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UK Equities
Dixons Carphone bucks wider London losses
From the Financial Times of Wed, 17 Dec 2014 09:53:04 GMT

Dixons Carphone drove to the top of a weakening FTSE 100 on Wednesday, after the newly merged retailer’s half-year results helped the stock pick up speed.

It rose 2.8 per cent to 438.8p after reporting a 30 per cent rise in pro-forma group profit before tax of £78m in the 31 weeks to November 1. Revenue rose 5 per cent in the period and like-for-like sales were up 9 per cent. It reported a statutory loss before tax of £20m after £100m of charges related to the merger.

But the retailer said the integration of the two businesses was “progressing well”, and was now expected to generate at least £80m in cost savings by 2016-17, one year ahead of schedule.

Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Dixons Carphone had made “a promising start”, adding: “Economic recovery in its core UK and Irish markets has aided performance, while its newly separated business services division has made solid progress, doubling pro forma revenues.”

Overall, London’s main equities market made broad losses. Only eight of its constituent stocks did not fall in early trade, as the index lost 0.8 per cent to 6,284.56.

The decline was led at sector level by financial stocks, as worries about the wider implications of the financial turbulence in Russia unnerved sentiment across global markets.

Barclays was the biggest faller among the main London index’s banks, down 1.2 per cent at 227.4p. HSBC fell 1 per cent to 597.5p, while Royal Bank of Scotland slipped 0.4 per cent to 370.6p.

Some stocks with direct exposure to Russia continued to make prominent losses, while others bounced back from the steep selling in the previous session. Mondi, the packaging and paper group with operations in the country, fell 4 per cent to 996p, the biggest single fall on the FTSE 100. Evraz, the London-listed Russian steelmaker, topped the mid-cap FTSE 250 — up 4.7 per cent at 123.7p.

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