60 pence after the U.K.-based food retailer reported revenues in the year ending in February jumped 3.7% from a year ago to £55.9 billion.

Comparable sales in the year increased 0.9% and comparable food sales in the U.K. gained 1.3%.

Net in the year swung to a loss from a year ago to £54 million from profit of £129 million and diluted loss per share swung to 0.81 pence from diluted earnings per share of 3.22 pence.

The retailer said net debt declined 27% to £3.7 billion from £5.1 billion after the retailer confirmed the debt repayment of £1.9 billion of the debt within the year. The grocery giant said operating profits soared 30% to £1.28 billion.

“Our exclusive fresh food brands had strengthened our value proposition and our food quality perception is at its highest level for five years,” chief executive officer Dave Lewis said.

Further he added, “At the same time, we have increased profits, generated more cash and significantly reduced debt.”

WH Smith Plc dropped 3.3% to 1,765 pence after the U.K.-based convenience and books retailer said group sales in the first-half ending in February rose 2% from a year ago to £643 million.

Comparable sales in the period were flat.

Net profit in the period jumped 4.5% from a year ago to £69 million from £66 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 61.6 pence from 57.4 pence.

As of February 28, the group had net debt of £21 million, including £13 million of finance lease liabilities and net overdrafts of £8 million compared to the £1 million in the same period a year ago.

""In Travel, we continue to see strong sales growth, with like-for-likes up 5%, driven by continued investment in our U.K. and international businesses and growth in passenger numbers,” said group chief executive officer Stephen Clarke.

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