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Market Update

Kier New Order Soars, U.K. Retailer Next Offers Cautious Outlook


Author: Sarla Buch
ticker.com
Last Update: 12:58 PM ET March 23 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt – BASF agreed to sell its leather chemicals assets to Stahl. IG Group said revenues in the third-quarter fell 4%. Ithaca Energy net loss narrowed. Kier profit surged and infrastructure developer booked new orders worth £9 billion. Next profit and sales jumped. Wendel net loss widened.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged up 1.93 to 7,326.71 and in Frankfurt the DAX index increased 52.68 or 0.4% to 11,956.48.

In Paris, CAC 40 index gained 12.64 or 0.3% to 5,007.40.

BASF SE gained 0.2% to €88.91 after the France-based investment firms Wendel SE said that Stahl Holdings BV, maker of chemicals for leather products agreed to acquire the leather chemicals assets of Germany-based chemical producer including the leather chemicals production unit of L’Hospitalet in Spain.

The transaction is planned to be finalized in the fourth-quarter of 2017.

“With complementary strengths, BASF and Stahl are creating a leading company in leather chemicals with a strong focus on innovation,” the board of executive directors of BASF Michael Heinz said.

IG Group Holdings Plc declined 3.9% to 503.50 pence after the U.K.-based online trading and brokerage services provider said revenues in the third-quarter ending in February dropped 3.8% from a year ago to £117.4 million.

The online stockbroker said average revenue per client declined 15% in the U.K. market segment and 23% in Ireland but active client numbers in the quarter jumped 13%.

Ithaca Energy Inc slipped 0.6% to 114.30 pence after the U.K.-based oil and gas explorer stated revenues in the year ending in December plunged 30.6% from a year ago to $143.7 million.

Net loss in the year narrowed from a year ago to $53.8 million from $121.01 million and diluted loss per share fell to 13 cents from 35 cents.

The oil and gas explorer said in the year, average production was 9,310 barrels oil equivalent per day, lower than the 12,066 boepd reported in fiscal 2015 and cash flow declined to $147 million from $261 million in a year ago.

However, net debt in the year fell to $598 million from $665 million.

Kier Group Plc jumped 2.8% to 1,493 pence after the U.K.-based construction and support services provider said revenues in the first-half ending in December fell 1% from a year ago to £2 billion.

Net profit in the year surged four-fold from a year ago to £38.9 million from £10.1 million and diluted earnings per share advanced to 39.7 pence from 7.8 pence.

The infrastructure developer reported orders in the period worth about £9 billion were booked for the regional building and highway services.

Kier had secured new contracts worth about more than £5 billion after the Brexit vote in June.

Next Plc surged 8.1% to 4,200 pence after the U.K.-based apparel, footwear, accessories and home products retailer reported revenues in the first-half ending in January advanced 5% from a year ago to £4.2 billion.

Net profit in the year jumped 5% from a year ago to £666.8 million from £634.9 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 443 pence from 417.9 pence.

The retailer said pre-tax profit at the clothing and home products declined 5.5% from £836.1 million even after factoring price increase of 4% on average in the first-half of the year.

Next said the company is ""extremely cautious"" about prospects after the first decline in annual profit in the eight years and it also warned for ""another tough year ahead.""

The clothing retailer said sales in the first-quarter may decline around the ""bottom end"" of forecasts may fall around 3.5%.

Wendel SE advanced 3.3% to €116.55 after the France-based investor reported revenues in the year ending in December jumped 7.8% from a year ago to €8.3 billion.

Net loss in the year widened from a year ago to €366.8 million from €146.2 million and diluted loss per share jumped to €8.38 from €3.43.

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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