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FTSE 250 movers: You're not so Moneysupermarket; Go-Ahead on track after solid H1

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 22 Feb 2018

FTSE 250 movers: You're not so Moneysupermarket; Go-Ahead on track after solid H1

(ShareCast News) - The FTSE 250 was in negative territory on Thursday afternoon, weighed down by shares in
Stock in the the online comparison tumbled 16% and led the index's fallers as its full-year earnings and revenue missed expectations and investors were left disappointed by the 2018 outlook.

In its preliminary results for the year to the end of December 2017, the group said pre-tax profit rose to £96.1m from £91.3m the year before, on revenue of £329.7m, up 4% as strong insurance growth was offset by lower energy switching.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were up 5% to £127.2m, while adjusted earnings per share came in at 16.9p, up from 15.7p in 2016. Customer savings rose 10% to an estimated £2bn as the company helped its customers to find better products and the total dividend for the year was lifted 6% to 10.44p.

Hays shares fell even as the recruiter said interim profit rose 18% on the back of strong growth in its international markets and good cost control in the UK.

Kaz Minerals was in the red despite reporting a rise in full-year profit as its numbers missed across the board.

Safestore was on the back foot as it reported a 9.8% rise in first-quarter revenues, while gambling software development company.

Playtech tanked 10% after its full-year results fell short, with growth rates slowing from 2016. The company also said first quarter revenues were below par.

Serco racked up strong gains as the outsourcer's 2017 results beat analysts' expectations and transport group.

The outsourcing giant confirmed a 2% slide in reported revenue to £2.95bn in its 2017 results, which it said comprised a 6% organic decline from net contract attrition, partially offset by a 4% currency benefit.

The company said order intake was up 36% at £3.4bn, including Grafton prison in Australia - which was the group's largest ever contract win - and more than 30 other contract awards worth more than £10m each across the UK, Europe, America and the Middle East.

It reported a book-to-bill ratio of over 100% for the first time since 2012, with its closing order book at £10.7bn, up from £9.9bn a year earlier.

Go-Ahead surged as its first-half operating profit beat forecasts. The company said its expectations for the full year had improved after the train and bus operator benefited from a one-off boost in the first half after it lost one rail contract.

The operator of South Eastern Trains via its 65% owned Govia subsidiary, reported revenue for the six months to 30 December of £1.8bn, which was up 6.5% on the same period the year before.

Operating profit of £86.9m was up 19% as the operating profit margin improved to 4.8% from 4.3% thanks to rail. Profit before tax of £79.7m was up 19% and basic earnings per share by 7.3% to 115.5p.

The rail operating profit of £40.3m was up from £26.6m a year earlier, better than expected after a one-off profit of £6.4m from the sale of assets to the incoming operator as it lost its London Midland franchise in December and was aided by the phasing of contractual settlements in Southeastern.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,203.60 -1.07%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,632.18 -0.79%
techMARK (TASX) 3,316.75 -0.90%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,527.00p 14.13%
AA (AA.) 87.22p 4.36%
Serco Group (SRP) 94.20p 3.57%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 137.80p 3.45%
Capita (CPI) 176.60p 3.12%
Mitie Group (MTO) 162.20p 2.79%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 3,845.00p 2.53%
Indivior (INDV) 398.80p 2.52%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 629.90p 2.42%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 255.50p 2.20%

FTSE 250 - Fallers Group (MONY) 280.50p -14.69%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 556.00p -6.24%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 142.75p -5.62%
Playtech (PTEC) 733.00p -5.35%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 904.00p -4.84%
Greencore Group (GNC) 173.85p -4.48%
Hays (HAS) 195.80p -4.30%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,390.00p -4.14%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 217.00p -3.98%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 231.60p -3.82%


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